Chemical Imbalance In The Brain
Bipolar disorder is widely believed to be the result of chemical imbalances in the brain.
The chemicals responsible for controlling the brain’s functions are called neurotransmitters, and include;noradrenaline, serotonin and dopamine.
There’s some evidence that if there’s an imbalance in the levels of 1 or more neurotransmitters, a person may develop some;symptoms of bipolar disorder.
For example, there’s evidence that episodes of mania may occur when levels of noradrenaline are too high, and episodes of depression may be the result of noradrenaline levels becoming too low.
When A Parent Has Bipolar Disorder
…What kids want to know
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- When a parent has bipolar disorder … What kids want to know
Children have a lot of questions when someone in their family is sick. When children dont have answers to their questions, they tend to come up with their own, which can be incorrect and scary!
When the family members illness is bipolar disorder, it often becomes a secret that nobody talks about. All children need some explanation and support, geared to their age, to help them understand bipolar disorder.Each parent and childs beginning conversation about bipolar disorder will be different depending on the childs age and ability to manage the information. You know your children best.This brochure will help prepare you to take the first step. If you have already started talking to a child about bipolar disorder, this brochure will give you more information to keep the conversation going. It lists common questions children have about their parents bipolar disorder, as well as suggestions for how to answer their questions.;
Questions kids have
What is bipolar disorder? How does bipolar disorder work?
Why does my dad act the way he does? How does it feel to have bipolar disorder? What goes on in my moms head when shes not herself?
What does a low mood, or depression, mean? What does it look like?
What does a high mood, or mania, mean? What does it look like?
How will bipolar disorder affect me? How will it affect my family?
How can my mom or dad get better?
When To Seek Help
Children and adolescents with bipolar disorder experience severe mood and behavior changes that are extreme and represent a major change from their typical mood and behavior. It might be difficult to know when the symptoms are severe enough to warrant evaluation and, potentially, diagnosis, so consider these three basic factors: functioning, feeling, and family.
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Bipolar Disorder: What Causes Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that results in extreme changes of mood, energy and ability to function. Although research has improved our understanding of why someone might develop bipolar disorder, the exact cause is still not known.
Scientists believe that bipolar disorder is the result of a complicated relationship between genetic and environmental factors. Research suggests that a person is born with a “vulnerability” to bipolar illness, which means that they are more prone to developing the disorder. However, this is not the only factor in determining whether a person will become ill. Environmental factors such as stressful life events also appear to play a role in that they can lead to the onset of the illness or “trigger” a relapse of symptoms.
Family, twin and adoption studies show that bipolar disorder can run in families although not everyone with a family history will develop this disorder. People who have first-degree relatives with a mood disorder are more likely to have a mood disorder. For example, a person with one parent who has bipolar has a 15 to 30% risk for developing the disorder.
It is important to remember that what is stressful to one person may not be stressful to another.
A person’s coping skills or their “resiliency” will also impact on how stressful the event is to that person.
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Symptoms That Lead To A Diagnosis
If youre suffering from any kind of mental health disorder, its important that you identify and understand your symptoms in order for our doctors to correctly diagnose you. Bipolar disorder consists of both manic and depressive episodes that create an unstable mood.;
Mania can be extreme changes in mood, or you can have hypomania which is typically less severe. Symptoms of mania include:
Difficulty sleeping Extreme energy Increased self-esteem Difficulty concentrating Racing thoughts
On the opposite end of the spectrum, depression can change your emotional highs to hopeless lows. If you have bipolar disorder with depression, symptoms you may experience include:
Fatigue Sadness Decreased energy Overeating or loss of appetite Suicidal thoughts
Our team at Boston MindCare take a detailed history to decipher your symptoms and give you a definitive diagnosis. With that, we can also form a customized treatment plan for you.
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Can Environmental Stress Increase The Risk Of Bipolar Disorder
People are sometimes diagnosed with bipolar following a stressful or traumatic event in their lives. These environmental triggers can include seasonal changes, holidays, and major life changes such as starting a new job, losing a job, going to college, family disagreements, , or a death in the family. Stress, in and of itself, does not cause bipolar disorder , but in people with the biological vulnerability to bipolar disorder, having effective skills for managing life stresses can be critical to a healthy lifestyle in order to avoid things that can aggravate the illness .
Bipolar Runs In My Family I Think I Might Have It Can It Skip A Generation Do I Have It
My grandma had bipolar and my 2 uncles have bipolar.
Ive had depression/anxiety most of my life. I go through periods and highs and lows daily. Ive tried anxiety and depression meds once and those triggered bad thoughts and I have never wanted to go back to meds.
Ive also had insomnia most of my life. I can go days without sleep and have gone the last 3 months with averaging 2-4 hours of sleep. I cant shut my brain off and have loads of energy. I also have adhd.
One thing my uncles get is they get such highs that they feel like they can rule the world. I have never seen this side of them but my mom says they are both on meds. I have highs, but Im generally realistic. I do have gambling problems, but I dont bet more then I can afford to lose. I also binge eat. My depression gets bad where i just stay isolated but never thoughts of self harm.
My mom 100% does not have bipolar. So if I did, it would skip a generation? Can that be possible?
With my Depression/Anxiety/ADHD and insomnia, coupled with family history, I am a little worried. I defiantly do not have extreme highs like my uncles. Does this sound like bipolar?
I will be seeing a psychiatrist hopefully in a month regarding my insomnia and I will bring up bipolar. So I gonna get seen. Just wanted thoughts.
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Bipolar As A Common Complex Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a complex and multifactorial disorder. The heritability of bipolar disorder based on concordance rates for bipolar disorder in twin studies has been estimated to be between 60% and 80%. Slightly lower estimates of genetic risk have been suggested based on family studies and large population cohorts. Even though this evidence for genetic risk factors is convincing, most clinicians would agree that a positive family history of bipolar disorder is actually not very common in everyday clinical practice. In fact, it is quite rare to find families in which bipolar disorder affects multiple members over several generations, as would be expected for a monogenic Mendelian disorder. Many patients are isolated cases. In addition to genetic risk factors, nongenetic risk factors might contribute to the manifestation of bipolar disorder, as well, such as alcohol and drug dependence or physical and sexual abuse. It has been well established that environmental and social risk factors play a significant role in schizophrenia. A similar picture might evolve in bipolar disorder, as well.
What Does It Feel Like To Have Bipolar Disorder
There are times when you feel terrific and productive when you are manic, like you can do anything. But you can also feel out of control with racing thoughts and unable to concentrate long enough to accomplish something. When in a depressed episode, you can feel sad, uninterested in anything, and really low like something terrible must have happened but nothing did.
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What Causes Mental Illness To Run In Families
We do not fully understand what causes mental illness. Or why it can be passed on in families.
When a condition is passed on in families through genes, it is called hereditary.
As the table above shows, the chances of developing a mental illness could depend on you and your relatives genes.
It does seem that mental illness can be hereditary. But we do not fully understand how this works. Mental illness may be passed on in family members for different reasons, not just genes.
John is an identical twin. This means he and his brother Sam have the exact same genes. This is why they look the same. John has depression, but his brother Sam has never had any mental health problems. If mental illness only had a genetic cause, then John and Sam would both have depression.
Environmental factors, like loneliness or a stressful life event, can cause mental illness. If you have a family history of mental illness you have a higher chance of developing mental illness in these situations.
This doesnt mean that you will definitely develop a mental illness. People with no family history of mental illness can develop a mental illness too.
There are different ways of looking after your mental health, which are explained more further down this page.
Similar Bipolar Genetics Different Life Experiences
My grandmother was born in the late 1920’s, and I was born in 1989. We have the same mental health condition but in two completely different generations.
In 2017, we face bipolar stigma on a daily basis. I could not imagine what it must have been like for people living with bipolar disorder, depression or anxiety in the previous generations. It saddens me to know that my grandmother never once received treatment for bipolar disorder, and I cannot blame her.
Supposedly my grandmother was a brilliant woman with a vibrant personality but because she was unmedicated, the colorful part of her was eventually covered in darkness. It is a story that reminds me to be grateful and continue fighting against stigma for the next generation.
In this video, I explore the difference between my life with bipolar 2 disorder in 2017 and my grandmother’s life with the same condition in the early to mid-1900’s.
APA ReferenceBlum, H. . Bipolar Disorder Genetics: From My Grandmother to Me, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, September 17 from https://www.healthyplace.com/living-with-bipolar-blog/bipolar-disorder-genetics-from-my-grandmother-to-me
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Ological Issues In Appraising The Evidence
When appraising RCTs of maintenance treatments in BD, it should be acknowledged that follow-up rates are low-as low as 10% in some cases, with people excluded from trials after experiencing worsening of symptoms, such as recurrence of a mood episode. This limits interpretation of results, given that natural history of illness may require prolonged treatment with prophylactic medication before beneficial effects may be seen. A related issue is the detection of effects on depression episodes-inclusion criteria for trials is an initial episode of mania and given that initial polarity may predict future episode polarity, the ability to detect effects on depression may be affected, as a result of inadequate statistical power . As above, most trials of antipsychotics adopt an enriched design, where participants are stabilized on the antipsychotic before randomisation, i.e. preferentially choosing responders-though this probably reflects clinical practice. It is worth bearing in mind that those taking part in these studies have generally had poor responses to lithium or valproate . Observational studies are notoriously difficult to interpret, given the effects of confounding factors, and selection bias. It may therefore be helpful to examine aetiological mechanisms and the biology of treatment response.
Alternative Options For Classifying Bipolar Disorder
The proper classification of mood disorders in general, and in particular, bipolar disorder has been a longstanding conundrum. As is currently the case, in the absence of the basic scientific data that would allow a more biologically based classification system, interested observers can only suggest improvements on our current, somewhat arbitrary system. With that caveat, there may be other methods of classifying bipolar disorder.
An example of an alternate method of classifying bipolar disorder utilizes predominant polarity as the central factor, initially described by Angst and revisited and updated more recently by others . Predominant polarity reflects the relative number and severity of manic vs. depressive episodes within individual patients, defined by at least twice as many episodes of one pole vs. the other . Patients may be mania predominant, depression predominant or neither, when neither pole dominates the clinical course. Rates of PP differ markedly across different populations but, in general, depressive PP patients outnumber manic PP patients .
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Other Bipolar Disorder Treatment
Most patients respond very well to medication and various psychotherapies but there are some outliers who dont respond as well, points out Dr. Narasimhan. In this case, you may want to explore other options.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Medication-resistant patients can benefit from other treatments such as;Transcranial magnetic stimulation . This non-invasive treatment works by using magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain and improve depressive symptoms. The treatment delivers repetitive magnetic pulses via an electromagnetic coil placed against your scalp. Though the mechanism for how it works isnt well understood, its thought to impact how the brain works, which in turn can alleviate depressive episodes. TMS is well tolerated, doesnt include much downtime, and has only some side effects such as headache, tingling, and lightheadedness. There are some rare side effects such as seizure and hearing loss.
Lifestyle and Integrative Treatments
Generation To Generation Family Members Observe And Reflect On Patterns Of Bipolar
For some families, bipolar disorder runs through the generations as invariably as freckles or cleft chins appear in other family trees. Even so, looking for your familys source of bipolar disorder can be a little like searching for the headwaters of the Nile. You start backtracking through the generations and suddenly realize that the quirky behavior you once brushed aside as your grandmothers eccentricity was really a signpost.
If only you had recognized her outlandishness or rage for what it wasthe genetic source of your own bipolar disorder. You might have been more tolerant of her. Perhaps you wouldnt have distanced yourself so much. At the very least, you might have asked some questions.
Unfortunately, many people never think to connect the dots in their familys history of wellness until the day a family member is diagnosed with bipolar. Suddenly, it hits like a ton of brickseverything falls into place. As one mother describes it, it wasnt until her son was diagnosed that she recognized her own illness. Oh my gosh, thats whats the matter with me!
This experience was related in one way or another by several individuals interviewed for this story. Jolted by the diagnosis of a child or a grandchild, an older family member may reluctantly acknowledge the symptoms as his or her own. Sometimes, it comes as a bolt of self-recognition; other times, its a case of reluctant consent, a muttered admission, Yes, thats me.
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Subtypes Of Bipolar Disorder
One of the principles that can be used to increase the power to detect genes involved in complex diseases is to focus investigation on specific phenotypic subtypes known or thought to represent more genetically homogeneous forms of the disorder. A number of such potentially useful subtypes are known in bipolar disorder and researchers are beginning to take an interest in these.
Bipolar Disorder In Women And During Pregnancy
Women and people with bipolar II disorder are significantly more likely to experience periods of rapid cycling than men with the same condition.;Other research findings indicate that women with bipolar disorder may have more depressive episodes and more mixed episodes than do men with the illness.
Pregnancy and the postpartum period can exacerbate bipolar disorder symptoms. The body goes through so many hormonal changes and women who already have an underlying bipolar disorder can have their symptoms exacerbated by these changes, explains Dr. Narasimhan. Crazy enough, sometimes women who dont have bipolar disorders can develop one in the postpartum period. Called postpartum bipolar onset, the mood disorder may resolve itself after the postpartum period or it can sometimes remain.
The general consensus is that when theres severe mental illness, and someone gets pregnant, its not the time to take them off medication, Dr. Narasimhan says. That said, you have to have an honest discussion and know which medications have some risk during pregnancy and which can affect the fetus, she says. Oftentimes the risk of not being on medication is worse than the risk of stopping the medication. Dr. Narasimhan also says she has plenty of patients who dont want to take their medication during pregnancy, and for these patients, they weigh the risks and benefits carefully.
What Is Bipolar Disorder
Like the name suggests, bipolar disorder is marked by polar opposite mood swingsat one point, you feel like you can conquer anything; at another, you can barely get your butt out of bed. Once called manic depression, bipolar disorder affects up to 5.7 million adults. It impacts both men and women equally and the typical onset of symptoms usually occurs between ages 15-25. Of course, those years are notoriously emotional onesfirst loves, college, new careers! Throw wonky energy levels into the mix, and, oof, things just got more complicated. After all, how hard is it to plan your schedule or navigate your life when you dont know which you youre getting that week?
Like many mental disorders, bipolar illness is genetic and tends to run in families, meaning oftentimes, one or more family members also have a form of bipolar disorder.