How is recovery determined in bipolar disorder?

Recovery is a goal with multiple features, including remission of symptoms, functional recovery, prevention of relapse or recurrence of mood symptoms, and improved subjective quality of life. Syndromal recovery is a pre-requisite for complete symptomatic remission. Syndromal recovery means that the person may have some residual symptoms, but no longer meets the criteria for a diagnosis of the disorder by current standards. Symptomatic recovery or remission indicates any residual symptom would not be outside the normal range of experience for someone who never had a diagnosis of the disorder.

What is the evidence for recovery in bipolar disorder?

Moderate quality evidence suggests rates of syndromal recovery are around 77% at 6 months, and up to 84% at 4 years following a first episode of mania in people diagnosed with the disorder. Rates of symptomatic recovery are lower, with rates around 58% at 6 months, and 72% at 2 years.

November 2021

Image: ©ibreakstock – Fotolia –

Last updated at: 12:44 pm, 1st November 2021
To view documentation related to this topic download the files below
Fact Sheet Technical Commentary

NeuRA Libraries

Title Colour Legend:
Green - Topic summary is available.
Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.