Bipolar disorder commonly runs in families: 80 to 90 percent of individuals with bipolar disorder have a relative with bipolar disorder or depression. Environmental factors such as stress, sleep disruption, and drugs and alcohol may trigger mood episodes in vulnerable people.
Bipolar disorder is more common in people who have a first-degree relative, such as a sibling or parent, with the condition.
A stressful circumstance or situation often triggers the symptoms of bipolar disorder. Examples of stressful triggers include: the breakdown of a relationship. physical, sexual or emotional abuse.
The exact cause of bipolar disorder is unknown, although it's believed a number of things can trigger an episode. Extreme stress, overwhelming problems and life-changing events are thought to contribute, as well as genetic and chemical factors.
No two people with bipolar disorder share the same thoughts or experiences, but there are some common thought patterns among most folks who have it. This includes cyclical thinking, manic and/or depressive episodes, suicidal ideation, and psychosis.
Bipolar I disorder is defined by manic episodes that last for at least 7 days (nearly every day for most of the day) or by manic symptoms that are so severe that the person needs immediate medical care. Usually, depressive episodes occur as well, typically lasting at least 2 weeks.
So no, not everyone who has bipolar disorder knows they have it. There are lots of reasons why someone with bipolar disorder might not realize it—or why they might deny having it even if they do.
Grandiosity and overconfidence. Easy tearfulness, frequent sadness. Needing little sleep to feel rested. Uncharacteristic impulsive behavior.
Bipolar disorder often runs in families, and research suggests this is mostly explained by heredity—people with certain genes are more likely to develop bipolar disorder than others. Many genes are involved, and no one gene can cause the disorder.
Bipolar affects men and women roughly equally, but those between the ages of 18 and 34 are most heavily affected at around 4.7% of the population. This drops off by age 60, at which point less than 1% of the population demonstrated diagnosable signs.
Unless their condition is causing noticeable dysfunction that makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, it's perfectly okay to date someone with bipolar disorder I or II. Every person you date is likely to have different strengths and needs. That same logic goes for people with mental health conditions.
A “bipolar meltdown” is, much like “bipolar anger,” a very stigmatizing phrase, and not something that really exists. The phrase “bipolar meltdown” could refer to a bipolar person having a manic episode or being in a depressed state.
Bipolar disorder can cause a lack of empathy, but symptoms may also make it more challenging to focus on the feelings of others. While there is no medication to improve empathy, treating bipolar disorder can help. Introspection, guided emotional learning, and observing emotions in others may also help build empathy.
People with bipolar experience both episodes of severe depression and episodes of mania – overwhelming joy, excitement or happiness, huge energy, a reduced need for sleep, and reduced inhibitions. The experience of bipolar is uniquely personal. No two people have exactly the same experience.
Sometimes bipolar symptoms start in childhood or later in life. However, the most frequent range of onset is between the ages of 14 to 21 years. Childhood bipolar is relatively rare, with only up to 3% of children receiving this diagnosis.
The average age someone will receive a bipolar diagnosis is 25. Symptoms of bipolar I typically first appear between the ages of 12 and 24. Bipolar II symptoms tend to appear later, between the ages of 18-29. People can go years without a bipolar diagnosis but still experience bipolar signs and symptoms.