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Along with manic or depressive episodes, patients with bipolar disorder may have disturbances in thinking.They may also have distortions of perception and impairment in social functioning.When discrete mood episodes happen four or more times per year, the process is called rapid cycling.Rapid cycling should not be confused with very frequent moment-to-moment changes in mood, which can sometimes occur in people with bipolar disorder or other conditions such as borderline personality disorder.

People with bipolar disorder are at high risk of substance abuse and suicide, and treatment includes psychiatric care and medication.(Health.com) -- About 2.4% of people around the world have had a diagnosis of bipolar disorder at some point in their lifetime, according to the first comprehensive international figures on the topic.The United States has the highest lifetime rate of bipolar disorder at 4.4%, and India the lowest, with 0.1%.However, fewer than half of people with the disorder were treated by a mental health professional, and only a quarter of those in lower-income countries sought treatment, according to the 11-nation study in the March issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.Health.com: 10 subtle signs of bipolar disorder "It's very important that we understand the scope and magnitude of this disorder so that we can plan appropriate treatments, facilitate recognition of diseases, and identify people at risk so we can bring them into treatment," says the study's lead author, Kathleen Merikangas, Ph. ranked higher in every category of bipolar disorder as did, in general, other high-income countries.