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  • Writer's picturethe bipolar talker

Bipolar disorder - types & causes

Updated: Jun 1, 2021

The main reasons why people can experience bipolar is:

  • Genetics - 80% of the time genetics were the cause of bipolar. If one parent has bipolar the chance of the child having bipolar is 10%, this number jumps to 40% if both parents have it. Whilst some individuals may be pre-disposed to develop bipolar disorder, other factors are commonly involved in bringing it to the surface.

  • Chemical Imbalance - Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in our brain that is responsible for our mood amongst others. An imbalance in neurotransmitters is what causes the polar mood states.

  • Environmental Factors - In my experience, going through trauma is a common theme that runs through people that have been diagnosed. Maybe you've suffered from abuse or heavy levels or stress - both in many cases have had links to bipolar.

  • Medical Use - some medications and substances may also cause manic or hypomanic symptoms.

In some cases they, there might not be any causes that you can clearly identify that "cause bipolar". It may be nothing obvious or a combination of a few.

To make it even more confusing for someone who gets diagnosed, there are actually different types of common bipolar disorder and they all slightly differ from each other.

Bipolar I disorder - manic episodes last at least seven day with symptoms of psychosis and depressive symptoms lasts atleast two weeks where the depressive episodes can also have manic features.

Bipolar II disorder - hypomanic episodes (a milder form of mania) followed by recurring episodes of major depressive episodes. To be diagnosed with bipolar II, atleast one major depressive episode in the individual's lifetime must be recorded, which is not criteria for bipolar I. Bipolar I and II are the ones most commonly diagnosed.

Cyclothymic disorder - a milder form of bipolar where individuals go through less severe highs and lows. As is often goes without diagnosis, these people may be seen as "moody" or "difficult" to others.

Other bipolar disorders - some bipolar disorders don't have a specific pattern. More research, funds and awareness is needed around bipolar so we can learn more about the disorder to help individuals bounce back more effectively.

For me, I was going through a stressful part of my life - personal life stresses that all seemed to have toppled on top of each other to topple me over. I was manic for probably a week to two weeks before I flew to Malaysia where I was manic for the entire trip, not getting help until I got back. That Malaysia holiday was a trip and a half, i'll share that with you guys in the next post.

#bipolarcauses #typesofbipolar



This blog is a well-researched article for additional reading and does not substitute professional advice. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and feel concerned, contact your GP or call the Mental Health Access Line on 1800 011 511. In the case of an emergency, call 000.

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