Bipolar Disorder is still not widely understood. How do we get it? Is it handed down? Spontaneous selection? It is well known that this disorder is one that can be handed down through our family. Approximately half the people who have bipolar disorder have a family member with a mood disorder. A person with ONE parent who has bipolar disorder has a 15-20% chance of having the condition. Twins have about a 25% chance of getting the condition whereas identical twins, in which one has the disorder, the other identical twin has a greater risk of developing the illness (about an eightfold greater risk than a nonidentical twins). So this proves greatly that the disorder indeed “runs in the family” and is genetic.
“Another cause is Neurochemical. Bipolar disorder is a biological disorder that occurs in a specific area of the brain and is due to the dysfunction of certain neurotransmitters, or chemical messengers, in the brain. These chemicals may involve neurotransmitters like norepinephrine, serotonin and probably many others. As a biological disorder, it may lie dormant and be activated on its own or it may be triggered by external factors such as psychological stress and social circumstances.” ~ Psych Central
Environmental factors include life altering events that triggers the dormant bipolar illness. Hormonal changes, drug and alcohol abuse also contribute to an “episode” even if there is no biological factor.
Medication can trigger mania! This happened to me when the norm to treat bipolar was to prescribe antidepressant along with a mood stabilizer. That should have been a clue to me that the disorder had progressed. Welbutrin, Lexapro, and Celexa all triggered manic episodes that lasted months on end. Antidepressants are not the only cause for mania… there are many over the counter medications that can trigger mania one being appetite suppressants. For myself, my thyroid medication can induce mania…as well as Trazadone.
Scientists have been studying the brain activity of people with mood disorders… comparing them to people with no history of mood disorders. Though this seems promising and would help to prove that the disorder certainly is “chemical”… there is some speculation that the images may be different in those with mood disorders only because they are less active. Definitely something to look into. The brain on the left is someone who lives with a mood disorder like depression and the brain on the right is from somebody who has no history of mood disorders.
Still, much needs to be learned about this disorder to help the people living with it. What ever the reason we have it, we have it and must learn to live with it.
I quoted this information from Psych Central. Please educate yourself, learn more about what you live by. ♥