Dear Sir / Madam
You have raised a very important and valid point which every patient with bipolar disorder
wants to know and usually don't have much ideas about it. It is seen that about 10 % of patient only once have an episode and rest of them experience repeated episode.
Research have done as to what duration of treatment is adequate for this condition. There is no clear cut guidelines as to how long one should continue. In first episode after two year or so discontinuation may be tried which depends on the severity of episode, substance use, family history of mania
If there is repeated episode in past, family history of mania etc than continuous prophylaxis is warranted. when episode interval are many years discontinuation may be tried.
It is important to know that when they are well they continue for prophylaxis and since next episode can not be predicted continuation of medication is a choice.