Can bipolar be dormant for years?

While bipolar disorder usually occurs in adolescence (at least half of the cases occur before age 25), it can also remain latent and arise later in a person's life. Bipolar disorder is equally prevalent in men and women, although studies indicate it could affect both sexes differently. Most research considers bipolar disorder that begins at age 50 or later to be LOBD. Between 5 and 10 percent of people with bipolar disorder will be at least 50 years old when they first show symptoms of mania or hypomania.

Most of the time, bipolar disorder develops or begins in late adolescence (adolescent years) or early adulthood. Occasionally, bipolar symptoms may occur in children. While symptoms come and go, bipolar disorder usually requires lifelong treatment and doesn't go away on its own. Bipolar disorder can be a major factor in suicide, job loss, and family discord, but proper treatment leads to better outcomes.

The fact that bipolar disorder can be episodic means that symptoms can return after a period of latency. This means that “as with any dynamic system, such as the body or mind, you need to be alert when you see things that worry you. The average age of onset of bipolar disorder is 25, and it affects both men and women in relatively equal numbers. Psychotherapy can offer support, education, skills and strategies to people with bipolar disorder and their families.

From psychological stress to child abuse and social circumstances, the causes of bipolar disorder are vast. Bipolar disorder shares symptoms with other conditions, so a health professional should first rule them out through psychological tests and physical examinations. A wide range of treatments are available for bipolar disorder, from scary-sounding treatments such as electroconvulsive therapy, atypical antipsychotics and phototherapy to the most common mood stabilizers, antidepressants, sleep supplements, cognitive behavioral therapy and psychoeducation ( just get yourself) fully informed). Remember that bipolar disorder is a lifelong illness, but ongoing, long-term treatment can help control symptoms and allow you to lead a healthy life.

Certain environmental and lifestyle factors can also trigger or aggravate extreme ups and downs, known as bipolar episodes, which are a hallmark of the condition. This belief was likely due to the prevalence of bipolar disorder diagnoses in adolescents and young adults. An individual with bipolar disorder may have manic episodes, depressive episodes, or “mixed episodes”. A person could have been living with bipolar disorder for years and only recently received a diagnosis.

Yesterday, singer Halsey took to Twitter to raise awareness of the knowledge and compassion gap when it comes to understanding those living with bipolar disorder. Nelson prefaced his remarks by saying that “living with bipolar disorder means educating yourself about the disease, treatments, and warning signs to watch out for if you're not doing it right. Nelson explained that bipolar disorder is characterized by “the appearance of “low” episodes (called depressive episodes) and “high” moods. Thyroid problems, headaches and migraines, diabetes, heart disease and obesity are some of the other diseases that could result from treatment for bipolar disorder, in addition to causing some of the same symptoms as ups and downs (mania or depression).


LaToya Weitze
LaToya Weitze

Amateur internet scholar. Incurable internet evangelist. Extreme travel geek. Infuriatingly humble beer evangelist. Bacon evangelist.

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