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Bipolar disorder - Prognosis

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Good prognosisin bipolar disorder results from good treatment which, in turn, results from an accurate diagnosis. Because bipolar disorder continues to have a high rate of both under-diagnosis and misdiagnosis, it is often difficult for individuals with the illness to receive timely and competent treatment.

Bipolar disorder is a severely disabling medical condition. However, with appropriate treatment, many individuals with bipolar disorder can live full and satisfying lives. Persons with bipolar disorder are likely to have periods of normal or near normal functioning between episodes.

Ultimately one's prognosis depends on many factors, which are, in fact, under the individual's control: the right medicines; the right dose of each; a very informed patient; a good working relationship with a competent medical doctor; a competent, supportive, and warm therapist; a supportive family or significant other; and a balanced lifestyle including a regulated stress level, regular exercise and regular sleep and wake times.

There are obviously other factors that lead to a good prognosis, as well, such as being very aware of small changes in one's energy, mood, sleep and eating behaviors, as well as having a plan in conjunction with one's doctor for how to manage subtle changes that might indicate the beginning of a mood swing. Some people find that keeping a log of their moods can assist them in predicting changes.

The goals of long-term optimal treatment are to help the individual achieve the highest level of functioning while avoiding relapse.


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