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Bipolar Disorder Health Center

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Bipolar Disorder - What Increases Your Risk

Bipolar disorder can be passed down through families. If anyone in your family has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, your risk of having it is higher.

Some things can increase your risk of a manic episode or depression. These include:

Recommended Related to Bipolar Disorder

Understanding Bipolar Disorder: The Basics

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depressive illness, is a serious, double-edged mental illness. In contrast to the sustained bleakness of major depression (technically called unipolar disorder when episodes only involve major depression and no manic or hypomanic periods), bipolar disorder is characterized by cyclical periods of high energy and elation and then low energy and despair. The pattern of the mood alternations varies widely among those with the disorder. In some people, years of...

Read the Understanding Bipolar Disorder: The Basics article > >

  • Changes in sleep or daily routines.
  • Antidepressant medicine. This can happen if you haven't been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and are seeking treatment for depression.
  • Stressful events.
  • Quitting your medicine for bipolar disorder. Even if you're feeling better, it's important to take your medicines as prescribed.

Alcohol or drug use or abuse puts you at a high risk for having a relapse of mood disturbances.5

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    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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