Who Are the Bipolar People In Your Neighborhood?
What are bipolar people like? And just how common is the disease? Well let’s look at some bipolar statistics.
The National Epidemiological Study on Alcohol and Related Conditions performed in 2005 found that there is a 3-10% chance a person will develop Bipolar 1 or Bipolar 2 disorder. According to NIMH (the National Institute for Mental Health) around 5.7 million adult Americans over 18 – that’s about 2.6% of the U.S. population – are affected by bipolar disorder.
So to make it more real: let’s say you were in a high school class with 100 people in it. By the end of the senior year around two or three people in your class would have bipolar disorder.
Wow! And you thought they were just loners, or a little unstable, or a bit reckless or just crazy. What puts things in perspective is that that’s just bipolar disorder. There are other mental illnesses and disorders like depression, schizophrenia, personality and anxiety disorders (which includes O.C.D.).
In 2004 NIMH said that 26.2% of adults are suffering from a serious mental disorder… The number in your class just jumped to 26 out of 100! But look at at the article by John M. Grohol, PSYD. He shows that if you take into account all of the disorders and the latest data you have a 57.4% chance of developing a mental illness during your lifetime! So you’re highly likely to be affected through yourself or a loved one. And 57 out of 100 random people have a serious problem.
Just Like You and Me?
So what are bipolar people like? Well I can’t just say, “Just like you and me.” It wouldn’t mean much, because I have bipolar disorder. But if I didn’t and you didn’t, I would say “Just like you and me,” and it would mean something.
Bipolar people are everywhere. There are famous famous bipolar people and there are infamous bipolar people. They are the people you work with everyday. Bipolar people are everywhere. It’s a good thing it’s not contagious like cooties!
Fortunately, bipolar disorder treatment is readily available. There are a wide range of effective medications, and talk therapies that really work. When bipolar people are stable they function just as everyone else, though they are often more intelligent and more creative.
So loads of bipolar people end up in high powered fields like doctors, lawyers, and scientists, and there are just tons of bipolar artists. I happen to have a friend whose wife is bipolar 2, and she’s an artist. I’m trying to get her to write a page on Bipolar 2. Maybe if I get requests from the readership she’ll take out the time. 😉
Bipolar people are not “schizophrenic” meaning that they do not have a split personality (that’s not actually what schizophrenic means, it’s just a colloquial usage but that’s a different website). They don’t have MPD (multiple personality disorder). Their manic episodes and major depressive episodes are not a part of their actual personality. When managed, people with bipolar disorder are mostly just like everyone else.
What do you think?