Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Bipolar Disorder Health Center

Font Size

Bipolar Disorder - Cause

The cause of bipolar disorder is not well understood, but evidence suggests that it runs in families.2 Your living environment and family situation may also play a role. Episodes of depression and mania may be caused by a problem with certain brain chemicals called neurotransmitters.

Antidepressant medicines can trigger a manic episode in a person who has bipolar disorder. But this may occur before the person is diagnosed, while he or she is seeking treatment for an episode of depression.

Recommended Related to Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder and Self-Injury

People with bipolar disorder, depression, and other mood disorders often have episodes when they feel extremely sad, hopeless, anxious, or confused. When these emotions get too intense, the person may struggle with how to cope with overwhelming emotions, and for some people, efforts at coping with distress may take the form of acts of self-injury. Self-injury, often including cutting, self-mutilation, or self-harm, is an injurious attempt to cope with overpowering negative emotions, such as extreme...

Read the Bipolar Disorder and Self-Injury article > >

Sleep deprivation or substance abuse, including caffeine, can cause a person with bipolar disorder to have a manic episode.

1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 03, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

bipolar overview slideshow
Article
brain food
SLIDESHOW
 
Bipolar or Schizophrenia
Article
Woman lost in thought at the beach
Article
 
Feeling Ups and Downs
HEALTH CHECK
Foods to Avoid
Article
 
Anger And Depression
Video
Bipolar or Schizo
Video
 
Women and Bipolar
Article
Bipolar Symptoms
VIDEO
 
What is Mania
Article
MRI of a human brain
Slideshow