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October 8, 2005
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of bipolar teenager reach out to others
'Talk about it' on World Mental Health Day Click here for more.
Surveys Reveal Gap in Understanding of Bipolar Disorder.
PR Newswire; 10/6/2005
Bipolar Disorder Awareness Day Encourages Diagnosis and Treatment, Reclaiming Lives
WASHINGTON, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite advances in diagnosis and treatment options, public understanding about bipolar disorder remains low, according to two surveys released by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) today -- Bipolar Disorder Awareness Day. A public knowledge survey, conducted by Harris Interactive(R)(1), shows that even though eight out of ten U.S. adults (82%) claim to know what bipolar disorder is, less than two-thirds (64%) can correctly define bipolar disorder from a list of descriptions of several mental illnesses. In a finding that highlights the stigma still surrounding the illness, less than half (40%) of the population feel that people with bipolar disorder have any difficulty discussing their condition with others, even though an overwhelming number of persons with bipolar disorder (79%) fear repercussions if they do.
"The public's understanding of bipolar disorder remains unacceptably low, yet with proper diagnosis and treatment, people with bipolar disorder can reclaim their lives and avoid many of the unintended consequences of this disease," said Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI medical director and assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. "Our goal is reinforcing the importance of people with bipolar disorder seeking a professional diagnosis and treatment plan and sticking to that regimen."
Other key findings include:
* A majority of U.S. adults fail to recognize most of the
* Only 40 percent of U.S. adults feel people with bipolar
* Approximately one in five (17%) respondents to the public
* Close to two-thirds (62%) feel people with bipolar disorder
* Of public survey respondents who have a family member or
* Less than one-third of American adults (28 percent) believe
A part of NAMI's annual Mental Illness Awareness Week, Bipolar Disorder Awareness Day aims to increase awareness of bipolar disorder, promote early detection and accurate diagnosis, reduce stigma, and minimize the devastating impact on the 2.3 million Americans presently affected by the disorder.
"The symptoms of bipolar illness often go unrecognized, leading to misdiagnosis. Given the fact that consequences of lack of treatment are very serious, it is very important for everyone to know that treatment is available and it works," said Suzanne Vogel-Scibilia, MD, President, NAMI National Board of Directors.
About Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder, or manic depression, is a serious brain disorder that causes extreme shifts in mood, energy or functioning that can range from episodes of mania, or "highs," to episodes of depression, or "lows." These mood swings can be mild or severe and may last hours, days or months. These episodes usually begin in late adolescence, but can begin in early childhood or as late as a person's 40s or 50s.
During an episode of mania, a person may have increased mental and physical energy and exaggerated feelings of optimism or self-confidence. They may experience racing thoughts and speech and convey irrational ideas. In addition, they may exhibit reckless behavior such as embarking on spending sprees, sexual indiscretions or alcohol abuse. In a depressive episode, a person may show increased anxiety, loss of energy, social withdrawal, and feelings of guilt and hopelessness.
Approximately 2.3 million Americans are presently diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but the number affected by this disorder is even greater. Bipolar disorder is a chronic condition and generally requires life-long treatment. With accurate diagnosis and treatment, people with bipolar disorder can lead full and productive lives. A strategy that combines medication and psychosocial treatment is optimal for managing the disorder over time.
If left untreated, people with the disorder are at great risk for suicide, incarceration, substance abuse, job loss, or other harmful consequences. Approximately 40 percent of people with untreated bipolar disorder abuse alcohol or drugs. In addition, the mortality rate for people with untreated bipolar disorder is higher than it is for most types of heart disease and many types of cancer. Approximately 25-50 percent of people with bipolar disorder attempt suicide at least once; this is one of the highest rates for any psychiatric disorder.
About the Surveys
(1) Harris Interactive(R) fielded the online survey on behalf
(2) Simultaneously, NAMI conducted an online survey of people
NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) is the nation's largest nonprofit, grassroots, self-help, support and advocacy organization of consumers, families, and friends of people with severe mental illnesses. Through its affiliates and volunteer members, NAMI works to achieve equitable services and treatment for the millions of Americans living with severe mental illnesses and their families. For additional information, please visit http://www.nami.org/.
CONTACT: Katrina Gay, NAMI, +1-615-545-2548; Maura McBride, Fleishman- Hillard Inc., +1-212-453-2366, for NAMI
Web site: http://www.nami.org/
COPYRIGHT 2005 PR Newswire Association LLC
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The Warning Signs Of An Impending Bipolar Disorder Manic Episode
Bipolar disorder - as the name implies - involves two distinct set of symptoms. One set throws the individual down into the depths of a massive depression. The other places the individual who suffers with bipolar disorder at the top of a peak manic episode.
Most everyone can eventually recognize the warning signs of an impending depressive episode related to bipolar disorder. More likely than not, individuals with bipolar disorder try very hard to avoid it.
However, for many individuals with bipolar disorder, it's more difficult to recognize the signs of an impending manic episode. After all, a manic episode of bipolar disorder can be mistaken in some cases - especially in the very early formation -- for the lifting of the corresponding mood swing of the depression.
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