A recent study released this month shows that the United States has a significantly higher amount of reported cases of bipolar when compared to other countries. This new information states that about 2.4% of the entire world population is diagnosed with this mental health issue at one time or another. The United States ranks the highest with a reported figure of 4.4% facing this disorder and India ranks the lowest with less than one tenth of one percent of its population suffering with this illness. According to this study that comprised data from 11 nations, less than half of the people who were diagnosed with bipolar ever sought treatment.
Bipolar manifests in clients differently, but is characterized by mood swings shifting from states of depression to mania. Those suffering from bipolar are at a higher risk for suicide and substance abuse. Although there is treatment available in most countries, less than a quarter of the people in low-income countries receive treatment of any kind.
Bipolar can debilitate a person and significantly impairs their quality of life and their livelihood. Kathleen Merikangas, Ph. D., the study’s lead author and chief of the genetic epidemiology research branch at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland, emphasizes the importance of these findings. She says “It’s very important that we understand the scope and magnitude of this disorder so that we can plan appropriate treamtents, facilitate recognition of diseases, and identify people at risk so we can bring them into treatment.”
She goes on to say, “Bipolar disorder is responsible for the loss of more disability-adjusted life-years than all forms of cancer or major neurologic conditions such as epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease, primarily because of its early onset and chronicity across the life span.”
© Copyright 2011 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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