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Hi, folks. My best friend’s sister has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I am not sure what this is exactly, but I know that it belongs to a group of psychoses. I would like to know how long life expectancy is for this type of disorder. I was hoping to find out something more here. Can anyone help me?

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Hello. Bipolar affective disorder is the new term for the old disease. The old name was maniac depression. This is indeed a serious psychosis. It affects normal life. A patient is not capable to be productive and work. He/she is on medications which all can show some side effects. I am not sure about the life expectancy. I would recommend your friend to consult a psychiatrist for more details. Good luck!
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Life expectancy for those with bipolar disorder may be shortened, especially if it is not treated. People with bipolar disorder can have premature deaths from the disorder itself. Because it is associated with depression, the risk for heart disease is increased. Those with any psychiatric diagnosis may have more difficulty in getting adequate medical care because of factors such as bias against the patient who has a psychiatric diagnosis. This can contribute to an earlier death.

However, bipolar disorder does not necessarily include psychosis. It may or it may not. It is classified as a mood disorder (sometimes called an affective disorder).

People with bipolar disorder do work. I have bipolar disorder and worked as a physician, and currently work as an author and speaker. I had bipolar disorder throughout grade school, high school, college, medical school and residency. I have a number of other professional colleagues with bipolar disorder, who are active in medicine, nursing, law, accounting and a variety of fields.

Historically, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Robert Schumann and other famous people had bipolar disorder. Contemporary people with bipolar disorder include Carrie Fisher, Patty Duke and Robbin Williams. A disproportionate number of people with bipolar disorder excel in business compared to the general population.

Bipolar disorder is, however, one of the disorders covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act (government and some business that contract with the government). Accommodations are sometimes needed in order to continue working. Sometimes individuals with bipolar disorder become disabled to the point that they are not able to work for periods of time.

Bipolar disorder is highly treatable. It most often requires medication and psychotherapy. There are evidence based psychotherapies for bipolar disorder. Finding the medication(s) that work for an individual sometimes takes time and patience.
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