Understanding reasons behind bipolar disorder

Understanding reasons behind bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder, a brain disorder, usually develops among adults around the age of 25 years. In the United States, bipolar disorder affects approximately 5.7 million adults every year, says the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The exact causes of bipolar disorder cannot be determined, but various researches on bipolar disorder suggest its origin may be lodged in genetics or the biology of the brain.

Hereditary factors may have some role to play as more than two-third of those diagnosed with bipolar disorder have at least one family member with the same condition or suffering from major unipolar depression. Social factors like traumatic experiences may also play a role in the development of bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder, or manic-depressive illness or manic depression, is characterized by extreme fluctuation in a person’s mood, energy and activity levels. These variations in mood and energy levels are more drastic and erratic than the normal ups and downs experienced by others. Individuals with this condition have trouble performing their daily tasks, maintaining relationships and performing in career and academics.

Bipolar disorder can be caused due to various factors

There might be myriad factors that may lead to the onset of bipolar disorder. Imbalance in specific brain circuits or functioning, environment and lifestyle issues, family history, stress, inclination to substance abuse etc. can cause elated highs of mania and lows of depression. Some of the factors are detailed below:

  • Childhood trauma: Experts say that individuals can develop bipolar disorder if they get exposed to a gamut of drastic emotional anguish as a child – sexual or physical abuse, neglect by parents and school, scarring experiences triggered by some traumatic events or even the loss of somebody very close like a parent or a caretaker. Such experiences can be debilitating, especially when the patient is young.
  • Disturbing life events: Sometimes the development of bipolar disorder can be attributed to some stressful periods in a person’s life. The situation can differ from person to person and the effect of the disorder can depend on the intensity of the problem. Certain phases like constant worry about finances and poverty, loss of a near and dear one or a major relationship breakdown could trigger an episode of mania or depression.
  • Issues of self-esteem: Long durations of isolation, inability to perform at school or work, trouble adjusting to society can pave way for mania. Experts say that a manic episode may be a way to escape and cope with low self-esteem.
  • Brain biology: There are specific psychiatric medications used to treat people diagnosed with bipolar disorder. This may be an indication that bipolar disorder may arise due to the malfunctioning of the brain. Studies show that neurotransmitters in the brain of an individual with bipolar disorder behave differently from others. However, there is no conclusive evidence to explain the exact causes.
  • Genetic component: It is observed that an individual diagnosed with bipolar disorder is more than likely to have a relative also suffering from bipolar symptoms. There may be a hereditary component or a gene responsible for the onset of bipolar disorder. But it would not be wise to rule out the environmental factors as most family members share the same environment which influences and shapes them.

Scope of recovery

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), bipolar disorder is among the top 10 conditions in the world to cause disabilities. This is also attributed to the fact that it can reduce the expected life span of the individual by approximately 10 years. However, an individual with bipolar disorder can still lead a productive and fulfilling life with the help of periodic medication and therapy.

If you or a loved one is showing symptoms of bipolar disorder, it is important to seek professional help. Contact the Colorado Mental Health Help to connect to the best mental health treatment centers in Colorado. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-899-5063 or chat online with our medical advisors in locating the best inpatient mental health treatment centers in Colorado.