Even amongst people with bipolar disorder, the disorder is highly contested. People argue about what it’s “really” like to have bipolar disorder. What mania is like. What depression is like. And perhaps most hotly debated of all is what the appropriate treatment of the symptoms is – antipsychotics, mood stabilizers,antidepressants, psychotherapies, alternative treatments and so on. People argue about virtually everything.
And one of the reasons why this is the case is because the experience of bipolar disorder is so vastly different. Some people experience manic psychosis, others do not. Some people experience delusional depression, others do not. Some people experience suicidality, others do not. And so on. Severity varies as do symptoms.
And I would argue that much of this disagreement stems from the two basic types of bipolar disorder: well-controlled and not well-controlled bipolar disorder.

Well-Controlled Bipolar Disorder

Well-controlled bipolar disorder is what we all aim for. It’s bipolar disorder that is effectively treated and has minimal remaining symptoms. People with well-controlled bipolar disorder live one of those “normal” lives people are always talking about. They hold down jobs, they have families, they have friends and they have their health. It’s a great place to be.

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