This example is a reality that many face today. The neurobiological disorder known as Bipolar Disorder affects about 2.6 % of the U.S. population, approximately 5.5 million American adults, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. In addition, The Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation estimates that at least three quarters of a million American children and teens may suffer from bipolar disorder. The numbers are great, but what is even more shocking is that the cases of Bipolar Disorder seem to be on the rise. When researchers looked at the number of bipolar disorder diagnoses in 1994-1995 and 2002-2003 in the U.S., they found that the number of diagnoses increased 40-fold for children and nearly doubled for adults from the first time period to the second. Still, many adolescents are not diagnosed. It is more difficult to diagnose in children due to children naturally have more erratic changes in mood, behav...
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...o hard evidence at what causes Bipolar Disorder, but experts have found possible internal and external risk factors.
Genetics is the number one risk factor. More than two-thirds of people with bipolar disorder have at least one close relative with the disorder or with non-Bipolar related major depression. This indicates that Bipolar Disorder has a heritable component. Bipolar disorder is more likely to affect the children of parents who have the disorder. When one parent has Bipolar Disorder, the risk to each child is l5% to 30%. When both parents have bipolar disorder, the risk increases to 50% to 75%.
Other risk factors include internal issues like neurotransmitter imbalances, abnormal thyroid function, circadian rhythm disturbances, and high levels of cortisol. Some external risk factors are stress, substance abuse, medication, seasonal changes, sleep deprivation
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