What are the Causes of Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a serious mental health condition which results in extreme shifts in mood and energy that can make day-to-day living difficult. Untreated, bipolar disorder can destroy relationships and careers, and in some cases, it can lead to suicide.
Bipolar Disorder can be a confusing and discouraging challenge for the individual facing it and the people who love them. If you think you or someone you love may be suffering with a bipolar disorder, we want to help.
There is not a specific medical test to diagnose bipolar disorder. Rather, a diagnosis is reached through a qualified analysis of symptoms.
What are Bipolar Disorder’s Symptoms?
Symptoms and the experience of bipolar disorder vary person to person. Some people have very clear mood swings, with symptoms of mania and then of depression each lasting for several days, weeks or even months. Others experience less definition between the two. A mixed state is when a manic and a depressive episode happen at the same time, leaving the person to feel negative, as with depression, but also feeling wired, amped up and restless.
Typically, medical and mental health professionals look for manic behavior as a key to identifying bipolar disorder.
During a manic episode, a person may demonstrate symptoms like:
- impaired judgment
- feeing wired
- a sense of distraction or boredom
- missing work or school, or underperforming
- thinking they can do anything
- belief that nothing is wrong
- being extremely forthcoming, sometimes aggressively so
- likelihood of engaging in risky behavior
- a sense of being on top of the world, exhilarated, or euphoric
- excessive self-confidence, an inflated sense of self-esteem and self-importance
- excessive and rapid talking, pressurized speech that may jump from one topic to another
- racing thoughts that come and go quickly, and bizarre ideas that the person may act upon—this may include squandering money, abusing drugs or alcohol, taking part in dangerous activities, sexual promiscuity.
During a depressive episode, a person may experience:
- a feeling of gloom, blackness, despair, and hopelessness
- extreme sadness
- insomnia and sleeping problems
- anxiety about trivial things
- pain or physical problems that do not respond to treatment
- guilt, and a feeling that everything that goes wrong or appears to be wrong is their fault
- changes in eating patterns, whether eating more or eating less
- weight loss or weight gain
- extreme tiredness, fatigue, and listlessness
- an inability to enjoy activities or interests that usually give pleasure
- low attention span and difficulty remembering
- irritation, possibly triggered by noises, smells, tight clothing, and other things that would usually be tolerated or ignored
- an inability to face going to work or school, possibly leading to underperformance
Do any of these symptoms sound familiar? Are you or is someone you love experiencing them? Have they persisted for more than a couple of weeks? We can help.
What Causes Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder does not appear to have a single cause but is more likely to result from a range of factors. Here are 5 factors researchers have identified as possible contributors to bipolar disorder:
- Genetic factors – Bipolar disorder is more likely to emerge in a person who has a family member with the condition.
- Biological traits – Patients with bipolar disorder often show physical changes in their brains, but the link remains unclear.
- Brain-chemical imbalances – Neurotransmitter imbalances appear to play a key role in many mood disorders, including bipolar disorder.
- Hormonal changes – Hormonal imbalances might trigger or cause bipolar disorder.
- Environmental factors – Abuse, mental stress, a significant loss, or some other traumatic event may contribute to or trigger bipolar disorder.
At Honey Lake Clinic, our experienced staff, licensed therapists, psychologists, and psychiatric specialists understand that effective treatment for bipolar disorder requires a multifaceted, faith-based approach, involving healing of the body, mind, and spirit. Medication, psychological awareness and skills, and spiritual truths and principles are all integral parts of a life-transformation process.
Your spiritual health is a vitally important piece of the puzzle. It means viewing and interpreting all of life’s challenging circumstances through a Godly lens. The Biblical term for this powerful neurobiological concept, as the Apostle Paul describes it, is the renewing of our mind. This renewing of our minds brings peace that passes all understanding.