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Global survey reveals personal impact of bipolar disorder

Vienna, June 29th 2005 The World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) today announced results of a global bipolar disorder consumer survey, Thinking Ahead, at the World Congress of Biological Psychiatry. The survey revealed that almost half (47%) of all people with bipolar disorder or 'consumers' as many mental health patients prefer to be referred to as feel that their disease has had a highly negative impact on their quality of life. Further to this, more than a third (35%) of respondents stated they have been discriminated against as a result of their condition, usually within the context of everyday social relationships.

"Many people who successfully treat and manage their bipolar disorder are highly functioning individuals who sustain jobs, relationships, and lead full lives", commented Preston Garrison, Chief Executive Officer of the WFMH. "Unfortunately, however, there is a critical need to improve awareness and remove the social stigma associated with this growing condition so that others, who do not feel comfortable seeking medical support, can obtain appropriate treatment and, as a result, dramatically improve their quality of life."

The WFMH partnered with AstraZeneca to implement this survey of 687 bipolar disorder consumers across seven countries (Canada, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, United States). The findings from the Thinking Ahead survey add a compelling consumer voice to the WFMH mission and AstraZeneca's commitment to reducing damaging stigma associated with mental disorders and improving outcomes for people living with mental disorders and their families.

The survey also revealed:

  • 26% of respondents NEVER tell people they have bipolar disorder. Fear of social stigma is a key reason why people do not share this information with others.
  • The vast majority (79%) of respondents in all countries say successful treatment would lead to significant quality of life changes in terms of increased func
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  • Contact: Sarah Fraser
    sarah.fraser@newyork.shirehealth.com
    1-212-329-6272
    Shire Health International
    29-Jun-2005


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