• 1% to 2% of the population experience a lifetime prevalence of bipolar and recent research suggests as many as 5% of us are on the bipolar spectrum.1, 2
  • Bipolar also has a huge impact on family and friends.
  • On average it takes 10.5 years to receive a correct diagnosis for bipolar in the UK and before bipolar is diagnosed there is a misdiagnosis an average of 3.5 times.3
  • Bipolar increases the risk of suicide by 20 times.4
  • The World Health Organisation identifies bipolar as one of the top causes of lost years of life and health in 15 to 44 year olds.5
  • Just 21% of people with a long-term mental health condition are in employment.6
  • Compared to other health problems, treatment of bipolar is still badly affected by misunderstanding and stigma.
  • Bipolar can affect every aspect of your life and your relationship. Family and friends can all be put under stress. This is why you need to get a correct diagnosis, accept treatment and start to learn how you can adapt your lifestyle to cope with the ups and downs.

1 Merikangas KR, Peters TL, Update on the Epidemiology of Bipolar Disorder. In Yatham LN, Maj M “Bipolar Disorder Clinical and Neurobiological Foundations”, Chapter 6, page 52-61. Wiley-Blackwell UK, 2010.

2 Lam, D.; Wright, K.; Smith, N. (2004). "Dysfunctional assumptions in bipolar disorder". Journal of Affective Disorders 79.

3 S. Nassir Ghaemi (2001). ‘Bipolar Disorder: How long does it usually take for someone to be diagnosed for bipolar disorder?’. Archived from the original on December 7, 2006. Retrieved February 20, 2007. 4 .

4 NHS Choices (2016). Suicide - Causes. [online] Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Suicide/Pages/Causes.aspx

5 Murray, C. and Lopez, A. ed., (1996). The Global Burden of Disease: A comprehensive assessment of mortality and disability from diseases, injuries, and risk factors in 1990 and projected to 2020. 1st ed. Boston: The Harvard School of Public Health.

6 Office for National Statistics. Social and Vital Statistics Division, Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. Central Survey Unit. (2014). Quarterly Labour Force Survey, October - December, 2006. [data collection]. 5th Edition. UK Data Service. SN: 5609, http://dx.doi.org/10.5255/UKDA-SN-5609-2