The frequency of mania has not changed during the last century even with the development of new diagnostic criteria sets. More specifically, from the mid-1970s to 2000, the rate of mania (variably labeled major affective disorder–bipolar disorder and bipolar I disorder) was consistently identified in US and international studies as ranging from 0.4% to 1.6%. By the late 1990s to the 2000s, the prevalence reported by some researchers for bipolar disorders (I and II and others) was in the 5% to 7% and higher ranges. The purpose of this paper was to review explanations for this change and the potentially negative impacts on the field.
*Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO; †Napa State Hospital, Napa, CA; ‡Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, University of California Davis School of Medicine, Davis, CA; §University of New Mexico, Dept of Psychiatry, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM; and ∥Neurobehavioral Medicine Consultants, Steubenville, OH.
Send reprint requests to Christopher C. Abbott, MD, Department of Psychiatry, University of New Mexico, MSC09 5030, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131. E-mail: CAbbott@salud.unm.edu.