Bipolar Disorder Statistics

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Bipolar disorder is more than feeling extreme highs and lows. It can be a devastating disease that affects how you live, how you feel and how you relate to others in your life. Your work can be disrupted when an episode surfaces and your relationships (if you can even maintain any) can suffer. In short, bipolar disorder can rule your life. That’s why it is so important to really understand this insidious mental health disorder so that you can better deal with its aftermath.

Understanding bipolar disorder means getting to know the statistics regarding how it affects people; who gets it; how it is treated, etc. Let’s take a closer look at the most important bipolar disorder statistics gathered by researchers in recent years:

The Hereditary Factor

Research shows that bipolar disorder is indeed hereditary, but in a different way as with other diseases. While 80% of those with bipolar disorder have a relative with the disease, those with a genetic factor towards bipolar are not guaranteed that they will get the disorder in time. Since environmental factors play a huge role in turning on the genes that cause bipolar disorder, people with the bipolar gene can escape its rage. Those with one or two bipolar parents have to be especially diligent about watching for symptoms and seeking help if necessary since one parent with bipolar disorder can increase a child’s risk of the disease by 50% and two parents with the disease can increase a child’s risk level by 80%.


The vast majority of bipolar victims show the first sign of the disease between the ages of 17-25. No one knows for sure why the disease seems to show itself in this age group other than it is a time in one’s life when the stresses of school work and starting out in life trigger the onset of symptoms. Note: only 1 percent of children and teens exhibit bipolar tendencies so the onset of the disorder in the early to mid 20’s can seem quite out of blue for most people.

Gender, Race, and Ethnicity

While bipolar disorder affects all people, regardless of their gender, race or ethnicity, women seem to succumb to it three times more often than men.

Death and Suicide

Those who suffer with bipolar disorder tend to live shorter lives than those who do not have the disease. The average lifespan of a bipolar patient is 9.2 years less than the vernal population. In addition, suicide rates among its victims are much greater than the general populace. One in five bipolar patients will succeed in killing themselves. Many others may attempt suicide but not succeed in the end.

Medications and Treatment

The success rate among lithium (the most common drug used in treating bipolar disorder) patients is 45-50%, but those who participate in a one-on-one support group or therapy report success rates of 85%. At the present time lithium is the medication of choice for treating bipolar disorder symptoms, but research is underway looking for better and more effective medication offerings.

Unfortunately, diagnosing bipolar and getting treatment can take time. The average time spent trying to get a firm diagnosis is approximately 10 years for most people. Women seem to be misdiagnosed the most, causing a longer delay in treatment.

The good news is that recognizing and diagnosing bipolar disorder is becoming easier than ever for doctors and their patients, giving them both the opportunity to begin a treatment regimen faster, which may be result to improved treatment success rates.

Bipolar disorder can be a serious affliction among its victims. By understanding the disease better, you have a better chance of getting the help you need for yourself or someone you love more quickly, and eliminating years of unnecessary suffering due to misunderstanding and misdiagnosis.

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Please note that we don’t guarantee correctness and accuracy of any of the information published in this website. The information published in this website cannot constitute professional medical advice. Always seek a physicians help for diagnosis and treatment of your medical problems.
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