Hoarding Symptoms Respond to Treatment for Rapid Cycling Bipolar II Disorder

Luana D. Laurito, Leonardo F. Fontenelle, David A. Kahn

Research output: Contribution to journalComment / DebateOtherpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Although some studies have reported a relationship between hoarding and bipolar disorder, we are unaware of any previous description of how they may interact with each other and how they should be managed appropriately. A 48-year-old male depressed patient with hoarding symptoms and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder after 2 hypomanic episodes. The patient was treated unsuccessfully with different high-dose serotonin reuptake inhibitors and atypical antipsychotics, maintaining a pattern of 6 to 8 discrete, but severe, depressive episodes each year, always in association with a drastic worsening of his OCD and hoarding symptoms. T.he patient did not improve until the dose of the serotonin reuptake inhibitor was decreased and a combination of lamotrigine and methylphenidate was initiated. On this treatment regimen, the patient did not show clinically significant levels of depression or hoarding or other OCD symptoms. This case suggests that, in some patients, (1) hoarding-related cognitions and behaviors may be a part of bipolar depression, (2) the episodic nature of rapid cycling bipolar II disorder may protect against the development of severe clutter, and (3) treatment focusing on bipolar depression (eg, lamotrigine plus methylphenidate) may result in an improvement of hoarding symptoms when these are present in patients with rapid cycling bipolar II disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-55
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • bipolar disorder
  • hoarding
  • lamotrigine
  • methylphenidate
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder

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