Bipolar Disorder

Public Forum Survey Results

Dr. Phillip Long gave the following survey during a public forum on Bipolar Disorder held in Vancouver on March 28, 1998. This forum was sponsored by the Mood Disorder Association of British Columbia, the British Columbia Medical Association, and the Greater Vancouver Mental Health Society. Of the 744 people attending, 136 were Bipolar patients and 608 were family and friends.


Questions Asked Only to Patients with Bipolar Disorder


1. Sex

Male 47.8%
Female 52.2%
Total Responses = 134


2. Age

10-19 0.7%
20-29 16.4%
30-39 25.4%
40-49 24.6%
50-59 23.1%
60-69 8.2%
70-79 0%  
80-89 1.5%
Total Responses = 134


3. Age of First Symptoms of Major Depression or Mania

10-19 50.0%
20-29 31.3%
30-39 9.7%
40-49 4.5%
50-59 3.7%
60-69 0%  
70-79 0.7%
80-89 0%  
Total Responses = 134


4. Was your first symptom:

Mania 37.6%
Depression 62.4%
Total Responses = 133


5. Age of first diagnosis of Bipolar (Manic-Depressive) Disorder

10-19 8.1%
20-29 25.0%
30-39 27.9%
40-49 23.5%
50-59 14.7%
60-69 0.7%
70-79 0%  
80-89 0%  
Total Responses = 136


6. Have you ever been hospitalized for Bipolar Disorder?

Yes 70.6%
No 29.4%
Total Responses = 136


7. Age of first hospitalization for Bipolar (Manic-Depressive) Disorder

10-19 13.7%
20-29 34.7%
30-39 26.3%
40-49 12.6%
50-59 9.5%
60-69 3.2%
70-79 0%  
80-89 0%  
Total Responses = 95


8. How many times have you been hospitalized for Bipolar Disorder?

1 37.8%
2 15.6%
3 16.7%
4 7.8%
5 4.4%
6 4.4%
7 5.6%
8 2.2%
9 or more times 5.6%
Total Responses = 90


9. In the past year, have you stayed on your Bipolar medication?

Yes (100% of the time) 67.7%
Sometimes 22.0%
No 10.2%
Total Responses = 127


10. In the past 5 years, have you stayed on your Bipolar medication?

Yes (100% of the time) 44.0%
Sometimes 27.6%
No 28.4%
Total Responses = 116


11. How many psychiatrists have you seen for your Bipolar Disorder?

1 26.7%
2 19.8%
3 19.0%
4 17.2%
5 7.8%
6 4.3%
7 2.6%
8 0%  
9 or more 0.9%
None 1.7%
Total Responses = 116


12. Are you currently being treated by a psychiatrist for your Bipolar Disorder?

Yes 73.7%
No 26.3%
Total Responses = 133


13. (If you have seen a psychiatrist) would you recommend that other patients see a psychiatrist for treatment of their Bipolar Disorder?

Yes 90.4%
No 9.6%
Total Responses = 125


14. Are you currently being treated by a family physician (rather than a psychiatrist) for your Bipolar Disorder?

Yes 27.9%
No 72.1%
Total Responses = 111


15. Would you recommend that other patients see a family physician (rather than a psychiatrist) for treatment of their Bipolar Disorder?

Yes 7.4%
No 92.6%
Total Responses = 122


16. Have you ever been on Lithium for your Bipolar Disorder?

Yes 76.4%
No 23.6%
Total Responses = 127


17. (If you have been on Lithium) would you recommend Lithium to other Bipolars?

Yes 42.0%
No 58.0%
Total Responses = 100


18. Have you ever been on Epival or Depakene for your Bipolar Disorder?

Yes 56.5%
No 43.5%
Total Responses = 124


19. (If you have been on Epival or Depakene) would you recommend Epival or Depakene to other Bipolars?

Yes 71.6%
No 28.4%
Total Responses = 67


20. Have you ever been on Tegretol (Carbamazepine) for your Bipolar Disorder?

Yes 32.4%
No 67.6%
Total Responses = 111


21. (If you have been on Tegretol) would you recommend Tegretol to other Bipolars?

Yes 62.2%
No 37.8%
Total Responses = 37


22. How much damage has your Bipolar Disorder done socially (to your marriage/family/friendships)?

None 2.4%
Mild 16.1%
Moderate 24.2%
Severe 53.2%
Don't know 4.0%
Total Responses = 124


23. How much damage has your Bipolar Disorder done to your job/career?

None 6.7%
Mild 13.3%
Moderate 15.8%
Severe 60.8%
Don't know 3.3%
Total Responses = 120


Questions Asked Only to Family or Friends of Bipolar Patients


24. How much damage has your friend's Bipolar Disorder done socially (to his/her marriage/family/friendships)?

None 5.2%
Mild 14.9%
Moderate 20.9%
Severe 59.0%
Don't know 0%  
Total Responses = 134


25. How much damage has your friend's Bipolar Disorder done to his/her job/career?

None 7.0%
Mild 8.4%
Moderate 21.8%
Severe 57.0%
Don't know 5.6%
Total Responses = 142


26. Did your friend stay on his/her medication?

Yes (100% of the time) 46.6%
Sometimes 33.1%
No 20.3%
Total Responses = 133


27. Do you believe that your friend should stay on his/her Bipolar medication?

Yes (100% of the time) 95.8%
Sometimes 3.5%
No 0.7%
Total Responses = 142


Questions Asked to the Entire Audience


28. What is your main source of information about Bipolar Disorder?

Psychiatrist or family physician 34.0%
Psychologist or other mental health professional 12.9%
Self-Help groups 16.7%
Books 24.9%
T.V. 0%  
Newspaper or magazines 6.2%
Radio 0%  
Internet 1.4%
Lectures like this 3.8%
Total Responses = 209


29. What is your second source of information about Bipolar Disorder?

Psychiatrist or family physician 21.8%
Psychologist or other mental health professional 7.9%
Self-Help groups 13.3%
Books 34.5%
T.V. 2.4%
Newspaper or magazines 5.5%
Radio 1.8%
Internet 3.0%
Lectures like this 9.7%
Total Responses = 165


30. How would you grade this workshop on Bipolar Disorder?


Excellent "A" 72.5%
Above average "B" 22.7%
Average "C" 4.0%
Below Average "D" 0.8%
Failing grade "E or F"
0%  
Total Responses = 247


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