Mental Illness May Cause Pre-Mature Death in Those Who Suffer from It

Mental illness is an exhausting feat, whether you’re enduring it yourself, treating it or watching someone go through it. It’s not a an easy task for either party but in the end, a new study seems to reveal that mental diseases such as bipolar disorder or any other chronic mental illness cause those those suffering to forfeit the fight by way of early death.

According to Health Day News, recent studies found that individuals suffering from bipolar disorder have an increased chance of premature death and that teens who display psychotic symptoms are more prone to suicide than those who don’t. The study was conducted overseas. Here is the outcome of the first one regarding bipolar disorder.

As reported by Health Day News:

On average, women and men with bipolar disorder died 9 and 8.5 years earlier, respectively, than people in the general population. People with bipolar disorder were two times more likely to die from any cause and were also at increased risk of death from heart disease, diabetes, COPD, flu or pneumonia, accidental injuries and suicide. Women with bipolar disorder also had an increased risk of death from cancer.

When you think about it, it makes sense. Sickness, whether it be in the mind or physical, adds a significant amount of stress to the body. Individuals endure years of strict medication regimes,  are ostracized and frustrated about their situation. Eventually, all that worry, stress and anxiety wears the body down until it shuts down all together.

As for the other study, Health Day News reported that out of over 1,000 teens evaluated for psychotic symptoms ages 13-16, “7 percent reported a suicide attempt during three months of follow-up, compared with only 1 percent of those who did not have psychotic symptoms”.

The findings to this study were published in JAMA Psychiatry but HDN also reported that the findings did not prove a “cause and effect relationship”, meaning that bipolar disorder or psychotic symptoms are not directly related to pre-mature death but can potentially lead down that road.

With that being said, if you think a loved one is displaying symptoms of bipolar disorder or are currently dealing with it yourself or some other form of mental illness, please, please don’t hesitate to seek medical attention. Call my office at (404) 575-4785 or speak to your local physician for further assistance.

Dr. O


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