- Understanding Bipolar Disorder Triggers and How to Prevent Them
- Mental Health
- Understanding Bipolar Disorder | Cigna
- Diagnosis can often be challenging.
- Trigger #2: Negative Life Events
Street drugs sometimes can mimic, provoke, or worsen mood symptoms. The exact cause of bipolar disorder is unknown. However, research suggests that there is no single cause. Instead, a combination of factors may contribute to bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder often runs in families, and research suggests that this is mostly explained by heredity—people with certain genes are more likely to develop bipolar disorder than others.
Many genes are involved, and no one gene can cause the disorder. But genes are not the only factor. Some studies of identical twins have found that even when one twin develops bipolar disorder, the other twin may not. Although people with a parent or sibling with bipolar disorder are more likely to develop the disorder themselves, most people with a family history of bipolar disorder will not develop the illness. Researchers are learning that the brain structure and function of people with bipolar disorder may be different from the brain structure and function of people who do not have bipolar disorder or other psychiatric disorders.
Learning about the nature of these brain changes helps doctors better understand bipolar disorder and may in the future help predict which types of treatment will work best for a person with bipolar disorder. At this time, diagnosis is based on symptoms rather than brain imaging or other diagnostic tests. A psychiatrist or other mental health professional diagnoses bipolar disorder based on the symptoms, lifetime course, and experiences of the individual.
Some people have bipolar disorder for years before it is diagnosed. This may be because:. Treatment helps many people, even those with the most severe forms of bipolar disorder. Doctors treat bipolar disorder with medications, psychotherapy, or a combination of treatments.
Understanding Bipolar Disorder Triggers and How to Prevent Them
Certain medications can help control the symptoms of bipolar disorder. Some people may need to try several different medications and work with their doctor before finding the ones that work best. The most common types of medications that doctors prescribe include mood stabilizers and atypical antipsychotics. Mood stabilizers such as lithium can help prevent mood episodes or reduce their severity when they occur. Lithium also decreases the risk for suicide. Additional medications that target sleep or anxiety are sometimes added to mood stabilizers as part of a treatment plan.
Talk with your doctor or a pharmacist to understand the risks and benefits of each medication.
Report any concerns about side effects to your doctor right away. Avoid stopping medication without talking to your doctor first. Psychotherapy can offer support, education, skills, and strategies to people with bipolar disorder and their families. Psychotherapy often is used in combination with medications; some types of psychotherapy e.
Understanding Bipolar Disorder | Cigna
Not much research has been conducted on herbal or natural supplements and how they may affect bipolar disorder. Talk to your doctor before taking any supplement. Certain medications and supplements taken together can cause serious side effects or life-threatening drug reactions. However, there are tools and resources available that may help you find a provider or treatment. You can also:. This service is available to everyone.
Although bipolar disorder can include the above depressive symptoms, it also includes symptoms of mania. Bipolar disorder is characterized by mood swings that fluctuate between depressive lows and manic highs. A manic episode is described as a distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood and increased goal-directed activity or energy, lasting at least one week.
With bipolar disorder, the mood episode is severe enough to cause marked impairment in social or occupational functioning or to require hospitalization to avoid self-harm. There are two types of bipolar disorder. Understanding the different types of bipolar disorder can help distinguish between bipolar disorder and depression. Left untreated, both bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder can have a major impact on social and occupational functioning. Symptoms of bipolar disorder include episodes of mania or hypomania and can include depression.
People may also have periods during which they feel fairly stable. Symptoms vary and may change over time. Symptoms of hypomania are similar to those of mania, but they are less severe.
Diagnosis can often be challenging.
Nonetheless, others often notice these symptoms, which can interfere with the person's life and relationships. According to a study in the journal American Family Physician , while bipolar disorder involves manic or hypomanic symptoms, most people with the condition experience depression the majority of the time. Depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder are the same as the symptoms of clinical depression and include:. For health professionals to classify these symptoms as depression, they must last for at least 2 weeks.
Bipolar I and II may cause additional symptoms, such as anxiety or psychosis. During psychotic episodes, people lose touch with reality and may experience hallucinations or delusions. People with bipolar I or II may experience what doctors call "rapid cycling.
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It can be difficult to identify symptoms in younger people because the signs can resemble regular developmental highs and lows. Most people with bipolar disorder receive a diagnosis in early adulthood, after symptoms have persisted for several years.
A doctor or psychiatric nurse practitioner will diagnose bipolar disorder based on a person's medical history and symptoms. They may:. To rule out other causes of depressive and manic symptoms, a doctor may also perform a physical examination, blood tests, or brain scans.
A healthcare provider will suggest a treatment plan based on the person's symptoms and situation. Prescribers often recommend medications for people with bipolar disorder, with many individuals taking multiple drugs. The mood stabilizer lithium is a common treatment, with some research suggesting that it can significantly help prevent long-term relapse. Psychotherapy can be an important treatment component for people with bipolar disorder. It can enable them to recognize changes in thoughts and mood and respond accordingly.
Therapy can also help people establish healthful routines and learn new coping skills. It may take place on a one-to-one basis, with family, or as part of a group. Most people with bipolar disorder and other mood disorders find lifestyle changes beneficial.
Typical changes include:.
Trigger #2: Negative Life Events
Experts do not know exactly what causes bipolar disorder, although they believe that several factors play a role. These include:. Most likely, a combination of heredity and environmental factors plays a role in bipolar development. While bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition, treatments such as medications, therapy, and lifestyle modifications can effectively help people manage their symptoms.
To support their mental health , it is vital for people with bipolar disorder to seek help from others and stay in regular contact with their doctors. Article last reviewed by Wed 13 February All references are available in the References tab. Bipolar disorder.
Datto, C. Bipolar II compared with bipolar I disorder: Baseline characteristics and treatment response to quetiapine in a pooled analysis of five placebo-controlled clinical trials of acute bipolar depression.