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, fatigue, pain, and stress) 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
466
Tried for
bipolar disorder (464) depressed mood (7)
3 more
Treatment name(s)

(Talk therapy)
Type
Psychotherapy
How many have tried
337
Tried for
bipolar disorder (336) anxious mood (8)
3 more
Treatment name(s)

(Abilify)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
332
Tried for
bipolar disorder (325) depressed mood (38)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Seroquel)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
304
Tried for
bipolar disorder (301) depressed mood (6)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Lithium Carbonate ER)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
211
Tried for
bipolar disorder (210) depressed mood (2)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Klonopin)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
125
Tried for
anxious mood (124) irritability (2)
1 more
Treatment name(s)

(Depakote)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
123
Tried for
bipolar disorder (122) depressed mood (2)
1 more
Treatment name(s)

(Zyprexa)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
90
Tried for
bipolar disorder (90) anxious mood (1)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Wellbutrin XL)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
86
Tried for
depressed mood (67) bipolar disorder (19)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Trileptal)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
86
Tried for
bipolar disorder (83) pain (3)
3 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 (276 evaluations)
Side effects
rashes (redness, swelling) weight gain 105 more
Total evaluations
331
Tried for
bipolar disorder (464) depressed mood (7)
3 more
Treatment name(s)

(Talk therapy)
Perceived effectiveness
for bipolar disorder (188 evaluations)
Side effects
anxious mood crying 39 more
Total evaluations
213
Tried for
bipolar disorder (336) anxious mood (8)
3 more
Treatment name(s)

(Abilify)
Perceived effectiveness
for bipolar disorder (189 evaluations)
Side effects
weight gain restlessness (akathisia) 92 more
Total evaluations
207
Tried for
bipolar disorder (325) depressed mood (38)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Seroquel)
Perceived effectiveness
for bipolar disorder (154 evaluations)
Side effects
drowsiness weight gain 103 more
Total evaluations
188
Tried for
bipolar disorder (301) depressed mood (6)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Lithium Carbonate ER)
Perceived effectiveness
for bipolar disorder (101 evaluations)
Side effects
tremor in hands weight gain 100 more
Total evaluations
116
Tried for
bipolar disorder (210) depressed mood (2)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Klonopin)
Perceived effectiveness
for anxious mood (90 evaluations)
Side effects
sleepiness drowsiness 17 more
Total evaluations
93
Tried for
anxious mood (124) irritability (2)
1 more
Treatment name(s)

(Depakote)
Perceived effectiveness
for bipolar disorder (72 evaluations)
Side effects
weight gain fatigue 47 more
Total evaluations
81
Tried for
bipolar disorder (122) depressed mood (2)
1 more
Treatment name(s)

(Zyprexa)
Perceived effectiveness
for bipolar disorder (40 evaluations)
Side effects
weight gain drowsiness 21 more
Total evaluations
45
Tried for
bipolar disorder (90) anxious mood (1)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Wellbutrin XL)
Perceived effectiveness
for depressed mood (43 evaluations)
Side effects
weight gain irritability 18 more
Total evaluations
57
Tried for
depressed mood (67) bipolar disorder (19)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Trileptal)
Perceived effectiveness
for bipolar disorder (42 evaluations)
Side effects
sleepiness weight gain 22 more
Total evaluations
46
Tried for
bipolar disorder (83) pain (3)
3 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
<20 269
20s 2,245
30s 4,932
40s 7,356
50s 5,615
60s 2,263
70+ 278
Age at first symptom
Age at first symptom Proportion # of patients
0-19 years 4,012
20-29 years 1,600
30-39 years 1,040
40-49 years 538
50-59 years 166
60-69 years 33
70+ years 5

Distribution of sex

Sex
Sex Proportion # of patients
Male 3,829
Female 19,222

Diagnosis status
Diagnosis status Proportion # of patients
Diagnosed 8,684
Not Diagnosed 362

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