Bipolar disorder

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What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder, also referred to as bipolar affective disorder or manic depression, describes a category of mood disorders defined by the presence of one or more episodes of abnormally elevated energy levels, cognition, and mood with or without one or more depressive episodes.

Common symptoms reported by people with bipolar disorder

Common symptoms
How bad it is
What people are taking for it

Reports may be affected by other conditions and/or medication side effects. We ask about general symptoms (anxious mood, depressed mood, insomnia, fatigue, and pain) regardless of condition.
Last updated:

Treatments taken by people with bipolar disorder

Treatment name(s)
Type
How many have tried
Tried for
Treatment name(s)

(Lamictal)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
442
Tried for
bipolar disorder (441) Depressed mood (7)
3 more
Treatment name(s)

(Abilify)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
326
Tried for
bipolar disorder (318) Depressed mood (37)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Seroquel)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
319
Tried for
bipolar disorder (311) Insomnia (40)
3 more
Treatment name(s)

(Talk therapy)
Type
Psychotherapy
How many have tried
304
Tried for
bipolar disorder (304) Anxious mood (6)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Lithium Carbonate ER)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
198
Tried for
bipolar disorder (197) Anxious mood (1)
1 more
Treatment name(s)

(Klonopin)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
135
Tried for
Anxious mood (131) Insomnia (10)
1 more
Treatment name(s)

(Depakote)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
110
Tried for
bipolar disorder (108) Depressed mood (3)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Zyprexa)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
96
Tried for
bipolar disorder (95) Insomnia (3)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Desyrel)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
78
Tried for
Insomnia (71) bipolar disorder (5)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Wellbutrin XL)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
73
Tried for
Depressed mood (56) bipolar disorder (17)
2 more

Data from patients with bipolar disorder, who reported starting treatments within the last 5 years.
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Compare treatments taken by people with bipolar disorder

Treatment name(s)
Perceived effectiveness
Side effects
Total evaluations
Tried for
Treatment name(s)

(Lamictal)
Perceived effectiveness
for bipolar disorder (252 evaluations)
Side effects
Rashes (redness, swelling) Weight gain 108 more
Total evaluations
314
Tried for
bipolar disorder (441) Depressed mood (7)
3 more
Treatment name(s)

(Abilify)
Perceived effectiveness
for bipolar disorder (182 evaluations)
Side effects
Weight gain Restlessness (akathisia) 100 more
Total evaluations
206
Tried for
bipolar disorder (318) Depressed mood (37)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Seroquel)
Perceived effectiveness
for bipolar disorder (152 evaluations)
Side effects
Weight gain Drowsiness 115 more
Total evaluations
195
Tried for
bipolar disorder (311) Insomnia (40)
3 more
Treatment name(s)

(Talk therapy)
Perceived effectiveness
for bipolar disorder (179 evaluations)
Side effects
Anxious mood insomnia 46 more
Total evaluations
211
Tried for
bipolar disorder (304) Anxious mood (6)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Lithium Carbonate ER)
Perceived effectiveness
for bipolar disorder (100 evaluations)
Side effects
Tremor in hands Weight gain 95 more
Total evaluations
117
Tried for
bipolar disorder (197) Anxious mood (1)
1 more
Treatment name(s)

(Klonopin)
Perceived effectiveness
for Anxious mood (97 evaluations)
Side effects
Sleepiness Drowsiness 20 more
Total evaluations
107
Tried for
Anxious mood (131) Insomnia (10)
1 more
Treatment name(s)

(Depakote)
Perceived effectiveness
for bipolar disorder (65 evaluations)
Side effects
Weight gain Tiredness 49 more
Total evaluations
75
Tried for
bipolar disorder (108) Depressed mood (3)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Zyprexa)
Perceived effectiveness
for bipolar disorder (48 evaluations)
Side effects
Weight gain Constant hunger 27 more
Total evaluations
57
Tried for
bipolar disorder (95) Insomnia (3)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Desyrel)
Perceived effectiveness
for Insomnia (38 evaluations)
Side effects
Sleepiness Drowsiness 19 more
Total evaluations
44
Tried for
Insomnia (71) bipolar disorder (5)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Wellbutrin XL)
Perceived effectiveness
for Depressed mood (39 evaluations)
Side effects
Weight gain Irritability 18 more
Total evaluations
52
Tried for
Depressed mood (56) bipolar disorder (17)
2 more
  • Major
  • Moderate
  • Slight
  • None
  • Can't tell
  • Severe
  • Moderate
  • Mild
  • None

Data from patients with bipolar disorder, who reported starting treatments within the last 5 years.
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Who has bipolar disorder on PatientsLikeMe?


Age
Age Proportion # of patients
<20 259
20s 1,926
30s 4,114
40s 6,085
50s 4,575
60s 1,756
70+ 208
Age at first symptom
Age at first symptom Proportion # of patients
0-19 years 3,319
20-29 years 1,161
30-39 years 730
40-49 years 377
50-59 years 118
60-69 years 23
70+ years 2

Sex

Distribution of sex

83% Female
17% Male

Diagnosis status
Diagnosis status Proportion # of patients
Diagnosed 6,364
Not Diagnosed 351

These charts show data from bipolar disorder patients who have completed their condition history
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