When it comes to the mental illness of bipolar disorder, there are no definitive answers as to exactly what causes it; however, bipolar disorder is biological as it affects a certain part of the brain where the neurotransmitters or the chemical messengers of the brain -which include serotonin and norepinephrine-, experience some type of malfunction.
Researchers believe that some individuals may be genetically predisposed to manic depression which may lie dormant early on in life and suddenly activate on its own or become triggered by outside stress or environmental factors.
Genetic Risk Factors of Bipolar Disorder
Researchers believe that genetics may play a large roll in manic depression as it is tends to run in families and it is estimated that about fifty percent of individuals diagnosed with this disorder have a family member who has experienced a mood disorder or mental illness such as depression.
Researchers have also determined that an individual who has one parent or a non-identical twin with bipolar disorder has a twenty five percent chance of developing this illness and that these risks are even greater in identical twins.
Environmental causes which may play a Roll in Bipolar Disorder
Individuals who experience a traumatic event in their life -even if there is no history of mental illness or in their family- may have an extreme "mood episode" which is associated with the symptoms of a manic depression.
A lifestyle which involves alcohol or drug abuse could also trigger this disorder, however, alcohol or substance abuse is not considered to be a cause of bipolar disorder, but it may trigger episodes in individuals who are susceptible to having this mental illness.
Bipolar disorder may also be triggered when an individual is experiencing a lot of stress in their lives or when they are sleep deprived. There are also certain medications which are believed to trigger the symptoms of a bipolar disorder in individuals who have the risk factors for this illness. It is essential if you have any history of mental illness in your family that you tell your doctor so that this can be taken into consideration when prescribing any medications.