The increase in bipolar diagnoses among women is interesting. The prevalence is estimated to be around 2-3%, give or take, but Canadian women get to 3-4x that number. The exact prevalence is hard to measure for all kinds of reasons, and true bipolar 1 disorder probably ranges somewhere between 1-5% (leaving aside more questionable diagnoses like bipolar 2 and cyclothymia).

Bipolar disorder is notably overdiagnosed (many are either self-diagnosing or being diagnosed after a short appointment and a few mentions of "mood swings").

Ultimately I think the entire "rise of mental health problems" literature is basically saying that people are increasingly dissatisfied with life because (1) they feel dislocated from others and (2) fewer and fewer people occupy their time with meaningful work that they know is important. The use of the term "illness" could start to be misleading, and we start getting into "pathologic ways of living", or something like that. Further medicalization of the problem and solutions are, in my view, thoroughly counterproductive.

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deletedOct 5, 2023Liked by Jonah Davids
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