What Triggers Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental condition that causes unusual and extreme shifts in mood. Bipolar disorder is characterized by periods of deep, prolonged, and profound depression that alternate with periods of an excessively elevated or irritable mood known as mania. Bipolar disorder is also called manic-depressive illness or manic depression.

Bipolar disorder does not have any cure, but with appropriate medical treatment and psychological support, its symptoms can be controlled.

What triggers bipolar disorder?

  • Genetic factors
    • First-degree relatives of people with bipolar disorder are approximately seven times more at risk.
  • Biochemical factors
    • Depletion of certain chemicals in the nerve endings may cause bipolar disorder. This can occur due to hormonal imbalance from certain medication or drug abuse.
  • Neurophysiologic factors
    • Changes in the gray and white matter in the brain can lead to bipolar disorder.
  • Psychodynamic factors
    • Depression is the manifestation of losses (for example, loss of self-esteem and a sense of worthlessness). Mania can occur as a defense mechanism against depression.
  • Environmental factors
    • Stressors such as:
      • Pregnancy
      • Stress at work or relationships
      • Seasonal changes
  • Pharmacological factors
    • Antidepressant medications can sometimes trigger a patient into a manic episode.
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