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How do symptoms of bipolar I disorder last?

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If left untreated, an episode of mania can last anywhere from a few days to several months. Most commonly, symptoms continue for a few weeks to a few months. Depression may follow shortly after, or not appear for weeks or months.

Many people with bipolar I disorder experience long periods without symptoms in between episodes. A minority has rapid-cycling symptoms of mania and depression, in which they may have distinct periods of mania or depression four or more times within a year. People can also have mood episodes with "mixed features," in which manic and depressive symptoms occur simultaneously, or may alternate from one pole to the other within the same day.

Depressive episodes in bipolar disorder are similar to "regular" clinical depression, with depressed mood, loss of pleasure, low energy and activity, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, and thoughts of suicide. Depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder can last weeks or months, but rarely longer than one year.

From: Bipolar I Disorder WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: Moore, D. Mosby, 2004. National Institute of Mental Health web site: "Bipolar Disorder."  Medical News Today: "Study Identifies Predictors Of Bipolar Disorders Risk." WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise: "Bipolar Disorder -- What Increases Your Risk." Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.




Handbook of Medical Psychiatry,

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on November 08, 2017

SOURCES: Moore, D. Mosby, 2004. National Institute of Mental Health web site: "Bipolar Disorder."  Medical News Today: "Study Identifies Predictors Of Bipolar Disorders Risk." WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise: "Bipolar Disorder -- What Increases Your Risk." Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.




Handbook of Medical Psychiatry,

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on November 08, 2017

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How are manic bipolar I disorder episodes treated?

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