Bipolar Disorder Causes & Risk Factors

What Are the Causes?

Bipolar disorder results from a chemical imbalance in the brain as a result of multiple causes that vary between individuals. Studies conclusively show that genetics and environmental factors both play a part in causing symptoms.

Certain genes are linked to bipolar disorder. Most research has not been conclusive, but findings have found potential causes in the genes related to serotonin, dopamine, glutamate, and cell growth. No studies report findings with 100 percent confidence.

Many childhood behaviors and habits have been linked to people who develop bipolar disorder as adults or adolescence. There is a strong correlation between depression, mood abnormalities, ADHD, and stimulant use.

Certain environmental components can lead to bipolar disorder. Traumatic events and social relationships are factors that can affect whether a person will be diagnosed as bipolar. Many children who experience abuse and posttraumatic stress disorder have a chance of developing bipolar disorder later on.

Some studies have shown that sensitivity to melatonin is an indicator of bipolar disorder. In the sample groups, individuals with bipolar disorder demonstrated sensitivity to light, causing an extreme drop in melatonin. In corresponding studies, the recovered bipolar patients showed no sensitivity to light.

Certain psychological functions have a role in triggering bipolar disorder. Extreme stress can cause people to experience extreme fluctuations in mood. A person might start to feel critical, depressed, and impulsive. Slowly, a person will bipolar disorder may start to lose self control and behave irrationally.

Who's at Risk?

Bipolar disorder affects men and women of all ages. Most bipolar patients are diagnosed by the time they are adolescents; however, a person of any age can develop symptoms for the first time. Children can also show signs of bipolar disorder.

It is believed that heredity plays a role in bipolar disorder since people with a family history of the condition are likely to have the condition, themselves.

People develop symptoms for a variety of reasons that are both genetic and environmental. It is difficult to tell who will develop bipolar disorder and who will not.

If you notice that you experience extreme mood swings, you may be bipolar. Do not take your symptoms lightly, especially if you notice ups and downs over an extended period of time.

There are many stereotypes about people who are bipolar, and as a result, people might be afraid to talk about their symptoms. Understand that a large group of people are equally at risk. You should not feel ashamed, especially when there are effective treatments available.

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