What Every Guy Should Know About Bipolar I Disorder | NAMI

What Every Guy Should Know About Bipolar I Disorder

Posted on December 18, 2023

In fact, biologically men are less likely than women to be diagnosed with any mental illness, including bipolar disorder, says Ken Duckworth, M.D., NAMI CMO, and author of You Are Not Alone: The NAMI Guide to Navigating Mental Health. He believes that this has less to do with bipolar disorder and more to do with cultural expectations of gender. “Women have more social permission to seek mental health treatment than men,” says Dr. Duckworth. “And the fact that men are less likely to seek help, this really complicates making sense of their mental health history.” Men are much more likely to turn to substances as a method of coping, according to Dr. Duckworth. “Substance abuse adds to the complexity of bipolar disease in males,” Dr. Duckworth adds. “Imagine you have a depressive episode. Then, during a manic episode, you drink heavily. You go into detox, and the next time you see the psychiatrist in six months you’re back to being depressed. So, the psychiatrist gets it wrong and says you have an addiction and depression.”


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