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.
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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
374
Tried for
bipolar disorder (370) depressed mood (9)
4 more
Treatment name(s)

(Talk therapy)
Type
Psychotherapy
How many have tried
255
Tried for
bipolar disorder (253) anxious mood (8)
4 more
Treatment name(s)

(Abilify)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
234
Tried for
bipolar disorder (227) depressed mood (30)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Seroquel)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
209
Tried for
bipolar disorder (204) depressed mood (5)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Lithium Carbonate ER)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
161
Tried for
bipolar disorder (161) anxious mood (1)
Treatment name(s)

(Depakote)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
94
Tried for
bipolar disorder (93) depressed mood (3)
1 more
Treatment name(s)

(Klonopin)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
84
Tried for
anxious mood (84) bipolar disorder (1)
Treatment name(s)

(Wellbutrin XL)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
73
Tried for
depressed mood (63) bipolar disorder (11)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Vistaril)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
70
Tried for
anxious mood (70)
Treatment name(s)

(Trileptal)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
70
Tried for
bipolar disorder (69) pain (2)
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 (212 evaluations)
Side effects
drowsiness rashes (redness, swelling) 82 more
Total evaluations
262
Tried for
bipolar disorder (370) depressed mood (9)
4 more
Treatment name(s)

(Talk therapy)
Perceived effectiveness
for bipolar disorder (148 evaluations)
Side effects
anxious mood abdominal pain 27 more
Total evaluations
168
Tried for
bipolar disorder (253) anxious mood (8)
4 more
Treatment name(s)

(Abilify)
Perceived effectiveness
for bipolar disorder (134 evaluations)
Side effects
weight gain restlessness (akathisia) 67 more
Total evaluations
149
Tried for
bipolar disorder (227) depressed mood (30)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Seroquel)
Perceived effectiveness
for bipolar disorder (112 evaluations)
Side effects
weight gain drowsiness 76 more
Total evaluations
140
Tried for
bipolar disorder (204) depressed mood (5)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Lithium Carbonate ER)
Perceived effectiveness
for bipolar disorder (76 evaluations)
Side effects
tremor in hands weight gain 73 more
Total evaluations
84
Tried for
bipolar disorder (161) anxious mood (1)
Treatment name(s)

(Depakote)
Perceived effectiveness
for bipolar disorder (52 evaluations)
Side effects
weight gain hair loss 33 more
Total evaluations
55
Tried for
bipolar disorder (93) depressed mood (3)
1 more
Treatment name(s)

(Klonopin)
Perceived effectiveness
for anxious mood (55 evaluations)
Side effects
sleepiness drowsiness 8 more
Total evaluations
55
Tried for
anxious mood (84) bipolar disorder (1)
Treatment name(s)

(Wellbutrin XL)
Perceived effectiveness
for depressed mood (40 evaluations)
Side effects
irritability weight gain 11 more
Total evaluations
47
Tried for
depressed mood (63) bipolar disorder (11)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Vistaril)
Perceived effectiveness
for anxious mood (40 evaluations)
Side effects
sleepiness drowsiness 8 more
Total evaluations
40
Tried for
anxious mood (70)
Treatment name(s)

(Trileptal)
Perceived effectiveness
for bipolar disorder (40 evaluations)
Side effects
sleepiness acne breakout 26 more
Total evaluations
43
Tried for
bipolar disorder (69) pain (2)
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
<20 164
20s 1998
30s 5090
40s 7824
50s 6769
60s 3008
70+ 468
Age at first symptom
Age at first symptom Proportion # of patients
0-19 years 4037
20-29 years 1628
30-39 years 1067
40-49 years 548
50-59 years 169
60-69 years 37
70+ years 5

Distribution of sex

Sex
Sex Proportion # of patients
Male 4212
Female 21226

Diagnosis status
Diagnosis status Proportion # of patients
Diagnosed 8902
Not Diagnosed 365

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