Bipolar Affective Disorder: What Causes and How to Identify?

Expert answer:

The causes of bipolar affective disorder are not fully understood. However, it is known that the origin of the disorder is associated with genetic factors, changes in some regions of the brain, and variations in levels of neurotransmitters which transmit the brain impulses.

It is also known that some conditions may favor the development of bipolar disorder, such as constant bouts of depression or that have started very early, postpartum, prolonged periods of stress, use of appetite suppressant medications, hyperthyroidism, and hypothyroidism.

Bipolar affective disorder Type I

This type of bipolar disorder alternates phases of mania, which last at least one week, with periods of sadness and depression which can last from 14 days to several months.

The phases of mania and depression are marked by intense symptoms, with great changes in the attitudes and behavior of the person, damaging personal, affective, family, professional relationships and sometimes their own financial condition.

In more severe cases of bipolar affective disorder, it may be necessary to hospitalize the person due to the high risk of suicide and the occurrence of other psychiatric disorders.

Bipolar Affective Disorder Type II

The signs and symptoms of type II bipolar disorder are characterized by the alternation between mild periods of euphoria, excitement, optimism and even aggression (hypomania) followed by a phase of depression.

However, the symptoms of this type of bipolar affective disorder do not lighter and do not interfere to the point of compromising the individual's behavior and life.

The psychiatrist is the specialist responsible for diagnosing and guiding the most appropriate treatment for bipolar disorder.

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