If a person is not treated, episodes of bipolar-related mania can last for between 3 and 6 months.
Episodes of depression tend to last longer, often 6 to 12 months.
But with effective treatment, episodes usually improve within about 3 months.
Most people with bipolar disorder can be treated using a combination of different treatments.
These can include 1 or more of the following:
- medicine to prevent episodes of mania and depression – these are known as mood stabilisers, and you take them every day on a long-term basis
- medicine to treat the main symptoms of depression and mania when they happen
- learning to recognise the triggers and signs of an episode of depression or mania
- psychological treatment – such as talking therapies, which help you deal with depression and provide advice on how to improve relationships
- lifestyle advice – such as doing regular exercise, planning activities you enjoy that give you a sense of achievement, and advice on improving your diet and getting more sleep