Bipolar disorder is a life debilitating mental condition affecting thousands of people across the world. Doctors believe that bipolar disorder causes could be many but have not been able to conclusively identify them around something like lifestyle changes. Rather, there is a broad spectrum understanding of the causes of this condition that ranges between the extremes of mania to major depression.
Many experts feel that genetic component is one of the major causes of bipolar disorder. On-going research studies show that lifestyle issues and environment could make this condition severe. Reasons for bipolar disorder such as drug or alcohol abuse or any other stressful conditions could make this mental illness very difficult to treat.
Relationship Between Bipolar Disorder And The Brain
Our brains have a series of chemicals called neurotransmitters. The three major neurotransmitters include serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine and all of them play a major role in brain and bodily functions. They are also enhanced once you spend time around positive people. Imbalance in the levels of serotonin or noradrenaline could be one of the major bipolar disorder causes as both are directly linked to psychiatric mood disorders.
The pleasure system of our brain is controlled by the chemical dopamine. Severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia and psychosis are linked to imbalance of dopamine in the system. Both these conditions are characterized by illogical behaviors and thought patterns and distortions in reality.
According to researchers imbalanced levels of serotonin could be one of the leading causes of bipolar disorder as this chemical is connected to bodily functions such as eating, wakefulness, sleep, memory, learning, impulsivness and sexual activity.
Could Bipolar Disorder Be Genetic
Extensive research is being conducted to determine whether genetics could be one of the reasons for bipolar disorder. Controlled study results show that this condition does run in families. Studies conducted in twins revealed conclusively that if one twin suffered from this mental illness, the other’s chances of developing the same was very high.
Another study conducted at Stanford University found that children with at least one parent suffering from bipolar disorder had greater chances of contracting this mental illness. The study showed that at least 51% of children born to parents with bipolar disorder suffered from psychiatric disorders such as ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder or dysthymia or mild depression.
Lifestyle And Environment Could Be Other Bipolar Disorder Causes
Bipolar episodes can be triggered due to environmental stressors especially in people who are genetically predisposed to this condition. Children born to bipolar parents could face severe environmental stress due to the parent’s lack of emotion and mood control. These children may also be exposed to constant physical, verbal and emotional abuse especially if the parent is not under right treatment. Some parents suffering from bipolar disorder could try to self-medicate or deal with the condition with drugs or alcohol and this could lead to a lot of unpleasantness and could be one of the major causes of bipolar disorder onset in children. Other common reasons for bipolar disorder could include lack of sufficient sleep and lack of knowledge in dealing with stressful situations in life.