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How likely is a relapse after remission from an acute episode for someone with bipolar disorder?

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After remission from an acute episode of mania or depression, a person with bipolar disorder is at an especially high risk of relapse for about 6 months. So ongoing therapy is often recommended as treatment for bipolar disorder.

Anyone who has experienced two or more episodes of bipolar disorder generally is considered to have lifelong bipolar disorder, where the goal focuses not only on treating current symptoms but also preventing future episodes. That person should have maintenance therapy. Once your doctor has helped stabilize the moods of the acute phase of the disorder (either a manic or depressive episode), drug therapy is continued indefinitely -- sometimes at lower doses.

SOURCES: WebMD Medical Reference: "Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depressive Disorder)." WebMD Assess Plus: Bipolar Disorder Assessment.  National Institute for Mental Health: "Step-BD Womens Studies."   Massachusetts General Hospital Bipolar Clinic & Research Program.  MedicineNet: "Bipolar Disorder (Mania)."  WebMD Medical Reference: "Effects of Untreated Depression." American Psychiatric Association: "Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients With Bipolar Disorder."






Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on November 07, 2017

SOURCES: WebMD Medical Reference: "Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depressive Disorder)." WebMD Assess Plus: Bipolar Disorder Assessment.  National Institute for Mental Health: "Step-BD Womens Studies."   Massachusetts General Hospital Bipolar Clinic & Research Program.  MedicineNet: "Bipolar Disorder (Mania)."  WebMD Medical Reference: "Effects of Untreated Depression." American Psychiatric Association: "Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients With Bipolar Disorder."






Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on November 07, 2017

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If I haven't experienced any bipolar disorder symptoms for months, do I still need to take medication?

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