We all experience mood swings. We have good days and bad days. When we show up at work all smiles and handing out compliments, sometimes folks wonder if something amazing happened the night before. If we show up surly and peevish, we get the “somebody must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed” comment. These emotional highs and lows are part of our daily existence.
However, for a person suffering from bipolar disorder these mood swings can take on a manic quality. The episodes of euphoria can lead to obsessive behaviors and bursts of seemingly uncontrollable energy. These episodes are often followed by “crashes” into depression where the sufferer is consumed with feelings of sadness and isolation. In this stage, dark thoughts can take a decidedly harmful turn. With a bipolar patient, these erratic moods can’t be controlled and can have a traumatic impact on all aspects of their lives.
Understanding the causes of bipolar disorder has helped medical researchers with developing effective forms of treatment. The following is a list of possible causes of bipolar disorder. Note that for many sufferers there isn’t just one specific cause, but many contributing factors that create a perfect storm of a disorder.
Genetic Causes of Bipolar Disorder
Much of the research conducted in the study of bipolar disorders has found that the disease can be an inherited. In other words, warning signs should go up within a family with a history of depression in its members. As many as half of all patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder can trace some incidents of depression back in their family tree. Studies conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) have found that children with a parent or sibling who has been diagnosed with bipolar depression are four to six times more likely to develop these types of mental disorders.
Environmental Triggers for Bipolar Disorder
There are many diseases that lay dormant in our bodies. All it takes is one trigger to set a domino effect in motion which can cause a full-blown incident of a disease. This is also true with bipolar disorder. Stress is the big issue here; however, it’s not just stress from negative events like a divorce, loss of job or financial woes that can set off bipolar disorder. Remember there are two sides to this coin. Moments of sheer exhilaration can also light the fuse for the mania of bipolar disorder. Even something as simple as losing sleep can set the mood swings in motion.
Brain Development Patterns with Bipolar Disorder
Our brains are mapped with brain imaging technology. This is how researchers have come to understand all the inner workings of this complex organ. It is with this mapping that researchers have also found that certain imbalances in brain chemistry are associated with bipolar disorder. These fractures in our brain chemistry are targeted by the drug therapies.
Have all causes of bipolar disorder been discovered? Probably not, but there is certainly enough knowledge to provide a way forward for sufferers. You can find out about that path by calling the toll-free number on this page for more information about various bipolar disorder rehab centers.