Our expert says:
Bipolar Disorder in general is not progressive in the usual sense of the word ( like a cancer is usually progressive ) --- in some people it may spontaneously improve, in many it stays much the same for years, in others it may indeed get either worse ( in the sense of more frequent or severe episodes, or the same episodes ) or by responding differently to treatment. And as you say, the nature of the cycling may vary.
There's some evidence that there may be less progression or worsening or complication if such conditions ( even comparatively simply Depression ) are recognized early and begin treatment early, rather than late.
In your own example, it won't necessarily get worse --- or mat get worse or more complex for a while, and then less so again. Treatment can indeed slow or avoid worsening. Don't asume that it will get worse. And apart from Bipolar specific evidence, many psych disorders can "burn out" later in life, in the sense of becoming less severe and complex
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