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
279
Tried for
bipolar disorder (277) depressed mood (6)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Talk therapy)
Type
Psychotherapy
How many have tried
215
Tried for
bipolar disorder (213) anxious mood (8)
4 more
Treatment name(s)

(Abilify)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
179
Tried for
bipolar disorder (172) depressed mood (24)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Seroquel)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
166
Tried for
bipolar disorder (160) depressed mood (6)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Lithium Carbonate ER)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
139
Tried for
bipolar disorder (139) anxious mood (1)
Treatment name(s)

(Depakote)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
87
Tried for
bipolar disorder (86) depressed mood (3)
1 more
Treatment name(s)

(Klonopin)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
62
Tried for
anxious mood (62) bipolar disorder (1)
Treatment name(s)

(Trileptal)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
61
Tried for
bipolar disorder (60) pain (2)
1 more
Treatment name(s)

(Wellbutrin XL)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
60
Tried for
depressed mood (50) bipolar disorder (10)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Vistaril)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
60
Tried for
anxious mood (60)

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 (164 evaluations)
Side effects
rashes (redness, swelling) weight gain 74 more
Total evaluations
207
Tried for
bipolar disorder (277) depressed mood (6)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Talk therapy)
Perceived effectiveness
for bipolar disorder (124 evaluations)
Side effects
anxious mood abdominal pain 19 more
Total evaluations
136
Tried for
bipolar disorder (213) anxious mood (8)
4 more
Treatment name(s)

(Abilify)
Perceived effectiveness
for bipolar disorder (111 evaluations)
Side effects
weight gain restlessness (akathisia) 55 more
Total evaluations
126
Tried for
bipolar disorder (172) depressed mood (24)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Seroquel)
Perceived effectiveness
for bipolar disorder (91 evaluations)
Side effects
weight gain drowsiness 68 more
Total evaluations
111
Tried for
bipolar disorder (160) depressed mood (6)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Lithium Carbonate ER)
Perceived effectiveness
for bipolar disorder (72 evaluations)
Side effects
tremor in hands tremor(s) 66 more
Total evaluations
79
Tried for
bipolar disorder (139) anxious mood (1)
Treatment name(s)

(Depakote)
Perceived effectiveness
for bipolar disorder (50 evaluations)
Side effects
weight gain hair loss 35 more
Total evaluations
53
Tried for
bipolar disorder (86) depressed mood (3)
1 more
Treatment name(s)

(Klonopin)
Perceived effectiveness
for anxious mood (39 evaluations)
Side effects
sleepiness drowsiness 5 more
Total evaluations
39
Tried for
anxious mood (62) bipolar disorder (1)
Treatment name(s)

(Trileptal)
Perceived effectiveness
for bipolar disorder (39 evaluations)
Side effects
sleepiness dizziness 25 more
Total evaluations
42
Tried for
bipolar disorder (60) pain (2)
1 more
Treatment name(s)

(Wellbutrin XL)
Perceived effectiveness
for depressed mood (35 evaluations)
Side effects
irritability agitation 12 more
Total evaluations
41
Tried for
depressed mood (50) bipolar disorder (10)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Vistaril)
Perceived effectiveness
for anxious mood (39 evaluations)
Side effects
sleepiness excessive daytime sleepiness (somnolence) 9 more
Total evaluations
39
Tried for
anxious mood (60)
  • 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?

  • 20 new patients joined this month
  • 21676 say bipolar disorder is their primary condition

Age
Age Proportion # of patients
<20 151
20s 1922
30s 4952
40s 7854
50s 6885
60s 3164
70+ 515
Age at first symptom
Age at first symptom Proportion # of patients
0-19 years 4035
20-29 years 1633
30-39 years 1069
40-49 years 549
50-59 years 169
60-69 years 37
70+ years 5

Distribution of sex

Sex
Sex Proportion # of patients
Male 4242
Female 21321

Diagnosis status
Diagnosis status Proportion # of patients
Diagnosed 8915
Not Diagnosed 366

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