Bipolar Disorder "Vastly Under-Treated", Says Study
Bipolar disorder is "vastly under-treated", according to a new study.
US government researchers report that it is chronically undertreated in many low-income countries, according to Reuters.
Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that strikes early and can cause lifelong disability.
Their survey of more than 61,000 patients suggests 2.4 percent of the world's population may have some form of the disease, which is characterized by bizarre shifts in mood, energy and activity that can affect relationships and job performance.
Her team conducted surveys of adults in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Bulgaria, Romania, China, India, Japan, Lebanon and New Zealand.
"Bipolar disorder is responsible for the loss of more disability-adjusted life-years than all forms of cancer or major neurologic conditions such as epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease, primarily because of its early onset and chronicity across the life span," Kathleen Merikangas of the National Institute of Mental Health and colleagues wrote in the Archives of General Psychiatry.
They found that less than half of those with bipolar disorder - also known as manic-depressive illness - received mental health treatment during their lifetimes.
In low-income countries, only 25.2 percent of bipolar patients said they had any contact with the mental health system.