Bipolar disorder also known as manic depression is a mental disorder in which the person’s mood swings are extremely unexpected and unpredictable as well as their energy levels. The worse the condition of the patient, the more of a risk factor they are to the ones around them.
The three most important brain chemicals that are linked to psychiatric disorders are the following:
These three chemicals have been known to play a role in the imbalance that causes the disorder, depression, and many other disorders that changes ones psychiatric state. Dopamine and the disruption of dopamine are often linked to ones with schizophrenia, meaning that they hallucinate multiple times on a daily basis and have a different reality than yours or mine. There are different levels of schizophrenia and bipolar disorders as well; some more severe than others, however.
There are many factors in people with this disorder. These are some of them:
• It is said to be genetic and runs in the family as well as depression
• A person has up to 25% chance of having it if someone in their family has it (that aren’t their parents)
• A twin has more of a chance to develop if their twin also has the disorder because of the genetic makeup being almost identical
In order to support this theory of the disorder running in the family, studies have also been done on adopted twins that were raised by a family that does not have the same genes as them. This allowed researches to develop an understanding of environmental risk factors vs. genetic makeup and factors.
The results of the study of the adoptive bipolar disorder showed that even though they were raised in a non-trigger environment with adoptive parents that don’t have the disorder, they still ended up having the disorder in the early life. Sometimes it doesn’t come until the teenage or young adult years but often show signs in adolescent years before being diagnosed.
Some of these symptoms include but are not limited to:
• Irritable mood
• Separation anxiety
• Outrages that don’t subside after a phase
• Night terrors
• Inappropriate sexual behavior
• Attracted to dangerous stunts at a young age
• Bad sleeping habits — too much or too little
While these individually may not be a sign, together or multiple symptoms at once may urge you to keep an eye on a child in case of sudden dangerous moods.
Family genes have a huge part in whether or not someone may or may not have it. As mentioned, ones who have family members with the disorder may get it themselves. However, if their parent is the host, the chances of an individual also having it will sky rocket up to 75%.
While there isn’t one specific gene passed that dictates whether it will be present in someone’s mental health, there are multiple discovered in chromosomes that are present in far more bipolar individuals and not in healthy individuals.
A recent study based on genetic material was taken from over 2,200 bipolar patients compared to over 5,000 without this mental condition. The specific chromosomes and genes mixed with environmental factors work together to create the disorder in one’s brain.
This proves that one cannot obtain it after being exposed to just environmental factors such as people, places or occurrences, rather than their brain becoming exposed to these factors while their chromosomes are formed differently.
The two “risk regions” as stated by the study are the ADCY2 on the fifth chromosome as well as the MIR113-POU3F2 section of the sixth chromosome. These are just two of the five sections that are risk factors in bipolar patients. These two new sections are part of the new study that has been taken by German health experts.
Scientists believe that the genes involved, the MCIR series and the ADCY2 have hundreds of these pairs involved in the makeup of a possible bipolar disorder infused person.
Environmental triggers may include:
• An event that triggers a mood
• Medications, alcohol and drugs
• Hormonal imbalances
• Over the counter drugs
• Drugs such as ecstasy, cocaine and other amphetamines
• Excessive caffeine
Episodes can also be brought on by insomniac habits because of the stress of not being able to sleep. These are just some of the many environmental triggers that can cause a bipolar episode to go into effect with the genetic makeup as mentioned.
Excessive caffeine, over the counter drugs and hormonal imbalances in normal, “healthy” people without the 5 risk areas in genes, will have less of a chance of showing bipolar tendencies.
In conclusion, bipolar disorder is not caused by things outside of one’s body; however, they are triggers, as there are for most disorders. The genetic makeup of one’s body is essentially the deciding factor if the person has bipolar or manic depression. More studies are underway on how these specific genes are different from healthy people without the disorder.
If you believe you have it and are constantly blaming yourself, putting you into an episode or know someone who does this, reassure yourself and them that it is not their fault and it is simply the genetic makeup of human health and runs in the family mixed with environmental factors that are not ideal. It is important to work with someone’s mood instead of becoming angry or upset at them or yourself.
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