Bipolar disorder is a manic-depressive illness that affects just under 3% of the adult population. In the United States, this means about 5.5 million people are affected by this neurobiological disorder on a regular basis.
It is estimated that 51% of those who have bipolar disorder remain untreated for their condition every year.
The average age of onset for bipolar disorder is 25 years of age, but the illness can begin at virtually any age. It affects men and women equally along all social, ethnic, and racial classes. When someone who is a direct relative has been diagnosed with this illness, there is an increased chance someone else in the family will have it as well. More than 67% of those with bipolar disorder have one close relative with this illness.
Facts About the Bipolar Disorder Demographics
- Cycling is a common component of bipolar disorder. Women experience rapid cycling at 3x the frequency of their male counterparts.
- Women have more mixed episodes and have more depressive episodes that are related to their bipolar disorder when compared to men.
- This illness is the 6tth leading cause of disability right now in the world.
- Up to 20% of those who have a confirmed diagnosis of bipolar disorder will complete a suicide attempt.
- Those with this illness have a 9 year reduction in their expected life span.
- The US has the highest bipolar rates in the world, with a lifetime chance for everyone at 4.4%.
Bipolar disorder is something that many people believe they can battle on their own. Cycling periods are mistaken for times of “emotional distress.” Sometimes it is just something that is a normal part of life because it is well established as an illness within their family. Understanding that this disorder can affect anyone, no matter what their background might be, allows us to understand that treating it requires an individualized effort.
Children Are Also Affected by Bipolar Disorder
- When one parent has bipolar disorder, the chances of a child developing this illness at some point in their lives is up to 30%. When both parents have the disorder, the risk to each child is as high as 75%.
- In a recent study, 1% of teens 14-18 met the criteria for having bipolar disorder.
- More than 1 million children who have been diagnosed with depression may actually be experiencing early onset bipolar disorder.
- 1 in 5 children who develop major depression will develop bipolar disorder within 5 years of their depression onset.
- Children are more likely to experience destructive outbursts, have a poor school performance, and focus on social isolation while cycling.
One of the issues that the bipolar disorder demographics face today is how this illness responds to treatments. When lithium was first used to treat the disorder, the success rates were up to 85%. Today they’re often below 50%. Compliance is also an issue, which can often be rectified with group treatment options. Bipolar disorder isn’t something that will just go away, so every demographic must recognize the symptoms and find help when needed.
Why Bipolar Disorder Can Be Dangerous
- Only 25% of people with bipolar disorder receive an accurate diagnosis in their first 3 years of symptoms. Many people may face up to 10 years of symptoms before receiving a diagnosis and be able to begin treatment.
- 90% of those who are receiving treatment for their illness state that they are satisfied with their current treatment plan.
- Those who do not feel satisfied with their treatment team and the developed plan to tackle their illness have a much more negative outlook and struggle to cope with their symptoms.
- 82% of bipolar disorder cases in the USA are classified as severe.
- Less than 40% of those who are receiving treatment for their illness are receiving the minimally adequate services they require.
- A majority of people who have bipolar disorder also have a secondary anxiety disorder that also causes bothersome signs and symptoms.
Part of the issue with bipolar disorder that we are facing today is that the illness is evolving, but our treatment options are not. People are more likely to be misdiagnosed and this delays a treatment for their core symptoms. To reach any demographic, the value proposition that is offered must be ready to change at a moment’s notice so that it can solve real problems. That has happened in the past with this illness, which means by understanding the modern bipolar disorder demographics, we can do so once again.