Factors that may increase the risk of developing bipolar disorder include:
- Having blood relatives such as a parent or sibling with bipolar disorder
- Periods of high stress
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Major life changes, such as the death of a loved one
- Being in your early 20s
Conditions that commonly occur with bipolar disorder
If you have bipolar disorder, you may also have another health condition that's diagnosed before or after your diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Such conditions need to be diagnosed and treated because they may worsen existing bipolar disorder. They include:
Jan. 18, 2012
- Anxiety disorders. Examples include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social phobia and generalized anxiety disorder.
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ADHD has symptoms that overlap with bipolar disorder. For this reason, bipolar disorder can be difficult to differentiate from ADHD. Sometimes one is mistaken for the other. In some cases, a person may be diagnosed with both conditions.
- Addiction or substance abuse. Many people with bipolar disorder also have alcohol, tobacco or drug problems. Drugs or alcohol may seem to ease symptoms, but they can actually trigger, prolong or worsen depression or mania.
- Physical health problems. People diagnosed with bipolar disorder are more likely to have certain other health problems, including heart disease, thyroid problems and obesity.
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- Bipolar disorders. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/psychiatric_disorders/mood_disorders/bipolar_disorders.html#v1028598. Accessed Nov. 2, 2011.
- Mood disorders. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR. 4th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2000. http://www.psychiatryonline.com. Accessed Nov. 3, 2011.
- Practice parameter for the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with bipolar disorder. Washington, D.C.: American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. http://www.aacap.org/cs/root/member_information/practice_information/practice_parameters/practice_parameters. Accessed Nov. 2, 2011.
- Joska JA. Mood disorders. In: Hales RE, et al. The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry. 5th ed. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Publishing; 2008. http://www.psychiatryonline.com/pracGuide/pracGuideChapToc_8.aspx. Accessed Nov. 3, 2011.
- Martinez M, et al. Psychopharmacology. In: Hales RE, et al. The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry. 5th ed. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Publishing; 2008. http://www.psychiatryonline.com/content.aspx?aID=320111. Accessed Nov. 3, 2011.
- Post RM. Bipolar disorder in adults: Maintenance treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Nov. 2, 2011.
- Andreescu C, et al. Complementary and alternative medicine in the treatment of bipolar disorder: A review of the evidence. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2008;110:16.
- Sarris J, et al. Bipolar disorder and complementary medicine: Current evidence, safety issues, and clinical considerations. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2011;17:881.
- Hall-Flavin DK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 8, 2011.
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