You can view a transcript for this CuraVision Mental Health video here.
When you apply for Life Insurance, bipolar disorder will need to be detailed to the insurer and may require a report from your GP to clarify the treatment of your condition. Bipolar Life Insurance applications will focus upon whether the condition is well controlled, if there have been any recent suicide attempts or alcohol abuse and how frequent symptoms are. If the condition is well controlled with no major issues then cover could be acceptable with a small to moderate premium loading.
Take a look at our case study video of Mr B who has bipolar disorder, that we were able to arrange Life Insurance and Income Protection for, here.
Critical Illness Cover
Bipolar Critical Illness Cover applications will also need to detail how well controlled your condition is and whether you have had any suicide attempts or history of alcohol abuse. When you apply for Critical Illness Cover, bipolar disorder that is well controlled with no other significant medical history should see the application accepted with a slightly loaded premium (depending on severity).
When you apply for Income Protection, bipolar disorder must be thoroughly detailed to the insurer. Finding an insurer who will accept your application with bipolar disorder will be very difficult to do, unless you have been diagnosed with type 2 bipolar disorder. Those with type 2 bipolar disorder may be able to secure Income Protection if the condition is well controlled, but it will almost certainly come with a mental health exclusion. This will mean that should you be unable to work due to a mental health condition that the policy will not pay a benefit at the point of claim.
As an alternative you may wish to consider Accident, Sickness and Unemployment cover which is not medically underwritten. This means that you can have short-term (12 to 24 month) income protection regardless of your bipolar disorder. However you must be aware that whilst these policies are accepted regardless of your medical history, they will also not pay out any claim that is a result of an existing condition i.e. bipolar disorder.
If you are going abroad and have bipolar disorder, it is important to make sure that you know exactly what your travel insurance covers you for. Please visit our travel insurance page here to find out how to arrange travel insurance when you have bipolar disorder.
Possible Effects on Lifestyle
Some potential problems experienced by individuals who have bipolar disorder include
Medications and Treatments
Lithium Carbonate (Priadel tablets)
Lithium citrate (Li-Liquid, Priadel liquid)
Quetiapine fumarate (Seroquel)
Valproate semisodium (Depakote)
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There is no specific known cause for bipolar disorder though there is a general belief that it can be a result of genetics, chemical imbalance or triggered by a highly stressful event. Bipolar disorder is generally experienced in bouts of depression (extreme lows) of six months or longer and periods of mania (extreme happiness) of four months of longer. The mood swings can happen more frequently over a period of a few hours, at which point mixed bipolar episodes may be diagnosed. Cyclomthyic mood disorder is a milder form of bipolar and is often undiagnosed. Symptoms will have lasted at least two years and have a regular impact on your day to day activities for a diagnosis to be made.
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