Triggers That Set Off Mental Health Bipolar Disorder Episodes

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Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression is a brain disorder characterized by dramatic mood swings of depression and mania, which are often very abrupt.  In studies conducted regarding mental health, bipolar disorder affects males and females equally.  This disorder normally affects people in their late teens and early adolescent years and continues throughout their life, although some people develop symptoms later in life or during childhood.  According to statistics on mental health, bipolar disorder affects millions of people worldwide.

With proper treatment, even people with very severe forms of this disorder are able to attain significant stabilization of their bipolar symptoms including mood swings.  A recurrent condition, doctors strongly recommend preventative long-term, continuous medical treatment along with psychosocial treatment to keep the bipolar disorder under control.  Maintaining a daily diary charting highs and lows, treatments, life events, mood symptoms and sleep patterns is an excellent way to help patients and their families understand this condition.

Although some people are genetically more likely to have bipolar disorder, there are studies showing outside components called triggers, can also play a major part in this disorder. Triggers are able to prolong or set off a depression or mania episode, although many episodes occur without any apparent trigger.  Some outside components believed to prolong or set off bipolar disorder episodes include:

? Stress – At some point, everyone faces stress but all people are unique so deal with it in their own way.  For someone with bipolar disorder, emotional trauma or severe stress can; trigger mania or depression; extend the length of a bipolar episode; or worsen one.
? Substance Abuse – Abuse of tranquilizers and/or alcohol can activate a bipolar episode, while drugs such as ecstasy and cocaine can trigger a manic disorder.
? Seasonal – Changes in season offer trigger episodes of depression and mania.  Spring, fall and winter bring about depressive episodes whereas manic episodes occur more often during the summer months.
? Life Events – Both bad and good major life events and sudden or drastic changes such as the death of a loved one, losing your job, getting married, buying a home or starting college can trigger a bipolar episode.

It is important to educate yourself, your family and friends about bipolar disorder, including the treatment and warning signs of a bipolar episode.  Knowing the symptoms of depression and mania can aid you in getting medical help quickly.

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