10 things every person should know about Bipolar Mood Disorder

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With up to 1% of South Africans suffering from Bipolar Disorder, chances are every one of us knows, or is related to, someone with the condition.  Here are a few important and interesting facts about Bipolar:

  1. The condition is the sixth leading cause of disability in the world
  2. It’s not restricted to any social or educational class, race, or nationality
  3. Bipolar is a physical illness marked by extreme changes in mood, energy, thinking and behaviour
  4. Sufferers typically have episodes of deep depression and manic highs
  5. Men and women are equally affected; however men tend to have more manic episodes while women experience more depressive episodes
  6. Famous people in the past who suffered from the condition include: Winston Churchill, Isaac Newton, Abraham Lincoln, Vincent Van Gogh
  7. Bipolar Disorder is believed to be a combination of biochemical, genetic and psychological factors.
  8. The condition typically begins in adolescence or early adulthood and continues throughout life.
  9. It’s not always recognised as an illness, and people who have it may suffer needlessly for years or even decades
  10. It’s treatable, and is not a character flaw or a sign of personal weakness