Bipolar Disorder and Early Death

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Health and Fitness  |  House: Booksie Classic
Exploring the incidences of early death among bipolar mentally ill persons

Submitted: May 12, 2012

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Submitted: May 12, 2012





Bipolars and Early Death


 People with bipolar disorder appear to have a higher risk for premature death due to medical illness, including heart disease.

An examination of mortality data in bipolar disorder shows that individuals with bipolar disorder have an increased risk for premature death due to these common medical conditions.

According to experts and several studies there is a link between major depression and an increased risk for early death due to general medical illnesses.

In the past, excess deaths with bipolar illness were a due to unnatural causes, such as suicide, homicide, and accidents. Research suggests this may account for only a portion of premature deaths in these individuals.

Researchers are investigating the link between major depression and conditions such as heart disease, osteoarthritis, and diabetes and the interaction between chronic mental illness and medical illness.

Having a major mental illness such as bipolar disorder increases the chance of developing physical illnesses  from  a variety of factors, including poor diet, smoking, lack of exercise, substance abuse, social deprivation, and a lack of medical care.

The chronic stress with having a major medical illness can contribute to early death.

 When patients with a mental illness contract a medical illness, it is a greater challenge for them to manage their condition. With diseases like diabetes, which requires a lot of self-care, poor management can lead to more complications, which in turn can feed back and exacerbate the mental-health condition.

Another contributing factor to physical illness and premature death in patients with bipolar disorder is the use of atypical antipsychotics and mood stabilizers, which are now in common use.

While there are fewer adverse effects, they are associated with obesity and metabolic abnormalities that may increase the risk for early death from diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as researchers have discovered .While mood stabilizers and atypical antipsychotics, although effective in treating mental illness, are creating more problems in people using  them..

It is still too early to make the assumption that these medications are the root of early death but there is conjecture about whether the benefits of these drugs outweigh the risks for an early death in the persons for whom they are prescribed.  As beneficial as they may be there is always the best interest of the patient and mental health professionals need to study these phenomena more closely.  The risks may outweigh the benefits and the wellbeing of the patients needs to be addressed.  


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