Bipolar Disorder – Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

Bipolar Disorder refers to the condition where a person experiences extreme mood swings and energy shifts which also affects the person’s ability to perform day to day activities.

These dramatic shifts in a person’s mood are categorized in two types i.e. Manic Episode and Depressive Episode. As the name suggests, Manic Episode involves the person feeling extremely happy with higher levels of energy and becoming hyper-active. The Depressive Episode involves the person becoming extremely sad with lowest levels of energy. Mood swings in Bipolar Disorder are intense and even dangerous.

It’s being estimated that approx. 3percent of people in USA have experienced bipolar disorder at some point of their life.

What Causes Bipolar Disorder

Knowing exactly what causes bipolar disorder is kind of complicated because a lot of medical scientists are still unsure and further research is still being done in order to understand what causes bipolar disorder. A lot of people actually have this disorder and it is becoming more and more common for people to get it so that opens up the doors for more research to be done which is really needed right now..

What causes bipolar disorder depends on a few factors that work together. The factors become divided into psychological and biological causes. In other words, it is a mental illness that starts to develop from environmental or physical reasons. Most people asks right away if this disorder is inherited. With that in mind scientists have researched this with using relatives on all level of degrees like siblings, and adoptions. The studies show that there is evidence, that is actually very overwhelming, that bipolar could actually be inherited because the vulnerability comes from the genes.

The system with the neurotransmitter is something that scientists have focused on because that is one thing which might cause bipolar disorder. There is some kind of link which exists with mood disorders, and the neurotransmitters. Mood disorders might be altered from the drugs used for those transmitters so that is another reason as to why the scientists is aware of them being connected. The neurotransmitter has levels that go high and low and some say that bipolar might be caused from the Norepinephrine, Serotonin, and the Dopamine because of their levels going up and down. While other studies show that there might be some sort of imbalance going on with the substances that creates the problem.

Where environmental, emotional, and mental issues are present that can trigger bipolar, stress can be a huge onset with what causes bipolar disorder and it can be created from things like a death, losing a job, or just some major event that caused a lot of pain in somebody’s life. That is why many encourage people to try and find ways to relieve the stress that is in their life because it can cause a lot of emotional and mental problems, if not controlled. Some doctors give medications in order to reduce the stress so diseases like this won’t start, or either they encourage meditation with the patients. As you can see, what causes bipolar disorder really does vary between each person.

Bipolar Depression

One stage of the bipolar disorder is bipolar depression. This is a very hard and difficult part for the patient and might not always come right after the manic pattern.

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The bipolar depression can come up at any time, and might stay with someone for months, weeks, or a few times during a month. In severe cases someone might experience it for years before they take the right kind of action needed to get over it. Usually this does not happen, but sometimes it can and more so if a person could be in denial over how they feel, or either hold their feelings inside; which is never good for anyone because that might cause a mental illness to kick in such as bipolar.

The bipolar depression is very intense when it starts kicking in. Anxiety, and sadness takes control over the person. When the depression is not looked at or treated then it might grow really bad, and they could experience suicidal thoughts or start cutting themselves. They might also feel that there is no way out, and that the mood overwhelms them. They start doubting their ability to do things, and they might get burned out or feel slowed down by it all. Another thing is that they might get angry when someone says you’ll get over it because they feel that nobody understands what they are going through.

When bipolar depression is at its full episode and kicking in strong, following are some of the symptoms that a person might go through, or either experience a few times in a day or throughout the week:

  • Sadness
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Losing energy
  • Hopelessness
  • Guilt & Self blaming
  • Worthlessness
  • Unable to concentrate
  • Crying uncontrollably
  • Not being able to make the right kind of decision
  • Sleeping a lot more
  • Insomnia
  • Appetite changes
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Suicide and death thoughts


A person that might have psychosis gets depressed, they might have a lot of guilt feelings and experience thoughts of worthlessness. When the bipolar depression does not get treated then it could turn into manic. If treatment and therapy is done then a person will not have to worry about manic episodes and can live a life that is productive and happy. They must follow all of the rules & instruction that the doctor or therapist suggested in order for this to happen because if they don’t, then they might get the bipolar depression and things could get bad.

Bipolar Disorder Symptoms

Bipolar can be a very complex and complicated illness. You will find that there is actually many kinds of bipolar disorder symptoms. These includes some primary bipolar disorder symptoms such as mood swings being unpredictable, and dramatic. The symptoms can range from mild to even severe. Listed below are some of the actual bipolar disorder symptoms.

When it is is just in the primary stage the systems include only mood swings, and they can be very dramatic. They can happen at any time and they might sometimes become severe. With no warning a mood swing could come, and it can be a very dramatic experience for everyone that is involved in the situation because of not knowing when it is going to happen.

The next stage of bipolar is manic, and the manic symptoms of bipolar include: being really happy, or feeling excited to the extreme, irritability, energy that is increased, restlessness, not needing to sleep much, thoughts that race, having a really high sex drive, and making plans that might be either unattainable or grand.

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The other stage with bipolar is the depression part and those symptoms include: severe to mild sadness, irritability, anxiety, not having a lot of energy, the appetite might change, crying becomes uncontrollable, weight loss, or either weight gain, needing to sleep a lot more, having problems with making basic decisions, and sometimes it might include thoughts of suicide or either death. You can have some complications such as self mutilation, cutting, self-harm, the emotions that are negative start to overpower, anger that is extreme, anxiety, frustration, and doing things that might become repetitive.

Usually bipolar has patterns that tends to be classic and because of that it can be easy to know when someone might be suffering from it. Sometimes it might be hard to tell when a person is depressed, or when they are not talking because some people are just naturally like that. One thing that is something that many suffer with is suicide thoughts and this happens during the episodes that could be depressive or even manic. Many have tried to kill themselves during this time but with proper treatment the risk is really lowered. When a person is depressed and you know that they have bipolar, it is important that they get help right away before they become a threat to themselves. Often times they try to fight any treatment and might not want it, but they should get it regardless of what they want because they are not thinking right.

Bipolar Disorder Test

The doctors and scientists have really come such a long way form understanding the bipolar disorder and why the moods might be different. One reason why is because of the bipolar disorder test that they have been doing and continue to do. These tests can help by showing the length, severity, plus the frequency of the disorder. Sometimes the patient will need to have a few of them done in order to determine all of this. After they have determined all of these things, they still might need to have further bipolar disorder tests done to make sure that the type of treatment they recommend is working.

One of the bipolar disorder test comes with a variety of questions. They might ask you to score how you are feeling by a scale. They add up the results, and compare them with a chart to see what one you might fall in. You can also find these kind of tests online for free to see if you might have bipolar, or should consider getting further testings. The test that they provide with the questions does not take very long and is often done in just a matter of a few minutes. In order to do the test you should try and be calm, and not stressed out. Stress might actually effect the results of the test so taking it only when you are in a calm state of mind helps.

When having therapy they might issue some more bipolar disorder test to see where you are at. The therapist will be able to use this information to help when you are with them. Without this they might not be able to see where you should go, or if you should be put on any kind of medication. These tests really help with trying to decide what kind of medication the patient should be on, or if they should not be on any at all.

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If you are afraid of the tests, or unsure of them then talking with your therapist or doctor before you take them is recommended. If you have any questions then you should always ask them right before the test and not wait until after it is done. The doctor or therapist won’t mind at all you asking questions, and they will be glad to work with you until you feel calm and comfortable with taking the test. Keep in mind these are usually pain free, and you won’t need to do much except just answer some questions.

Bipolar Disorder Treatment

You can find that there is a lot of good bipolar disorder treatment these days thanks to the studies, and research that the doctors and scientists have been doing.

In order to get the proper and the right kind of bipolar disorder treatment there should be a combination of counseling, plus medication. Usually, doctors treat symptoms that might be manic or could be associated to bipolar disorder by using drugs. Depression medication is another thing that doctors are taking into consideration for bipolar disorder treatment because it helps with the mood and being able to balance it.

The most common bipolar disorder treatment includes psychotherapy, and mood-stabilizing drugs. The primary treatment is drugs, but the therapy treatment is something that should be ongoing regardless of what episode or stage a patient might be in. This mixture really helps them to cope with life, and be able to live a normal or semi-normal life with bipolar. Without therapy, the episodes might kick in again and not be noticed.

Medications is another thing that is really needed with bipolar disorder treatment. Here are a few medications that might be used: Abilify, Amitril, Amoxaphine, Bupropion, Celexa, clopixol, Clozaril, Dalmane, Desyrel, Duralith, Effexor, Endep, Epitol, Etrafon, Fluanxol, Flupenthixol, Halcion, Isoptin, Lamictal, Levate, Librium, Luvox, Manerix, Nardil, Pamelor, Rivotril, Serax, and many more medications are used for this type of treatment. The side effects vary depending on what is being taken but some side effects might include: headaches, nausea, and stomach pain. When a patient starts to have any of the side effects then they should contact the doctor so the treatment can be changed.

When being treated for manic the doctor might recommend an antipsychotic drug, or either Benzodiazephine and sometimes Lithium in order to help the patient be able to sleep, and control any kind of hyperactivity that might be going on. Other things that it might treat also includes irritability and hostility. Usually the doctor also gives a mood stabilizer to help settle and balance the system again.

Bipolar depression might be treated with antipsychotic medication, anticonvulsant, or Lithium. Sometimes a combination is needed depending on how bad the patient might be and what level the disorder is on but this is all to prevent a severe manic episode from happening. Without the use of these kind of treatments, patients might easily get one of those episodes and that is why treatment is important and vital in most cases.

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