Does Dr. Choi have bipolar? (+5 Signs & symptoms)

The current blogpost will be explaining if Dr. Choi has bipolar. We will also be examining the various signs and symptoms of mental health issues that Dr. Choi exhibits in the ‘Chicago Med’ series and also check out the causal factors of these.

Does Dr. Choi have bipolar?

No, Dr. Choi does not have bipolar. Dr. Choi, or Dr. Ethan Choi, suffers from some mental health issues as seen from his behaviors and his actions. However, he clearly does not suffer from bipolar disorder as his symptoms do not match the diagnostic criteria.

Taking a close look at the background of Dr. Choi and his behaviors in his tenure at Gaffney Chicago Medical Center, it can be speculated that the emergency doctor might be suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

This is not exactly confirmed by the show, but it can be seen through Dr. Choi’s obsessive need to control the environment and follow protocol to a fault. This is basically a strategy to avoid surprises and shocks which can lead to more emotional trauma.

Dr. Choi also worked as a military doctor and was deployed in Baghdad, where he went through traumatic experiences. He has not spoken out about these experiences, which had led to a lot of pent-up stress and anxiety.

He also does not believe that he might be indeed suffering from some mental health issue and does not also accept the mental illnesses of others, including his patients. This also proves that the doctor might be dealing with some deep emotional troubles because of his past.

Signs of Dr. Choi’s mental health issues

Dr. Choi has not been clinically diagnosed with a specific mental illness but definitely shows many signs of mental and emotional distress throughout the show. Some signs of various mental health issues that Dr. Choi might be suffering from have been listed in the points below.

He is a stickler for rules

Dr. Ethan Choi is definitely one of the more restrained doctors in Chicago Med and is known for being adamant for protocol. This is most likely the result of his military background and his past experiences.

When compared to other doctors who go by their gut-feeling or their instinct, Dr. Choi stands out and follows protocol all the time. This can not only frustrate other doctors but even causes harm to patients who are under his care.

He has continuous nightmares

Dr. Choi is definitely not so open about his past experiences and the trauma that he goes through in the military. When he finally opens up about his traumatic experiences in the past, he mentions that he has constant nightmares about a girl who died.

He explains that the daughter of a woman who walked for miles for healthcare, died because a blast wave ruptured her lungs. This experience traumatized Dr. Choi a lot and as a result of this, he continuously has nightmares.

He also shows signs of distress and anxiety whenever he is reminded of his time in the military which is a common sign of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. For instance, during a mass shooting, he cries with April since he is reminded of his time in Baghdad.

He does not express his feelings

Dr. Choi also does not express his feelings and talk about them to others. Even though his colleagues and peers know well about his PTSD and are supportive of him, he still does not talk about his feelings and sweeps them under the rug.

He judges people easily

He can also be seen as a very judgmental character and often jumps to conclusions without any concrete evidence. In one episode, a young woman gives birth and he judges her for deciding to give up her baby.

He takes his feelings out physically

Instead of talking about his feelings and emotional distress in a healthy manner, Dr. Choi often takes his feelings out in a physical manner. For instance, he is seen to be taking his frustration out on a punching bag when he is stressed or anxious.

Causes of Dr. Choi’s mental health issues

Dr. Choi’s mental health issues, particularly his PTSD, can be mainly blamed on his experiences in Baghdad. Being an active member of a war itself can be a very stressful and traumatizing thing.

With Dr. Ethan Choi, this is even worse since he has a terrible experience involving a young girl whose lungs were ruptured as a result of a blast from a gunshot. Her mother walked with her body for ten miles seeking help.

In realizing he could do nothing for the child, Dr. Choi was permanently scarred for the rest of his life. Since his personality is very restrained in nature, he avoided therapy and talking to someone about it, leading to further emotional trauma.


The current blogpost has explained if Dr. Choi has bipolar. We have also explained the various signs and symptoms of mental health issues that Dr. Choi exhibits in the ‘Chicago Med’ series and also checked out the causal factors of these.

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