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Tuesday, September 16, 2008 DyeDye, Community Member, asks

Q: Can bipolar symptoms go away?

Can bi-polar symptoms go away? I was diagnosed as bipolar II in '98. In 2005 I had to be hospitalized due to a bad episode and diagnosis was changed  to bipolar I.  I ran out of meds in 2006 which was before I got assistance through medicare part D.  Since then I have had no more manic episodes.  The depression remains, though.

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Answers (17)
Jerry Kennard, Health Guide
9/16/08 3:48pm

Hi DyeDye,


Bipolar is both recurrent and often unpredictable, but many old hands will tell you that the management of symptoms can get better over time. This often relates to something of a very personal journey in which medication and lifestyle issues play something of a central role. You might find this article about treatment useful as it touches on quite a lot of related information.


I'm less certain what you might be inferring when you say you ran out of meds? Do you mean you had them reinstated after 2006?


Nothing is certain with bipolar but you can undertake some action in order to live with your condition. I think expert patient John McManamy provides a really good illustration of his own perspectives and actions - here's the link.

Yulie, Community Member
9/18/08 9:56am

Maybe some of them?  I was diagnosed with Bi-polar Disorder in 2002. After years of meds not working well, and a switch in doctors, I went on Lamictal. Totally changed my life (for the better).  My doctor suggested I go to talk therepy to work on some underlying issues.  The therepist actually told me that she didnt' think I was actually bi-polar! I only met two of the criteria. I thought OK. This is a bit scary! I didn't think I wanted to go back to her, but when I told my doctor about the conversation, my doctor got a big smile on her face. She said "That is the biggest compliment you can get!"  To find the proper meds to manage the disorder is key. Fortunately, I have never had to run out of meds. I have found that there is no one silver bullet. I take six different meds, all in small doses, most under the thereputic dose. But the "cocktail" works. Take out one of them and it no longer works. It has taken six years to figure this out. And to "fool" a therepist into thinking I didn't meet enough criteria for the disorder, how awsome is that?

chagan5, Community Member
9/18/08 11:18am

If you have bipolar disorder, your symptoms will never go away without medication. 

Even with medication the symptoms may reappear from time to time causing your meds to need readjusted or changed.  I have 2 sons with bipolar disorder.  Everytime they have stopped taking their meds or simple missed a couple of doses, they have had increased symptoms or acute eppisodes which have led to hospitalizations.  This is not a cureable disorder or something you can "outgrow" (assuming the diagnosis is correct)  You may be lucky enough to go for a short period without medication and not have a bad eppisode, but inevidablly they always happen eventually.  There are other programs that can help you get your meds if you are not able to.  Contact your local health dept. or the company the manufacures the meds.

Tara, Community Member
9/18/08 11:40am

I don't think they ever really do away, I think with medicine they can be controlled though.

Jerry, Community Member
9/18/08 4:02pm

Possibly, but only tempoarily. You can count on them returning and you won't even know it, but everybody else will notice.

DEB, Community Member
9/18/08 10:28pm

The sympotoms of bipolar can be managed to minimize the sympotms.  A good therapist and the right meds and some lifestyle changes can help.  Also by developing a Wellness Recovery Action Plan, WRAP for short, Those of us who suffer from mental health symptoms can learn to reconize early warning signs that signal that we need to take better care of ourselves until we move through a difficult period we maybe experiencing.  Learning to recognize, react and respond to sutle warning signs can avert a full blown mania or depressive eposiode. Early warning signs can be very different for everyone.  A good resource is for more information.


psallen76, Community Member
9/18/08 11:28pm

i was diagnosed at the early age of 14 as bipolar. sometimes the medicine can control the symptoms but i have never been given the possibility of recovering from this disorder ,only managing it.just recently i decided to save some money and not fdill my prescriptions, thinking that the bipolar wouldn't be so bad for a month or so. i ended up in the psych ward. so, no, i don't believe it ever goes away and actually believe its progression to enhance with age.

be well.


april mangum, Community Member
9/19/08 12:01am

no. you must meditate more . I use that to stop the voices from coming in

Dawn, Community Member
9/19/08 2:09am

I am a 40y/o white female who is bipolar II rapid cycler. I do not believe bipolar symtoms can just disappear. I was only diagnosed 3 years ago. Because of the bipolar I can't even work. In addition, I have panic disorder and agoriphobia that is irratic. My psychitrist and therapist has to come to my house. Without my meds though I would probably would have been dead by now. After my diagnosis, in the hopital, I thought back to if I had earlier signs that missing. Then I realized that about when I was 24 I was having manic episodes and I just figured I was hyper. I went all those years undiagnosed. Now I take one day at a time. I have applied for Social Security Disability.  If your gut feeling is telling you something is not right, it probably not. Go to your doctor. If they want to put you i the psych ward do it. It's the scary place you have heard of or seen and most of all don't be embarrased or ashamed.

spirit animal, Community Member
9/19/08 4:48pm

Symptoms can and will go away at times but they never disappear, they will come back. The most important factor in managing bipolar is honesty. You have to be honest with your doctor and most importantly, you have to be honest with yourself. By being honest, you and your doctor can manage your condition more effectively, having fewer symptoms.

I am a bipolar I with borderline personality disorder, anxiety and panic attacts, just to name a few. I have been stable now for 4 years with only a few mini episodes, that weren't only understandable giving the circumstances but short in duration and quickly went away. I owe my stability to: honesty(first and foremost), a good psychiatrist(who listens), and the proper mix of medications. You have to have all three if you are serious about controlling your symptoms.

Always take your meds. If you can't afford it, tell your doctor. There are numerous programs that can help you get your medication.


"Blessed are the Cracked, for they shall let in the Light"

Sharon, Community Member
9/19/08 6:07pm

Bipolar  (if diagnosed correctly)  has not been proven to go away.  Few people with the diagnosis  are able to live symptom free without medication.


 The most effective treatment includes a good psychiatrist, who involves you (by listening and asking questions) in managing your medication; a good therapist whom you can rely on and trust;  taking all meds on time as prescribed;  lifestyle structure -sticking to societal norms rather than believing you just can't ever be "normal" i.e. Keep a regular bedtime and eat meals regularly. etc.





karen, Community Member
9/19/08 6:26pm

i think bipolar can be helped with the right meds. it,s just finding the right med for that person. i am bipolar dont know how many meds they have tried and have not come up with the right one yet. it,s been 19 years,.

Stephanie, Community Member
9/19/08 9:55pm

i don't think that they ever go away fully.  i am on the best med's i've ever taken and i still get a manic day or two, not sleeping, feeling like i can't stop moving.  there's also those depressed down days, those come more frequent.  so i let myself lie around a day or so and then stop feeling sorry for myself and force myself to go back to the real world.

marilyn, Community Member
9/20/08 6:45am

Not really, I suffer from bipolar myself, and the medicine helps, but my husband will tell you that I still go through episodes.  They vary in severity and don't last as long.  Marilyn

susan, Community Member
9/20/08 3:38pm

I don't know the answer to that, but am very interested in finding out myself, is it possible. without the continuous use of medicine to be cured of bi polar disease.

I don't have a clue what kind I am. My doctor told me once years ago, and I'm sure its written somewhere, but still, is there a way that the symptoms go away?

babygert, Community Member
9/20/08 4:46pm

they come and go although with the right meds,they can go away for a long time. I am on Abilify and Cymbalta.

Pops, Community Member
8/ 8/12 9:11pm
Haven't had symptoms in 7 years with zero medication (bi-1) Another 7 years will convince me that diet, exercise, structure, prayer, and a close relationship with the Creator can cure even bipolar. Reply
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By DyeDye, Community Member— Last Modified: 08/08/12, First Published: 09/16/08