Bipolar disorder - Causes
What causes bipolar disorder?
The cause of bipolar disorder is not completely clear. It seems that a combination of different things can increase your chances of developing bipolar disorder.
If someone in your immediate family (parents, brother or sister) has bipolar disorder, you are five to ten times more likely to develop bipolar disorder than someone who has no family history.
Researchers have not found any exact genes that cause bipolar disorder. Different genes have been linked to the development of bipolar disorder.
You can find more information about ‘‘Does mental illness run in families?’ here.
If you have bipolar disorder, you may have uneven levels of particular brain chemicals. Different chemicals affect your mood and behaviour and could make you develop mania or depression.
Environmental and social factors
Life events can trigger symptoms of bipolar disorder. Stressful or distressing events, such as childhood abuse, can increase your chances of developing depressive episodes. Too much stress can trigger symptoms of bipolar disorder.
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