Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Causes of Bipolar Disorder

    Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive disorder or manic depression, is an episodic mental disorder that causes unusually extreme fluctuations in mood, energy, activity, and focus. In the manic episodes, the person feels very happy and increases in activity and motivation. In the depressive episodes, the person feels hopeless, sad, etc. and decreases in activity and motivation.

    According to the National Institute of Mental Health, bipolar disorder develops or starts during late adolescence or early adulthood. There are two main causes to this disorder: genes and brain structure/function.

    The chance of a person having manic depression given that one of their family member has it is 4 to 6 times higher than someone who doesn't have a family member with it. In identical twins, if one has it, there is a 70% chance that the other will have it.

    A faulty brain circuitry may also cause this disorder. Neurotransmitters, like noradrenaline and serotonin are associated with mood disorders. In a normal person, these chemicals are balanced in the system -- not too high nor too low. Extraneous factors may shift these chemicals off balance and cause the disorder. For example, mania episodes are associated with high noradrenaline levels and depressive episodes are associated with low levels.




  1. I wonder if bipolar causes are entirely genetic or if there are any environmental factors that lead to the disorder. I would assume that if you are raised by someone with bipolar disorder the chances of you developing similar habits regarding manic-depressive episodes are not entirely genetic.

  2. Interesting read. For someone that sees bipolar in their family tree, I hope more people become aware of how difficult it is for someone to live with bipolar. It certainly is difficult living with someone with bipolar but it is much worse for people who actually have it. Hopefully there can be be a cure because my father has tried countless types of medication and it doesn't always help.