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How Common is Bipolar Disorder?

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woman with bipolar sitting on the ground against a wall
Bipolar disorder is a very common diagnosis to receive in the United States. It’s reported that 4.4% of adults are diagnosed with Bipolar at some point in their lives.

Understanding Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that is primarily identified by the severe cycling from depressive lows to blissful highs called manic episodes. These cycles are often completed within a few weeks of their beginning, but in some forms of bipolar, the depressive episode can last for months at a time. Having bipolar disorder is one of the many risk factors for addiction, just like many mental health conditions.  

Signs and Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

All mental health conditions have unique signs and symptoms that can be used to identify and even diagnose them, and bipolar, or a dual diagnosis of substance use disorder and bipolar in the United States. The most common types of bipolar disorder are bipolar I and bipolar II, but there are other types as well, such as cyclothymic disorder.

Bipolar I requires that the individual has had at least one manic episode that may have been followed or preceded by a hypomanic or major depressive episode. The mania can be strong enough in some cases to create psychosis or temporary breaks from reality.

Bipolar II can be seen in patients that have had one major depressive episode, and at least one hypomanic episode. The difference between bipolar I and bipolar II is that for bipolar II, there do not have to be any documented instances of mania or full manic episodes. 

Mania is often seen as making the subject uncharacteristically upbeat, jumpy, wired, or stimulated. They will have what seems to be an exaggerated sense of well-being, as well as a high level of confidence, and talkativeness. They will have racing thoughts and can be easily distracted as well, often being prone to poor decision-making.

How is Bipolar Diagnosed?

When a doctor or clinician is preparing for a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, they will often first perform a physical exam. They will get a survey of the patient’s symptoms and will recommend a blood panel or lab testing to determine if another condition may be responsible for the symptoms being experienced. If all other potential underlying causes can be eliminated, or if the healthcare professional is otherwise unable to find the cause of the reported symptoms, the next step is a psychological evaluation.

You Are Not Alone

One of the biggest things that individuals with mental health challenges often report is that their experience getting diagnosed and getting help for their disorders is often incredibly isolating. It is very important for those entering treatment and recovery to know that they are not alone, and that being diagnosed with mental health challenges is neither rare nor is getting help for those challenges something to be ashamed of. 

People often wonder initially how common bipolar disorder is in general. Bipolar disorder isn’t a rare condition. In fact, the National Institute of Mental Health Trusted Source advises that nearly 1 in 5 American adults will have a diagnosable mental health condition in any given year.

Additionally, the average age of onset is about 25, but it can occur in teens, or more uncommonly, in childhood. The condition affects men and women equally, with about 2.8% of the U.S. population diagnosed with bipolar disorder and nearly 83% of cases classified as severe.

More than 1 in 40 adults in the US live with the effects of bipolar daily, whether diagnosed or not. Additionally, 1 in every 100 teenagers is living with bipolar disorder in some way or another. There is considerable research that shows things like anxiety and depression run in families, and that those who have an immediate family member that suffers from addiction or mental illness can make it much more likely that they will have similar diagnoses.

What are the Risk Factors for Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a very common disorder, but there is no single cause that leads to someone developing bipolar. There are factors like family history, factors in daily life and the individual’s environment, and other risk factors that can all create a complex array of potential risks.

Shared risk factors are one of the ways that those living with addiction or bipolar disorder can develop the other. It has been shown that not only do genetic differences contribute to the occurrence of bipolar as well as addiction. 

Environmental risks or those risks assumed as a matter of daily life are also important to be considered in her own time. Bipolar disorder is also linked due to a relatively rare reciprocal effect. Drug use and addiction can contribute to those with existing risk factors developing bipolar disorder. 

Treatments and Therapies

When you begin working with a recovery professional on a personalized treatment program, there are many different treatment options, therapies, and more that may potentially be used in conjunction with your treatment. Working with Agape Treatment Center means that the individual can enjoy treatment and recovery in the lap of luxury. The leading accommodations mean that individuals have the extra comfort, security, and privacy they need to ensure they maintain a firm focus on their recovery. 

One of the most common ways that individuals can begin addressing their issues, is to find out what the most effective treatment is and simply implement that for the patient. This may not work in all situations, however, and even though bipolar is common, each individual may be suffering from a different manifestation of the disorder, which means different symptoms, different signs, and different challenges may present to people that may deal with each quite differently. 

With how popular mental health has suddenly become, there is an even wider offering of everything from inpatient programs that offer intensive residential programs full of behavioral therapies and more, to outpatient programs that allow the patient to continue participating in their daily lives, like working or school, while starting their road to recovery in private.

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