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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

Am I Bipolar?

No one's mood is stable 100% of the time. It's normal to feel down when you hit a rough patch and elated when life goes your way. But if you have bipolar disorder, the highs and lows are a lot more extreme, and they can sometimes seem random. The good news is that with treatment and some hard work, you can control the impact this disease has on your life.

Read the Am I Bipolar? article > >

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

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    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.
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