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Interesting Facts About Bipolar Disorder: Pregnancy, Therapy, and More

Updated on August 11, 2012

Since there's no cure for Bipolar Disorder, learn all the facts you can about it.

Are you interested in finding information about Bipolar Disorder? Bipolar Disorder is a chronic condition, which means it currently has no cure; since you can't get rid of it, you may as well find out as much info as you can about it, right?

If you're an individual diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, or just somebody who enjoys learning about mental illness, you'll find some interesting facts about Bipolar Disorder in this article.  Keep reading for information about everything from Bipolar Disorder during pregnancy to the link between creativity and Bipolar Disorder.

Facts About Bipolar Disorder and Pregnancy

  • Over 50% of women diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder experience depression during the 2nd trimester of pregnancy, as opposed to less than 10% of women without Bipolar Disorder.
  • Over 50% of women with Bipolar Disorder experience postpartum depression; some experts believe that Bipolar women have a 90% chance of having postpartum depression.
  • Bipolar women are 100 times more likely than other women to experience postpartum psychosis.
  • As recently as 10 years ago, doctors advised Bipolar women not to get pregnant or have children.

Facts About Bipolar Disorder and Substance Abuse (Drugs and Alcohol)

  • "Self-medication" is the term given to Bipolar patients (and other individuals with mental illnesses) who use drugs and alcohol to cope with the symptoms of the disorder.
  • Over 60% of people diagnosed with Bipolar 1 have a history of substance abuse and dependence, and over 40% of individuals with Bipolar 1 have a history of alcoholism. 
  • With the exception of Antisocial Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder is the mental illness most commonly associated with alcoholism.
  • Drug and alcohol abuse can complicate Bipolar Disorder, leading to increased mood swings and suicide rates.
  • While abuse of any substance can occur, individuals with Bipolar Disorder are most likely to abuse cocaine or alcohol.

Facts About Medications for Bipolar Disorder

  • There are three types of medications that are commonly prescribed to Bipolar patients: mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and antipsychotics.
  • Many Bipolar patients are prescribed a cocktail of medications, as opposed to just one type of pill.
  • Bipolar patients frequently develop a resistance to their medication(s) and have to be switched to other prescription drugs.
  • Oddly enough, a side effect of many of the antidepressants prescribed to Bipolar patients is suicide.
  • Lithium was the first mood stabilizer to be used for Bipolar Disorder, and is still commonly prescribed.
  • Anticonvulsants (seizure drugs) have recently started being prescribed to Bipolar patients; some psychiatrists now believe that episodes of mania and depression are triggered by mini seizures in the brain.

Facts About Bipolar Disorder and Children

  • Many children with Bipolar Disorder are misdiagnosed with ADHD.
  • Over 80% of Bipolar children diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder have families with a history of substance abuse and/or mood disorders on both sides.
  • Studies have shown that Bipolar Disorder affects children and adolescents more severely than adults.
  • Bipolar children as young as 6 years old have attempted suicide.
  • Children and teens with Bipolar Disorder are more likely to drop out of school, get arrested, or be incarcerated. 

Facts About Bipolar Disorder and Creativity

  • Scientists have found a link between manic episodes and extreme creativity.
  • Creative people with Bipolar Disorder include F.Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Sylvia Plath, Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Tchaikovsky.
  • Creative outlets such as writing, painting, and music can help Bipolar individuals cope with their periods of depression.
  • Numerous studies have been done on writers and Bipolar Disorder; one study found that over 80% of writers are Bipolar.
  • The rate of suicide is 18 times higher in artists and writers than in the general population.

Other Facts About Bipolar Disorder

  • Diet has been shown to affect Bipolar Disorder, and the following foods can trigger episodes of mania or depression: sugar, caffeine, processed foods, and foods high in carbohydrates.
  • Omega 3 is believed to decrease Bipolar mood swings.
  • Mania can be triggered by cocaine, ecstasy, and amphetamines; alcohol and tranquilizers can trigger depression.
  • Acupuncture has been shown to relieve symptoms of depression and decrease the intensity of manic episodes.

Are you interested in learning more facts about Bipolar Disorder?

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    • profile image

      Kkkkkkkk 3 years ago

      Great hub!

    • michellebell1972 profile image

      Michelle 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      great hub!

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 5 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      There are some herbal remedies to that work. But they are like the medications, You have to take them forever. Really enjoyed your facts in you humanist approach to the issue.

    • Escobana profile image

      Escobana 5 years ago from Valencia

      Very well written!

      Like the approach of summing up facts, without using opinions or prejudice. You've got yourself a new follower and fan of your writing!

      You're absolutely right in trying to find out anything about Bipolar Disorder. Gonna link your Hub to mine about "Why I love my medication?"

      Voted up, shared and hit some buttons:-)

    • Kayana profile image

      Kayana 6 years ago from Campbell, CA

      Very well-written! I have bipolar and I think everything you said was very accurate and laid out well. :)

    • Dday50627 profile image

      Darrel Day 6 years ago from Iowa

      I found this to be one of the most in depth writes concerning Bipolar. Being bipolar and having tourettes myself, I am always interested in what people are writing about it. I have lived with these disorders for longer than i care to go into. I am sure I could share things with you that would continue your intrigue in this disorder. I speak extremly open about it and how it effects my life. Sadly, some think I am a bit too open...

      Many things have been learned the hard way, through trial and oh so many errors. If there has been a plus to my "issues" it would be thast it has enhanced my abilities to write the fiction novels I have written and published. The imagination is truly added to with the disorders and writing is something that comes extremely easy to me.

      Thank you for writing this and sharing. I write often on living with being bipolar on my own sites. Darrel

    • Sunnyglitter profile image

      Sunnyglitter 6 years ago from Cyberspace

      Justin, I do agree with taking a holistic approach to Bipolar Disorder- but that is a very controversial subject. Many people (usually people without Bipolar Disorder lol) are convinced that the condition can only be treated with medication. Massage therapy, aromatherapy, acupuncture, auricular therapy and other holistic treatments have all been found to work well for people with Bipolar Disorder. Tsmog, thank you. You have fun, fun, fun as well!

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 6 years ago from Escondido, CA

      Thanks Sunnyglitter , , ,very good and to the point. I'll be rereading again so it has been bookmarked , , , remember to have fun, fun, fun

    • profile image

      Justin 7 years ago

      I think it is best to take a holistic approach when treating bipolar disorder. I'm not much for using medications for treating disorders. Exercise and healthy nutrition is a good place to start.

    • Sunnyglitter profile image

      Sunnyglitter 7 years ago from Cyberspace

      Thanks Bob. I am fascinated by Bipolar Disorder. I try to learn all I can about it.

    • bobsimpson profile image

      bobsimpson 7 years ago from Largo Florida

      A very objective and informative article.

    • Sunnyglitter profile image

      Sunnyglitter 7 years ago from Cyberspace

      Thanks, Zionsphere. I'm glad you enjoyed reading my Bipolar facts.

    • zionsphere profile image

      zionsphere 7 years ago from Oregon

      Wonderful. Thank you for being part of the solution.