Bipolar Disorder Statistics
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that is characterised by periods of high elation and episodes of depression. It is also known as manic depression because of the tendency for mood swings that can be quite marked.
These can occur out of the blue and last for several weeks at a time. The bouts of depression are characterised by feelings of worthlessness, lack of energy and even suicidal thoughts. The manic episodes can include feelings of euphoria, moments of high energy and can include extended periods of not being able to sleep or stay still.
People suffering from bipolar disorder have to contend with these periods of severe highs and lows throughout their lives. Learning to recognise the specific triggers that lead to an episode is important and, in severe cases, medication such as lithium carbonate is usually be needed to help smooth out the depressive or manic episodes. Although manic moods can be highly creative periods for those with this condition they can also be just as damaging as the times when depression takes hold.
- Rates across different countries are pretty similar at about 1% of the population.
- 5 million people will be diagnosed as bipolar this year.
- Bipolar disorder is a widespread mental health condition and the 6th leading cause of disability in the world.
- 1 in 5 patients diagnosed with a bipolar disorder will attempt to commit suicide.
- Bipolar disorder is no respecter of age, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic background or educational level. Women with this mental health issue, though, may well suffer from deeper depressive episodes than men.
- Children who have a bipolar parent are more likely to become bipolar themselves. This increases significantly when both parents are bipolar.
- It generally takes much longer to diagnose bipolar disorder than other mental health problems. On average sufferers have to cope for 10 years before they get an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
- The average onset of bipolar disorder is around 25 years of age. Men will tend to develop a bipolar disorder earlier than women.
- Teenagers with a bipolar disorder are 50% more likely to commit suicide than those without.
- 30 years after diagnosis and treatment, 60% of people with a diagnosed bipolar disorder will have recovered or significantly improved their condition, 15% will have improved but need significant support, 10% will have been hospitalised and 15% will have committed suicide.
In the US, the statistics show a similar story:
- 7 million Americans in any given year suffer from a bipolar disorder.
- Bipolar disorder is more difficult to diagnose than other mental health problems because of the variation in symptoms. Only 1 in 4 people receive an accurate diagnosis within 3 years of onset.
- Of those diagnosed as having a bipolar disorder, nearly 90% of these are seen as having a severe condition.
In the UK and Europe, bipolar disorder is also a common illness:
- Over 723,000 people in the UK and nearly a million in Germany are diagnosed with having bipolar disorder.
- Bipolar disorder normally starts between the age of 15 and 19. If you reach the age of 40 and have not suffered from a bipolar episode, then you most likely won’t in the future.
- The annual cost to the NHS in the UK of bipolar disorder is £342 million.
Across the rest of the world:
- With rates of bipolar disorder incidence at 1% of the population fairly constant around the world, as many as 12 million people in China and 8.7 million in India could have the condition.
- In Canada, 8% of beds are occupied by those who have been diagnosed with a bipolar disorder, more than any other health condition.
- Across Africa, bipolar disorder varies between 0.1% and 1.83% and the level of potential misdiagnoses is over 36%.
Bipolar Disorder Statistics
Bipolar Disorder Facts and Statistics from Moodswing.org