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On The Intercontinental Bipolar Disorder Labeling Gap

Mammas don’t let your cowboys grow up to be babies.
~Ed & Patsy Bruce

If we look at bipolar disorder and schizophrenia ratios as given at the NIMH website the percentage of adults being given the bipolar label has passed that of the percentage of people given a schizophrenia label. 2.6 % of the adult population of the USA has been given a bipolar disorder label while the percentage of people given a schizophrenia label is only 1.1 %. The percentage of the adult population seriously affected by being given a bipolar disorder label is only slightly lower at 2.2 %.

CNN takes this matter even further with a story on a study comparing bipolar disorder label rates in different countries. The report on this study bears the heading, U.S. has highest bipolar rate in 11-nation study. According to the study…

About 2.4% of people around the world have had a diagnosis of bipolar disorder at some point in their lifetime, according to the first comprehensive international figures on the topic.

This lifetime occurance rate according to the report is highest of all in the U.S.A. at 4.4 % while India has the lowest rate at .1 %. This is a significance difference, to say the very least, and all of the relatively lame reasons given for why this should be so suggested throughout the article can’t explain it. This is to say that while 4 going on 5 of every 100 USA resident gets labeled bipolar disordered during their lifetime, in India the figure is 1 out of every 1000 residents.

I think we have to conclude from this disparity in bipolar rates between countries that the rate of bipolar disorder labeling that takes place in the USA, the highest in the world, could be substantially lowered.

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