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A 44-year-old member asked:

could it be bad not to have treatment for bipolar disorder?

2 doctor answers14 doctors weighed in
Dr. Dheeraj Raina
Psychiatry 29 years experience
Yes. : Untreated bipolar disorder can be very devastating as it can affect all ares of one's functioning, including relationships, jobs, and physical health.
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 42 years experience
Untreated Bipolar disorder can also worsen over time -- repeated episodes of mania and depression can create a kindling effect in the brain, leading to more intense and more frequent episodes. Worse suffering for the patient.
May 2, 2013
Dr. Alan Koenigsberg
Psychiatry 42 years experience
19% commit suicide: The answer is a clear yes. Bipolar disorder is a very serious, potentially fatal illness, much like cancer. In spite of decades of research, some people still find it difficult to understand that bipolar disorder requires a life long treatment regimen, which includes medications and therapy. Think of it more like sickle cell anemia or diabetes, which require care from a specialist.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Outstanding response.
Mar 31, 2014

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A 21-year-old member asked:

Can you please explain bipolar disorder?

7 doctor answers20 doctors weighed in
Dr. Carla Enriquez
Pediatrics 50 years experience
Neurobiological prob: Bipolar disorder is a complex, neurobiologic problem that impedes temperament control and has significant mood and anxiety problems. These symptom complexes can cycle quickly or slowly. Bpd starts in childhood and persists into adulthood. It is broken down into subgroups depending on the current cycle stage. It is highly heritable and usually requires intense medical & psychological treatment.
A 21-year-old member asked:

What are the different types of bipolar disorder?

5 doctor answers17 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alfredo Soto
Psychiatry 26 years experience
Three: Generally there are 3 kinds: bipolar i, bipolar ii and bipolar nos. The difference depends on the symptoms of mania (severe insomnia, extreme energy, racing thoughts, pressured speech, elated and/or irritable moods). In bipolar i the mania lasts 3-4 days or is severe enough to need hospital stay. In ii the mania is called hypomania and is of shorter duration. In nos not all symptoms of mania exist.
A 21-year-old member asked:

So what does "soft" bipolar look like?

5 doctor answers13 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alfredo Soto
Psychiatry 26 years experience
Depends: The term "soft" bipolar has been used by some psychiatrists to explain situations in which individuals who suffer from a mood disorder have episodes in which they experience some symptoms of mania or hypomania. For example, these individuals may have episodes of insomnia with high energy or racing thoughts. However the episodes may be very brief (1-2 days at most). This idea remains controversial.
A 28-year-old member asked:

Is it possible for a bipolar person who's on meds to still have an episode?

5 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Carla Enriquez
Pediatrics 50 years experience
Yes: There many possible explanations for relapse in bipolar patients (bpd). Alcohol, drugs, tobacco, caffeine, illnesses, insomnia, psychosocial stressors, and other medications used intercurrently that interact with maintenance medications can throw bpd into imbalance.
CA
A 32-year-old member asked:

What happens if bipolar disorder is untreated for a long time?

2 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kevin Considine
Family Medicine 30 years experience
Depends: It depends on the severity of the bipolar illness but often times there is a significant and clinical worsening of one's symptoms that can affect work as well as personal life. So it would be a good idea not to go off treatment for this. Not treating bipolar usually has negative consequences for the patient and loved ones involved.

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Last updated May 10, 2016
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