Bi-polar Disorder – Article Example

Contemporary Theory about the Causes of Bi-Polar Disorder Contemporary Theory about the Causes of Bi-Polar Disorder Generally speaking, the exact cause of bipolar disorder also known as manic depression has not yet been established. However, there is wide scientific study indicating a chemical imbalance in the brain as the main trigger of the disorder. As to what triggers the imbalance in the brain, Stricker and Widiger (2003) reveal a number of variable theories revolving around environmental and hereditary triggers that have been put forward.
Scientists argue that bi-polar disorder is hereditary and can be inherited in a family. They argue that an individual is more likely to suffer from bi-polar disorder in case one of his immediate family members has the disorder (Riedel, Heiby, and Kopetskie, 2001). This theory suggests that close family relations like twin siblings, parents and children of patients have a high probability of inheriting the disease. Despite the study not showing the exact role of genetics in triggering the disorder, researchers believe the imbalance in the levels of dopamine and serotonin in some individuals is associated with the bi-polar disorder.
The other theory has linked manic depression to brain makeup. Research has indicated that an individual suffering from manic depression has slightly different brain composition compared to a normal person. This theory suggests that there exist two vital brain areas in these patients with high concentration of signal-transmitting cells which relay information to other parts of the brain. The theory indicates that the excess of these cells may lead to over stimulation of the brain leading to manic depression (Riedel, Heiby, and Kopetskie, 2001).
The other theory is based on environmental factors as the main cause of manic depression. This theory suggests that persons living a stressful life are more likely to suffer from manic depression than those living comfortable life. Scientists believe that stress is a potent initiator of factors that trigger the disease (Stricker and Widiger, 2003). The theory also suggests that quality of life and spouse support also affects the outcome, since more negative attitude towards a patient increases the likelihood of relapse of the disorder.
What certainly surprised me is that the exact cause of the disease has not yet been ascertained despite the fact that many people are vulnerable to the disease. The question that was left unanswered from the review regards the characteristics and number of people exhibiting bi-polar episodes express irritability.
Riedel, P. R., Heiby, E. M., & Kopetskie, S. (2001). Psychological behaviorism theory of bipolar disorder. The Psychological record, 51, 507-532.
Stricker, G., & Widiger, T. A. (2003). Handbook of psychology, clinical psychology. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.