When it comes to the prognosis of bipolar disorder, this varies greatly and is unique for each individual depending upon certain factors such as how frequent and severe the symptoms are. On average a person with bipolar disorder experiences eight to ten episodes in their lifetime which can be manic, depressive, or mixed.
Studies have shown that individuals with this mental illness die more frequently from suicide, heart conditions, and many other causes than individuals who do not suffer from a mental disorder.
Effect of Rapid-Cycling
Individuals who experience the "rapid cycling" symptoms of bipolar disorder have a higher risk factor when it comes complications from bipolar such as psychosis and suicide. Rapid cycling is the frequent change of moods which switch back and forth from depression to mania.
It is estimated that fifteen percent of all individuals who have this disorder suffer from this symptom of bipolar which causes them to "cycle" from episodes of both mania and depression at least four times per year which can sometimes escalate to several times per day. Rapid cycling typically begins with the depression state of bipolar and can be made worse with certain medications used to treat the depression as theses medications may put some individuals into a manic episode which may start the cyclical pattern all over again.
Age Group Differences
Studies which have been conducted show that there can be a difference between the symptoms of bipolar disorder in children and adults. Children tend to exhibit more sudden changes in mood swings and experience more frequent episodes of anger and restlessness during the depression episodes of bipolar.
Many also tend to have additional problems when in comes to their behavior such as adhd, substance abuse, anxiety, and serious behavioral problems. It is not yet known how many of these bipolar disorder symptoms which are particular to children continue into adulthood or whether treatments given in these early years can help with the prevention or escalation of episodes in the future.