Causes of Bipolar Disorder

 Causes of Bipolar Disorder

Mental health disorders are the least talked about topics in our country. Physical illness is considered unhealthy, but mental illness is avoided. Depression. Anxiety. Panic. Bipolar Disorder. All of these terms are known to us, but their meaning is still unknown. It is important to understand these conditions to understand mental illness in a much better way. In this article, we will talk majorly about Bipolar Disorder.

Causes of Bipolar Disorder

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that can be characterized by extreme changes or shifts in mood. Mood swings can be normal, but in the case of Bipolar disorder, these mood swings turn extreme and can be noticed easily. Symptoms can range from extreme elevation of mood to episodes of depression. The elevated mood can cause the person to act energetic, overly elated, irritable, sleepless, and impulsive. This is known as Mania. Whereas, depression can cause the person to feel sad, upset, hopeless, and sometimes suicidal. 

This disorder is also known as Manic Depression or Bipolar Disease. This disease makes it difficult for a person to carry on their daily routine normally. In between episodes, the person may be able to function well but during the episodes, it could be hard for them to live normally.

Causes of Bipolar Disorder:

There are no sources to clarify the exact cause of bipolar disorder and thus the causes remain unknown. Although there are some contributing factors that might be involved in causing Bipolar Disorder. Some possible causes include:

  • Genetics: It might be possible for a person to develop bipolar disorder if their first-degree relative has such a condition. These relatives include parents or siblings. It is not yet clarified at this point but genetics might act as a contributing factor. For example: If any of your parents or siblings have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder at any point of time in their life, you may be at high risk of developing bipolar disorder. Researchers are currently working on finding the genes that might cause bipolar disorder. 

  • Biological Structure of the Brain: Surprisingly, the brain structure may be one of the reasons we can state for the cause of bipolar disorder. It can make an impact on the risks of various diseases including mental illness. An abnormality in brain structure may affect various body functions and can also trigger mental disorders. Due to this reason, a person may develop bipolar disorder. 

  • Trauma: Outside factors may also contribute to developing the disease. One such factor is trauma. As we know, a traumatic experience can change and affect a person’s life or day-to-day activities. Any past trauma or incident such as an accident, sexual abuse, physical harm, personal assault, threats, etc. might result in developing bipolar disorder. The sense of fear, guilt, depression due to any event that may have happened in the past may also turn into a mental illness.

  • Stress: A feeling of emotional or physical tension is known as stress. Any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, irritated, angry, or nervous can stress you out. Short-term stress can be okay but extreme stress might lead to an unhealthy lifestyle and a weaker body. It can cause various physical diseases and mental disorders including depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and bipolar disorder. Taking too much stress is neither good for one’s body nor for the mind.

  • Physical Illness: Mental health, as well as physical health, are important to live a healthy lifestyle. Long-term physical illness may result in the person turning irritated and frustrated. Some of those physical problems or diseases may influence the development of bipolar disorder. A person should not delay the treatment of any type of illness or he/she might result in developing additional disorders or diseases. 

  • Other Psychological or Environmental Factors: Factors such as drug, or alcohol abuse, irrational thinking process, poor social status, poor occupational functioning, anxiety, heart diseases, etc.  May also contribute to developing Bipolar Disorder. It is all about living a healthy lifestyle. If one chose to do the same, they would be less likely to develop mental disorders including bipolar disorder. 

All these causes are not exact reasons for causing Bipolar Disorder, but they may be a big influence for the same. They can also be called the risk factors People suffering from any of the above problems or combinations of some problems are more likely to develop Bipolar Disorder than the other ones. 

Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder:

Bipolar I Disorder- Manic episodes and Depression

Bipolar II Disorder- Episodes of Hypo-mania (less severe than mania) and Depression

Cyclopedia- At least 2 years of frequently occurring hypo-manic episodes and depressive episodes. 

Dysthymia- At least 2 years of depressed mood, not severe enough to fit the diagnosis of a major depressive episode. 

Bipolar disorder might be difficult to diagnose, even harder in children and adolescents. As this age group deals with a variety of changes, mood swings, behavior, and energy levels. 

If a person seems to develop any of the symptoms of any type of mental disorder, they are advised to consult a doctor as soon as possible. Treatment should be done only on consultation with the doctor. It is not advised to take any medications unless prescribed by the doctor. 

If left untreated Bipolar Disorder might get even worse. Manic episodes and depression may occur more often. Treatment can help an individual with bipolar disorder to lead a healthy life and deal with the episodes. And therefore, its diagnosis and treatment are very important. 

Treatment includes psychotherapy, which can help people stabilize the symptoms and their management. Medications can also be prescribed by the doctors to keep the health of the person in check. Apart from medications a person suffering from bipolar disorder needs psychosocial support. 

Bipolar Disorder in India:

As compared to other psychiatric illnesses, the prevalence on bipolar disorder in India is 6.9%. It is difficult to estimate the actual annual percentage as milder forms of bipolar disorders are often missed and left undiagnosed but apart from that less than 1% of the Indian population is diagnosed with a severe case of bipolar disorder every year. 

Many people do not know this but many celebrities or famous people have openly admitted to having bipolar disorder. Some of these famous persons include one of everyone’s favorite singers Yo Yo Honey Singh. He is one of the first Indian celebrities to publicly admit to having bipolar disorder. Apart from him; Shama Sikandar, Mariette Hartley, Kurt Cobain, and Russell Brand have also been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Bipolar Disorder Worldwide: 

The prevalence of bipolar disorder across the globe varies from 0.3% to 1.2%. As estimated globally in 2017, 46 million people had bipolar disorder all over the world out of which 52% were female and 48% were male. The statistics clearly prove that females are more prone to develop bipolar disorder than males. (

Many people suffer from mental illness silently due to the pressure of society. People tend to ignore the symptoms. That is why it is important to gain knowledge about the mental condition. Not only it will help us but also the people around us. We can save people from committing suicide or even thinking about the same.

It is high time that we start talking about mental illness as it is also a part of our health and wellness. It is important to treat mental health with equal importance as we treat physical health. 

If you feel anything that troubles you or stresses you out, reach out to your friends or family members. Talk to the people around you and take help from the therapists or doctors. There is no shame in talking about your mental health and thinking about yourself. There are various helplines also available for everyone if suicidal thoughts cloud their minds. Take their help and stay safe.


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