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Even slight imbalances in brain biochemistry can cause mental illness, and it really depends on the individual with how severe it may become. Bipolar disorder is also called manic depression, and it is characterized by extreme highs and lows with a person’s mood and outlook. What makes it very different from clinical depression is that at times the person is very up with their mood but then they turn back to being down and bleak. This leads to asking how does bipolar disorder develop, and the first thing to know is when most people will be diagnosed with it.
That is in late adolescence or early adulthood, and it occurs equally between men and women. Imbalances in neurotransmitters in the brain can become more pronounced in the years after a brain is fully or near fully developed. People tend to have a genetic predisposition for the type that causes bipolar disorder, and there is Bipolar 1 and Bipolar 2. You can make the case that Bipolar 1 is worse than Bipolar 2 because the first type will usually have the person with extreme mania (up) periods that can last a week and be so severe that medical care is needed.
Bipolar disorder can come on later for women, and they most commonly get Bipolar 2. That’s another part of how does bipolar disorder develop and a person’s progression with it may be furthered by seasonal depression, anxiety disorder, or obsessive-compulsive disorder. A big part of the risk with Bipolar 1 is that persons are prone to engage in bipolar disorder risky behavior when they are in a manic period.
The next part of how does bipolar disorder develop is that most people will begin to have early symptoms that can be experienced before the intense mania / depression periods begin to occur regularly. Often times this can be related to how well a person is sleeping, and if they are sleeping enough. Increased energy and less need for sleep are common symptoms of bipolar mania episodes but this also can be a precursor indicator for someone who may be developing bipolar disorder.
This can be especially true if you stay asleep fine once you are asleep, but you have trouble getting to sleep in the first place. That’s initial insomnia. Oppositely, if you have hypersomnia and are compelled to sleep much more than you should be then this can also be an indicator for bipolar along with how does bipolar disorder develop. Others may ask can someone develop bipolar because of drugs, but this is not part of how does bipolar disorder develop.
Drug use and excess alcohol consumption can worsen manic episodes, and long term chronic substance use can make you more susceptible to mental health disorders of all types as you get older. Studies have shown that the brains of people with bipolar disorder (including both Bipolar I and Bipolar II disorders) are at times structurally irregular. Researchers have yet to determine exactly how these irregularities contribute to increasing a person’s chances of becoming bipolar.