According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) the prevalence rate for bipolar disorder is approximately 1.1 % of the population. H’vovi Bhagwagar, psychotherapist, is of the view that, “In the 90s, it was mainly due to the easy availability of mood stabilisers that bipolar became a catch-all term to promote sales for pharmaceuticals. Such is the case even today. However, psychiatrists are more cautious when offering mood stabilisers now. If the person has depression, mood stabilisers alone are ineffective.

“I usually encourage patients with bipolar and their families to learn as much as they can about the disorder. Also, keeping a track of symptoms and watching for signs indicating out-of-control mood swings  are essential to stop the problem before it starts. For those who may be reluctant to seek treatment because they like the “ups” of the manic swing, remember that the energy and euphoria come with a price. Mania and hypomania often turn destructive, hurting the victim and people around. So get the right help and soon,” Bhagwagar advises

Featured in The Free Press Journal on June 24th, 2018