1 Million Thais suffer from bipolar disorder

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BANGKOK, 27 March 2014  The Asian Network of Bipolar Disorder (ANBD) is holding activities to raise public awareness on the issue in Thailand, where it is estimated that at least 1 million are suffering from the disease. 

ANBD president Dr Pichet Udomrat said March 30 marks the first ever World Bipolar Day (WBD). The goal of WBD is to bring the world population information about bipolar disorders that will educate and improve sensitivity towards the illness.

Globally, around 27 million people suffer from the disorder. In Thailand, the estimate is higher year-on-year. This year, the figure is estimated at around 1 million.

The president said fewer than half of people with the disorder were treated by a mental health professional as the disorder is difficult to identify and people at risk can be misdiagnosed as suffering from depression or other mental illnesses.

Bipolar disorder is characterized by cycles of depression and mania, a euphoric, high-energy state that can result in heightened levels of creativity or output as well as erratic or risky behavior. People with bipolar disorder are at high risk of substance abuse and suicide, and treatment includes psychiatric care and medication.

Events including talks and seminars are being held under the theme “Stable Mood, Good Life” in order to better facilitate recognition of the disease and identify people at risk.