Can there be years between bipolar episodes?

In addition, there is a seasonal influence, manic episodes occur most often in the spring and autumn. 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. Episodes of mood swings may occur rarely or several times a year. While most people will experience some emotional symptoms between episodes, some may not experience any. Many people with bipolar disorder will experience two cycles per year, according to Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.

The average age of onset is 25, but, more rarely, it can begin as early as early childhood or as late as 40 or 50 years. A psychiatrist or other mental health professional diagnoses bipolar disorder based on the individual's symptoms, life course, and experiences. And if you're like some people with bipolar disorder, you might enjoy the feeling of euphoria and the cycles of being more productive. Although bipolar disorder affects people assigned as female at birth (AFAB) and people assigned as male at birth (AMAB) in equal numbers, the condition tends to affect them differently.

The Collaborative Depression Study began prospectively following subjects with bipolar I disorder in 1978,8 and follow-up data up to 25 years are now available for analysis. In most cases, bipolar disorder is treated with medication and psychological counseling (psychotherapy). Once you have a diagnosis of bipolar I disorder, even if you have never had another manic episode or a psychotic episode (delusions or hallucinations), your diagnosis can never be changed to bipolar II disorder. Bipolar disorder, formerly called manic-depressive disorder, is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression).

Eating disorders, anxiety disorders, and alcohol problems are also more common in people with bipolar disorder, as is metabolic syndrome. Observing symptoms throughout the course of the illness (longitudinal follow-up) and the person's family history can play a key role in determining if the person has bipolar disorder with psychosis or schizophrenia. For example, contrary to treatment regimens, 39.40 27% of bipolar I major depression episodes were treated with an antidepressant in the absence of a mood stabilizer. The results describe the duration of bipolar I mood episodes and the factors significantly associated with the likelihood of recovery from a mood episode.

Bipolar disorder results in a reduction of about nine years in life expectancy, and up to 1 in 5 people with bipolar disorder commit suicide. To determine what type of bipolar disorder you may have, the mental health provider evaluates the pattern of symptoms and how much they affect your life during the most severe episodes. Mental health providers use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to diagnose the type of bipolar disorder a person may be experiencing. This may have produced a sample that was predisposed to having fewer depressive episodes during follow-up compared to the number of depressive episodes that occur in the general population with bipolar I disorder.


LaToya Weitze
LaToya Weitze

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

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