“The important thing is to never stop questioning”
I have read a countless number of articles, which triggered some questions as far as their veracity and accuracy. They are so many “facts”, opinions, statistics published out there by so many self-proclaimed experts on mental illness and bipolarity, that they’ve managed to generate massive confusion in my mind, which basically forced me to try to get to the bottom of it. Therefore I have been doing some research on bipolarity lately.
I believe it is futile to relay the false information that I have gathered, it is amazing to see how much disinformation is surrounding our illness which feeds the stigmas. Articles contradicting themselves, on findings, breeding myths linked with bipolarity and so on.
I had to find a way to verify some of it and sort it out. I went through so many organizations websites until it finally dawned on me that the only reliable one would the World Health Organization.
The following are just facts and figures gathered from the website of the World Health Organization. There are no opinions or comments from them. I tried to consolidate it as much as possible to what I believe to be the most relevant. I hope you will find it informative.
Along with schizophrenia, bipolarity is grouped in one sector called: Severe Mental Disorder (SMD). We are at the top of the pyramid for mortality within mental illnesses, representing globally slightly less than 4 percent of the world population.
For our category bipolars, 1 or 2 with affective disorder are the most severe, yours truly being part of that group.
We have a life expectancy which is shorter, than the general population, by 10 to 20 years. In some extreme cases, it is higher but this range applies to most continents.
Regardless of countries or continents, the following conclusions are constant.
They are extracted from a multilevel model of risk for excess mortality in SMDs by the WHO:
- In the sub-division of Disorder-Specific in the Individual Factors, we find Stigmas as a cause.
- In the sub-division of Leadership in the Health System they point out the Absence Of Relevant Policies and Guidelines
- In the sub-division of Public Policies in Social Determinants Of Health, we can notice Discriminating Policies as a major problem
- In the sub-division of Culture and Societal Values in Social Determinants Of Health, we see two major factors Stigma and discrimination in society and Negative Perceptions About Persons With SMD.
We can notice the importance and destructive power of stigmas. There is an urgent need to fight them efficiently. It is the only factor that shows up twice in this study. We, mentally ill people, must fight this battle. I am trying on my own to open doors but it is very difficult, to say the least. I had an appointment with a lawyer in Geneva and in order to find out what was required to put together an ONG. You need to have a legal entity such as a Foundation or an Association, these cost money and require funds to set up which, unfortunately, I don’t have. Now I am trying to find a way to finance it through Foundation belonging to large organizations in Geneva which have, in their bylaws, mental health funding available. It is not an easy task but I am committed to our cause as I have written before, they were words said in vain.
You will find below a set of aggregate ratios that I found interesting and hope you’ll find them too.
They are mortality causes in high-income and low to middle-income countries with a 10 plus years follow up for SMDs. (From the WHO studies). For some strange reason, there isn’t anything about Europe.
- Multiple deceases: 72.25%
- Suicide and accidents: 27.75%
- Multiple deceases: 94.6%
- Suicide and accidents: 5.4%
- Multiple deceases: 65.3%
- Suicide and accidents: 34.7%
- Multiple deceases: 56.3%
- Suicide and accidents: 43.7%
- Multiple deceases: 75.2%
- Suicide and accidents: 24.8%
That’s all I have for now until I find another reliable source of information.
Peace and serenity