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Bipolar Disorder in Children and Teens - Cause

The cause of bipolar disorder is not well understood.

It seems to run in families. Your child is at greater risk of having bipolar disorder if a close family member such as a parent, grandparent, brother, or sister has it.

Stressful or traumatic events may trigger episodes of mania or depression in a child who has bipolar disorder. While it is normal for such events to cause mood changes, these reactions are much more extreme for children with bipolar disorder.

Sometimes symptoms of mania occur as a result of another medical condition, such as an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) or multiple sclerosis. Symptoms can also develop as a side effect of some medicines, such as corticosteroids or antidepressants. Using drugs or alcohol, consuming too much caffeine, or not getting enough sleep can also trigger a manic episode.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 10, 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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