Learn about the causes of Bipolar Disorder & find a practitioner in Auckland, Hamilton, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin to help you overcome Bipolar Disorder within New Zealand.
Bipolar disorder is a condition affecting moods. Sufferers of Bipolar disorder experience cycles of extreme mood swings from depression (feeling low) to mania (feeling very high). Extremes can last a period of weeks interspersed with long periods of calm. Depressive episodes can have symptoms of reduced concentration, hopelessness, withdrawal, suicidal thoughts and loss of sleep and appetite. Episodes of mania are euphoric with periods of excessive spending, eating, creativity and activity.
Causes of bipolar disorder
The cause of bipolar disorder is unclear but the condition is thought
to be triggered by genetic, environmental and social factors. 10 to 15
per cent of the close relatives of people with the condition also have
While stress can trigger periods of depression and episodes of mania in a bipolar sufferer, it is not the cause of the condition. Physical and emotional problems as well as overwhelming thoughts or problems faced in day-to-day life (such as finances, work and relationships) can also trigger episodes of mania or periods of depression.
Bipolar disorder causes changes to the chemicals in the brain (known as neurotransmitters) and understanding how this affects bipolar sufferers may be the key to treating the condition.
Symptoms of bipolar disorder
A severe change in mood is the main symptom of bipolar disorder and
this can range of mania (extreme highs or happiness) to depression
(extreme lows or sadness). Episodes can last for days or weeks and in
some cases involve rapid cycling whereby the mood swings from high to
low very quickly with no state of normality in between.
During episodes of mania (highs) the symptoms can involve:
Diagnosis of bipolar disorder
If you, or someone close to you, suspects bipolar disorder then a visit
to a GP is essential so you can be referred to a mental health
specialist such as a psychiatrist. The specialist will assess your
condition by questioning you about your symptoms, thoughts and feelings.
They will ask about any family history of mental health issues or if a close relative suffers with bipolar. If this is the case, the specialist may need to talk with them but only with your agreement.
You may also need to take some tests to determine if there are any physical problems such as thyroid disease. Medication to treat bipolar disorder may cause certain side effects such as weight gain so it's important to regularly visit your GP who will monitor your overall health.