Fast fact on Bipolar disorder

By Drum Digital
26 May 2014

Facts on Bipolar

  • Bipolar Disorder affects up to 1% of the population in South Africa
  • Bipolar Disorder is the sixth leading cause of disability in the world
  • Bipolar Disorder is not restricted to any social or educational class, race, or nationality
  • Bipolar Disorder was previously known as Manic-Depressive illness
  • Bipolar Disorder is a physical illness marked by extreme changes in mood, energy, thinking and behaviour
  • Bipolar Disorder is typically seen as episodes of deep depression manic highs
  • Bipolar Disorder often disrupts work, school, family, and social life
  • Men and women are equally affected; however men tend to have more manic episodes while women experience more depressive episodes
  • Famous people in the past, like Winston Churchill, Isaac Newton, Abraham Lincoln, Vincent Van Gogh and others were all Bipolar sufferers.
  • Bipolar Disorder is believed to be a combination of biochemical, genetic and psychological factors.
  • Bipolar disorder typically begins in adolescence or early adulthood and continues throughout life.
  • Bipolar Disorder can also affect children, however diagnosis is difficult as many symptoms mimic emotions and other behaviours such as ADHD
  • Bipolar Disorder in children significantly impairs functioning in school and at home with the family
  • It is not always recognized as an illness, and people who have it may suffer needlessly for years or even decades
  • Bipolar Disorder is treatable, and is not a character flaw or a sign of personal weakness; very effective treatments are available
  • South Africa has over 15 Support Groups around the country
  • If you suspect you, a family member, or a friend has possible Bipolar Disorder, you should contact SADAG on 0800 70 80 90 for help


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