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Category: News and Insights


Bipolar Awareness Day 6th October 2015 - What is Bipolar Disorder?

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Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in a person's mood, energy and ability to function.

At any one time as many as 51 million people worldwide suffer from bipolar disorder, including:

  • 12 million people in China

  • 8.7 million people in India

  • 2.2 million people in USA

  • Over 250,000 diagnosed cases in Britain

Individuals with bipolar disorder can quickly swing from extremes of happiness, energy and clarity to sadness, fatigue and confusion. Some people may experience symptoms of mania and depression together in what is called a mixed bipolar state. Symptoms often include agitation, trouble sleeping, significant change in appetite, psychosis and suicidal thinking.

Suicide is the number one cause of premature death among people with bipolar disorder, with 15 percent to 17 percent taking their own lives as a result of negative symptoms that come from untreated illness.

Bipolar disorder facts:

  • An equal number of men and women develop bipolar illness and it is found in all ages, races, ethnic groups and social classes.

  • More than two-thirds of people with bipolar disorder have at least one close relative with the illness or with unipolar major depression, indicating that the disease has a heritable component.

  • Bipolar disorder is the sixth leading cause of disability in the world.

  • Bipolar disorder results in 9.2 years reduction in expected life span, and as many as one in five patients with bipolar disorder completes suicide.

  • Bipolar disorder is more likely to affect the children of parents who have the disorder.

Although there is no cure for bipolar disorder, it is a highly treatable disease.