There is a preconceived notion that individuals who suffer from bipolar disorder flit between the highs and the lows of the moods constantly and that the illness is severe or alike in everyone. However, that’s not the case.
In this blog post, we discuss – what is bipolar disorder, its types, possible factors that trigger bipolar disorder, is bipolar/manic depression hereditary? the symptoms you must look out for, and significant other concepts around the topic.
Bipolar disorder is defined as the cycling of moods between depression and mania, or hypomania. Also, termed as manic-depressive illness, it’s a complex genetic disorder wherein the individual undergoes a sudden transition between his/her moods ranging from extreme hypomania to severe depression creating a disturbance in his/her thinking/behavior also triggering psychotic symptoms like delusions and hallucinations.
While suffering from bipolar disorder, the individual can feel either on top of the world or on edge, alongside feeling the lows when they are upset, feeling sad, and hopeless.
Different types of bipolar disorder are:
It’s the primary form of bipolar disorder wherein the individual experiences both manic and depressive episodes of different lengths.
The second form where the depressive episodes are of the same length, but the length of the manic episode is considerably lower than Bipolar I.
A mild form of bipolar disorder, cyclothymia is characterized by chronic episodes of both hypomania and depression that lasts for two years.
A mixed form wherein the individual experiences a combined effect of both the mania and depression simultaneously. At one point, the individual can feel depressed, while at another point, they might feel energetic and motivated.
The severest form of bipolar disorder wherein the individual likely experiences four or more episodes of mania and depression within one year.
According to mental health experts, the mental illness is mainly triggered and shows an onset post a stressful life event. The causes of bipolar disorder to a large extent are still unknown, there are a variety of factors that play a huge role in the development of the illness which includes genetics, chemical imbalances in the brain, and environmental factors.
Here’s a quick overview of each factor:
If you’re someone who’s constantly pondering on the question – is bipolar depression genetic or hereditary? you must know that it’s at large inherited. Genetic factors account for approximately 80% of the time of the cause of the illness.
If a parent has the disorder, there is a 10% chance that their child would develop the illness and if both the parents have bipolar there is a 40% chance of the child developing bipolar disorder. However, just because you have the gene or the likelihood of developing the disorder you may not develop the illness as factors such as stressors do come into play.
Research and studies indicate that bipolar disorder shares a genetic component. The disorder has a higher risk of being diagnosed in an individual if the disorder is/was prevalent in the individual’s family members.
Chemicals in the brain are responsible for controlling our brain functions. Any chemical imbalance inside the brain can trigger bipolar disorder which further aggravates due to any abnormality in serotonin (a chemical that affects our mood) levels.
Other than serotonin, we also have two other chemicals known as noradrenaline and dopamine within our body. Research indicates that a high level of noradrenaline can lead to episodes of mania, while if its level gets low, you can experience episodes of depression.
For quite a while, medical health practitioners have been trying to identify – is bipolar hereditary, and what causes it? If you have a similar question, one possible factor could be stress.
In general, stressful events like – emotional turbulence within personal/professional relationships, sexual/physical/emotional abuse, death of a loved one, monetary issues, etc. can often trigger bipolar disorder when combined with genetic factors. Hence, you as an individual, must manage and reduce the unwanted stress from your life.
Common symptoms of bipolar disorder include:
and many more.
By seeking professional mental health care one can learn to manage the stressors as well as the bipolar disorder. Medications, psychotherapy, adoption of healthier ways of living like eating healthy, sleeping for the required hours, practicing stress management techniques, and avoiding drugs and alcohol can help you manage the intensity of your symptoms and reducing the occurrence of your disorder.
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