Bipolar Disorder Causes and Treatment

2013 Bipolar Update

Bipolar Disorder Causes and Treatment

Before considering bipolar disorder causes and treatment, it is important to understand what exactly a bipolar disorder is. Bipolar disorder, or manic depression, is a mental illness characterized by extreme shifts in mood from mania to depression. This mood disorder can be so severe as to disrupt a person’s daily life.

The symptoms and signs of the disorder will depend on the phase the person is currently experiencing, mania or depression. In a manic phase, symptoms include insomnia, decreased appetite, reckless behavior, irritability, over confidence and delusions of grandeur. In a depressive phase, symptoms will include hyper somnolence (sleeping too much) or insomnia, social withdrawal, crying, pessimism and forgetfulness.

Bipolar disorder causes and treatment will depend on several factors. One of the factors is the specific category of bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is categorized into 4 groups with the categorization done according to the type and seriousness of the mood swings. The 4 types are Bipolar I, Bipolar II, Cyclothymic Disorder and Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (BP-NOS).

Bipolar Disorder I is characterized by manic or mixed episodes which last about a week. The symptoms during an episode can be severe enough to cause hospitalization. It is also characterized by at least one depressive episode that may last up to two weeks.

Bipolar Disorder II is characterized by episodes of serious depression and hypomania, without full blown manic phases.

Cyclothymia or cyclothymic disorder is a milder form of the disorder. It is characterized by shifts between hypomania and mild depression.

Bipolar disorder not otherwise specified is the name given to the type of bipolar disorder that does not meet the diagnostic criteria of any of the other 3 types of bipolar disorder. The diagnostic criteria are set out in the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).

When thinking about bipolar disorder causes and treatment, a person should realize that the cause of this mental disorder is not exactly known. It has been suggested that genetic, environmental and neurochemical factors may be responsible singly and jointly in the disorder and its progression. Genetics is considered a major factor as it has been shown that about 50% of people with bipolar disorder have a close family relative with a mood disorder.

Environmental factors have also been considered to play a role in bipolar disorder because of incidences of life events such as death and divorce triggering mood episodes.

Bipolar disorder causes and treatment are also linked in that certain medications can trigger a manic or depressive episode. For example, antidepressants can cause a manic episode. A physician should therefore take this into consideration when treating a patient with bipolar.

Information on bipolar disorder causes and treatment is readily available on the internet. Your doctor will also be a good source of knowledge on the topic or he may point you in the right direction to find the information on bipolar disorder causes and treatment you are looking for.