The Effects Of Bipolar Disorder On Individuals, Families And Society

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Mental illness is a leading cause of disability in Canada. All Canadians are likely to be indirectly affected through a mental illness in a family, friend or colleague. Statistics showed that 1 in 5 Canadians experiences a mental health or addiction problem. (Mental Illness and Addictions: Facts and Statistics, n.d.). This report will be focusing on one of the more common mental illness — bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a serious medical condition that causes people to have extreme mood swings and these mood swings affect how people think, interact, behave and function (Bipolar Disorder, 2012). Research indicted that one to two percent of adults have bipolar disorder (Bipolar Disorder, 2012). Patients with bipolar disorder will also experience mania which are episodes of “severe sadness and hopelessness to overly high levels of energy, restlessness and irritability” (Rodriguez, 2015). This report will examine the effect of bipolar disorder on individuals, families and society. People with bipolar disorder often come across the question of “to tell or not to tell” because “the stigma attached to mental illnesses presents a serious barrier not only to diagnosis and treatment but also to acceptance in the community” (A Report on Mental Illnesses in Canada, 2012). About 42% of Canadians were unsure whether they would socialize with a friend who has a mental illness and about 27% said they would be fearful of being around someone

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