Statistics About Bipolar Disorder

2.8% of the U.S. population is diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Males and females in the United States suffer from bipolar disorder at the same rates, which are at 2.9 and 2.8 percent, respectively.

83% of cases are classified as severe.

5 Fast Facts about Bipolar Disorder

The average person has four episodes of mania or depression during the first 10 years of the illness.

Bipolar disorder usually begins in adolescence or early adulthood, but it can sometimes start in early childhood.

Suicide is the number one cause of premature death among people with bipolar disorder.

People with bipolar disorder consult three to four doctors and spend more than eight years seeking treatment before they receive a correct diagnosis.

Bipolar disorder is associated with other health problems, such as substance abuse.

About Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes dramatic shifts in a person’s mood, energy and ability to think clearly. Many people associate bipolar disorder with mood swings, but the condition is much more complex than that. People with bipolar disorder do experience highs and lows, called mania and depression, but these changes in mood tend to last weeks at a time.

types of bipolar disorder

  • Bipolar I disorder – characterized by manic episodes that last at least 7 days or result in hospitalization, followed by periods of depression that last at least 2 weeks.

 

  • Bipolar II disorder – described as stretches of depression and high mood, but not as severe as Bipolar I.

 

  • Cyclothymic disorder – a chronic unstable mood state in which individuals experience mild mania and depression, with brief periods of normal mood that last less than eight weeks.

Mania vs. Depression

  • Mania – To be diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a person must have experienced at least one episode of mania or hypomania. Mania is a period of extremely high energy or mood. During mania, your mood is elevated, but not at a comfortable or controllable level. Hypomania is a milder form of mania. During a manic episode, an individual can become very irritable, their behavior can be unpredictable, and their judgment can be impaired.

 

  • Depression – A depressive episode is defined as a period of depression that lasts at least two weeks, although it usually lasts much longer. During a depressive episode, the individual experiences extremely low moods, sometimes to the point of not being able to get out of bed.

Causes of Bipolar Disorder

  • Genetics – bipolar disorder can run in families, but many people who have bipolar disorder don’t have a family history of the condition.

 

  • Stress – stressful events can trigger a manic or depressive episode.

 

  • Brain structure and function – researchers have found subtle differences in the average size or activation of some brain structures in people with bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes dramatic shifts in a person’s mood, energy and ability to think clearly. Many people associate bipolar disorder with mood swings, but the condition is much more complex than that. People with bipolar disorder do experience highs and lows, called mania and depression, but these changes in mood tend to last weeks at a time.

four main symptoms of a manic episode

  • An increase in energy.
  • Decreased need or desire for sleep.
  • Impulsive behavior.
  • Racing thoughts, heart rate, and speech patterns.

four main symptoms of a depressive episode

  • Loss of interest in activities.
  • Loss of energy and/or insomnia.
  • Feelings of worthlessness and guilt.
  • Extreme sadness, despair, or overwhelm.

co-occurring mental health conditions

  • Anxiety
  • ADHD
  • Substance use disorders
  • Eating disorders

Who is at risk for bipolar disorder?

The average age-of-onset of bipolar disorder is about 25, but it can occur at any age, including in the teens or in childhood. In fact, bipolar disorder is quite common in adolescents aged 13 to 18 years old, with about 2.9 percent of adolescents having the condition.

In terms of gender, men and women are both equally affected by bipolar disorder. However, women are more likely to experience rapid cycling, which are frequent mood changes consisting of 4 or more mania and depression episodes each year. Because bipolar disorder is heritable, people whose parents have bipolar disorder are also at increased risk of developing the condition.

Bipolar Disorder Treatment

Bipolar disorder is a treatable condition that can be managed in several ways. With a good treatment plan, many people live well with the condition.

Effective treatments for bipolar disorder include:

    • Psychotherapy, such as:
      • Cognitive behavioral therapy – the focus of CBT is identifying unhealthy, negative beliefs and behaviors and replacing them with healthy, positive ones.
      • Family-focused therapy – Family support and communication can help you stick with your treatment plan and help you and your loved ones recognize and manage warning signs of mood swings.
      • Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT) – promotes better mood management by focusing on the stabilization of daily rhythms, such as sleeping, waking and mealtimes.
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    • Medication, such as:
      • Mood stabilizers – to control manic or hypomanic episodes.
      • Antipsychotics – can be added if symptoms persist even with other medications.
      • Antidepressants – can be prescribed to help manage depression, and may be prescribed along with a mood stabilizer to prevent manic episodes.
      • Day treatment programs – your doctor may recommend a day treatment program. These programs provide support and counseling while you get symptoms under control.
      • Self-management strategies, such as psychoeducation. Learning about bipolar disorder can help you and your loved ones understand the condition and stick to a treatment plan.
      • Complementary health strategies – these are not treatments in themselves, but strategies such as yoga and exercise can supplement your treatment.

 

 

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