Bipolar Disorder

Gillian Kayo

What is "Bipolar Disorder"?

Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder causing the person who has it to experience unusual fluctuations in their emotions. This person could be super "manic" (elevated mood), or they can be very depressed at the start, but then immediately shift to the opposite emotion.

What can cause Bipolar disorder?

Three of the many factors contributing to the cause of Bipolar disorder are genetics, environment, and brain structure.

Genetics: Bipolar disorder can be inherited from a close relative, it often is passed down from parent to child. If it is in the genes, it can be inherited.

Environment: Hardships in life can cause Bipolar disorder. If someone is involved in a stressful life event, such as the loss of a loved one, difficulty in relationships, or any other major changes, it could lead to Bipolar disorder.

Brain Structure: Though Bipolar disorder can not be detected through a brain scan, an FMRI or a PET could show the differences in brain activity between a normal brain and the brain of someone with Bipolar Disorder.

What are the types of Bipolar disorder?

There are three types of Bipolar disorder: Bipolar I, Bipolar II, and Cyclothymia.

Bipolar I: This is the most severe form of the disorder. To get diagnosed with this form, the person would have had multiple manic episodes (lots of energy, it could be good with productivity, but also bad with the violence). A depressive episode does not necessarily happen, however if it does that would lead to a mixed episode.

Bipolar II: A subset of Bipolar I. The patient would experience depressive episodes with hypomanic episodes (less aggressive than manic).

Cyclothymia: A chronically unstable mood state. These people experience mild depression and hypomanic episodes that last for more than two years.

*Unlike normal diagnosis processes, Bipolar disorder requires physical examinations, lab tests, and interviews.

**Getting a diagnosis may seem scary, but do not be afraid to ask for help!

How do I know if I have Bipolar disorder?

Symptoms of Bipolar disorder include:

  • Elevated or Depressed Mood
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Elevated Activity
  • Sleeplessness
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Intense Mood Shifts
  • Psychotic Acts

Is there a cure for Bipolar disorder?

The severe cases of Bipolar disorder can be treated but it is very poor in curing the disorder. These patients will most likely be on their medication for much of their lives. However, the less sever cases can treat and cure the patient of their illness.


Works Cited

Works Cited

Aleem, Ashley, B.A., et al. Healthy Living with Bipolar Disorder. San Diego: IBPF, 2014. Print.

Bipolar Disorder (Manic-Depression). AllPsych, 2014. Web. 17 Dec. 2014. <>.

Bipolar Disorder Statistics. DBSA, 2000. Web. 17 Dec. 2014. <>.

Case Report of a Patient with Bipolar Disorder. N.p., 2012. Web. 17 Dec. 2014. <>.

Manic Depressive (Bipolar) Disorder in an Adult Woman. Potomac Psychiatry, 2014. Web. 17 Dec. 2014. <>.

Symptoms, Causes, and Diagnosis. MyNAMI, 1996-2014. Web. 17 Dec. 2014. <,_Causes_and_Diagnosis.htm>.

Thakkar, Vatsal G. Depression and Bipolar Disorder. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2006. Print.