Interesting Statistics about Bipolar Disorder


    • People with bipolar disorder, on average, suffer 10 years before receiving treatment  and only 49% of bipolar individuals receive treatment. 1
    • The average age of American bipolar disorder onset is 25 years old 2
    • 83% of bipolar cases are considered severe. 3
    • More than 66% of people with bipolar disorder have one or more relatives with bipolar disorder or clinical depression 4
    • Bipolar individuals’ average bipolar episodes last 3 – 6 months 6
    • The bipolar suicide rate is 60 times higher than that of the general public and one in five people with bipolar disorder commits suicide. 8,7
    • Bipolar disorder is the 4th-highest reason for disability WebM.D. AND 200,000 people with bipolar disorder are homeless 9
    • 69% of bipolar patients are mis-diagnosed at least 3.5 times 10
    • 10% of bipolar disorder patients have onset of symptoms in their 40s-50s  11
    • Bipolar relapse rate 80% within 2 years without meds; 40% with meds 12
    • Except for side effects, 90% of bipolar patients are satisfied with their meds 13
    • Mood disorder patients are more likely to be obese, smoke and have heart disease 14
    • Adults who earned high or top school grades are 4X more likely to develop bipolar disorder than their peers 15
    • 80% of those with bipolar disorder have at least one bipolar family member 16
    • Bipolar disorder affects males and females 18
    • Following the first bipolar episode is a 90% chance of recurrence  20
    • Bipolar disorder is more common in high achievers [than the general population 21
    • People with bipolar disorder live 9.2 years less than the average 78 years 23
    • 50% of bipolar individuals abuse drugs and alcohol 24
    • 35% of people with bipolar disorder are obese and are 2X as likely to die of heart disease, diabetes, stroke. 25


World  Statistics:

  • 2.4% of the world population has bipolar disorder 27
  • Less than 50% of the planet’s bipolar population receives any treatment 28
  • More than 33% of world’s Bipolar Disorder people have substance abuse disorders 29
  • Bipolar disorder is the 6th leading reason for disability worldwide 30


  • A child’s risk of having bipolar disorder is 30% if one parent has bipolar disorder, 75% if two parents suffer the disorder 31
  • In children, bipolar disorder is the 3rd highest reason for doctor visits, 2nd highest reason for hospital ER visits 32
  • 3.4 million children and adolescents suffer bipolar disorder 33


About Bipolar Bandit (Michelle Clark)

I am a strong advocate for the mentally ill and have been since I was first approached by a lawyer in a psychiatric facility as a teenager. He wanted me to help him fight how the mentally ill are mistreated. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 17 after a full blown manic episode. Before that, I suffered from debilitating depression for 4 years. My goals are to help others by sharing my story and providing tips to deal with mania and depression. I often write blogs related to advocating for people like myself. I want to encourage, inspire, and educate those with #bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses and also include inspirational #quotes. I founded the group Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses and the page Mental Health Advocates United and have several social media sites that are related to bipolar disorder and/or advocacy. If you are an advocate or would like to be, I hope you join our FB group: Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses
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12 Responses to Interesting Statistics about Bipolar Disorder

  1. Darleen says:

    Yes that is true it took after my first bipolar episode after my daughter was born to be Dx with bipolar effective disorder 15 yrs.. They Dx usually the second full manic episode..

  2. judygurfein says:

    This is great information; thanks for sharing!

  3. gary says:

    Thanks found it help full I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 12 year’s ago

  4. Michael says:

    where did these stats come from. they scare me.

  5. donald zahne says:

    I was digonosed with bi- polar in 1991 twenty four years ago. I went un treate for about twenty years earlier. iam stable know and only take lithium. for my meds I saty active an work part time
    don zahnke

  6. Donna Pitts says:

    Excellent statists. I’ll save this for sure. But I was wondering if you might feel up to reporting in these statistics the number of people who have psychoses as symptoms of their bipolar disorder as well as stats on the number who also have impaired insight or anosognosia. A startling number of children have it. Such a shame.

  7. Amy Gamble says:

    Reblogged this on Shedding Light on Mental Illness and commented:
    Statistics on bipolar disorder.

  8. Reblogged this on marshastephenson and commented:
    Another eye opening blog from Amy! Share with other suffering so that they don’t feel so alone and are educated about this disease.

  9. Alix Billson says:

    I think it’s difficult to get diagnosed with the disorder. What if your family seems like they all have it and self diagnosis is not the answer to your problem/questions.

    • I would see a professional. You can usually find doctors who can diagnose you for free if you go to free clinics in your area. Mental Health America or NAMI would be a great place to start to help find those places. (if you live in America)

  10. Juan WANG says:

    It helps me to understand the high impact of BIPO in society.

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