Social Awareness of the Causes, Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder and the Review of Lay Theories

Author(s): Neslim Güvendeger Doksat, Mahi Aslan, Oguz Polat, Gözde Masatcioglu, Mehmet Kerem Doksat, Cem Uysal

The study aimed to reveal the awareness of bipolar disorder in society in a Turkish sample and to evaluate the lay theories on bipolar disorder in the Turkish population. The group representing the "academic group" of the sample comprised a total of randomly selected 804(71.5%) participants, including senior and/or graduate students in the field of psychology and university graduates in the field of psychology or health. Regardless of the field of psychology and health, 320 participants (28.5%) were working in other fields, representing the sample’s group of "those working in other fields other than the academic group." Study’s results showed that being interested in mental illnesses plays a more significant role in awareness of both the causes and symptoms of bipolar disorder than being educated and working in the field. The participants who did research to obtain information in the field of psychology/psychiatry knew that the disorder was hereditary and didn’t arise due to psychological reasons more correctly than the participants who didn’t do any research. The study revealed the necessity of education and awareness studies for the overall society and people who haven’t been acquainted with this disorder before regarding the importance of medical and psychological therapy to treat the disease.

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