I have Bipolar 1, the most severe form of bipolar. I was diagnosed almost 10 years ago. It took me about three years to get on the right meds.
Throughout those three years, I cycled through episodes of mania and depression. It resulted in three hospitalizations. Once I was on the right medication cocktail, I stabilized — at least, I became as stable as anyone with a severe mental illness can be. Despite the five medications I take for my mood disorder and anxiety, I still deal with symptoms.