Bipolar Disorder - Causes and Risks

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What are bipolar disorder causes and risk factors?

One frequently asked question about bipolar disorder is if it is hereditary. As with most other mental disorders, bipolar disorder is not directly passed from one generation to another genetically. Rather, it is the result of a complex group of genetic, psychological, and environmental factors. Genetically, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia have much in common, in that the two disorders share a number of the same risk genes. However, both illnesses also have some genetic factors that are unique.

Stress has been found to be a significant contributor to the development of most mental illnesses, including bipolar disorder. For example, gay, lesbian, and bisexual people are thought to experience increased emotional struggles associated with the multiple social stressors that are linked to coping with reactions to their homosexuality or bisexuality in society.

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Comment from: kimcon22000, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: February 10

I am a mental health therapist who has suffered from depression since I was a child. In 1973, there were no bipolar or manic depressive disorders. So I was prescribed Ritalin and diagnosed as ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). My mother said it helped greatly in my behaviors and concentration span. In my early 20s I was diagnosed as depressed and took (and still take) 200 mg of sertraline daily. This is what is strange; last year I was diagnosed as bipolar. Against current medical literature, my depression manifested itself into bipolar disorder. I have been on clonazepam 3, trazodone, Zoloft and oxcarbazepine 3 daily. This cocktail has worked minimally and now I will throw Seroquel into the mix. I'd love to try Abilify as to what I have read from others, yet the expense! I may have to. Good luck to all and never give up.

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