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What Causes Bipolar Disorder?

Posted Apr 26 2010 1:15am

If you receive a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, or you suspect that you have it based on the known symptoms of the disorder, you may not stop to consider how you or someone you love has developed this disorder. In many health related instances, understanding the cause gives us insight into the cure. Unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily the case with bipolar disorder, but it is still important to understand what causes bipolar disorder?

what causes bipolar disorder

An Explanation of Bipolar Disorder

It is very difficult to hear that you or someone you love has bipolar disorder. While understanding the cause is important, it is also to important to have a clear understanding of exactly what bipolar disorder is. This condition is caused b a chemical imbalance in the brain, but there is more to it that that.

Bipolar can profoundly affect and change your life due to the drastic ups and downs, or periods of mania and depression. It can affect your ability to hold down a job, to keep a relationship healthy, and in extreme cases, to prevent yourself from committing suicide. Bipolar Disorder can be diagnosed in different ‘levels’ or types, including Bipolar I, Bipolar II, and Cyclothymia. Additionally, you may receive a diagnosis of BP-NOS, or Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.

Genetics Can Cause Bipolar Disorder

While we still don’t know a great deal about the causes of bipolar disorder, we do know some things. We know that the disorder can be inherited from ancestors, including parents, grandparents, and even great grandparents. With that said, however, there is no indication that you will have bipolar disorder if your parent does, because scientists agree that this is just one of many factors in determining what has caused bipolar disorder in any given individual.

What this does mean for you, however, is that you are at greater risk of having bipolar disorder. Your chances increase by about six, but in reality, most children who have a parent who is bipolar never develop the disease.

Brain Structure and Functioning Can Cause Bipolar Disorder

Scientists believe that brain structure and functioning play the biggest role in causing bipolar disorder. This has been learned through years of advancing brain imaging. Newer technology is used to see the brain as it is functioning, and we have found that those who have bipolar disorder have brains that function differently than those who do not have the disorder.

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