Bipolar Man

Bipolar men face their illness on far different grounds than do their female counterparts. Safety nets and support systems for men frequently aren't well-developed and so the bipolar male often finds himself desperately alone in the battle against this disorder. We must all do our best to understand and somehow mitigate this sad situation. I'd like to invite all males who visit this site to please write to me <fractal1@iinet.net.au> and tell me of their experiences, both bad and good, as well as offer any suggestions or tips to help other men who are doing their level best to cope with this illness.

 

We need to know how a man copes, why they feel locked into a certain way of coping, if that is the case, and what personal obstacles they've had to overcome in coming to terms with this disorder. I am particularly interested in what this website can do to make their lives easier and offer them more of the support they are comfortable in accepting. So please, if you've come to this page, then do write to me and let me hear your thoughts and ideas. 

 

I have provided few, if any, links on bipolar men in this section and that is because such links don't seem to exist. I'd be interested in receiving any information and links you, the reader, might know of for further inclusion in this section. In lieu of having lots of links, I've opted to gather bits of research I've done that point up some of the differences between men and women sufferers. That information follows.

 

Males

Females

Monoamine cell density - can be quantified by the amount of radioactive signal (used to test for monoamine density) present in different areas of the brain. Bipolar men have a 42 percent higher binding rate. Specific biological causes for the clinical differences in the course of the illness in men and women may be due to this difference. Women tend to have closer to normal monoamine binding patterns or about 28% in the thalamus where the norm is approximately 31% for all bipolar subjects tested and taken together both male and female.

 

Seasonal change may affect lithium blood levels; one study of bipolar men suggested that their lithium levels may be higher in summer.  Women are more frequently known to be rapid-cyclers and to experience what is known as mixed states. Women have a higher incidence of depressive cycles than men do, and some experts suggest that antidepressant medications may trigger the rapid cycling.)
Fewer males rapid-cycle; they suffer fewer depressive episodes and are at higher risk for having manic episodes Women are more likely to suffer more depressive episodes than are men and less likely to experience full-blown mania
Gonadal hormones may account for more intense and frequent manias. Women suffer post-partum depression.
Men are more likely than women to have a comorbid substance abuse condition. Women are more likely to be hospitalised for severe mania than are men.
More men fall into the category of Bipolar I than do women. More women than men are diagnosed as Bipolar II.
Women, while not suffering as high a rate of substance abuse as men, still have 4 times the rate of alcohol abuse and 7 times the substance abuse rate compared to the normal community.