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Risk Factors of Bipolar Depression

Depression is the disorder, which makes one feel disappointed and displeased in everything he does. To make things even worse, depression has many forms and types, and bipolar depression is one of them. This mental disorder has long been known to doctors as the manic-depressive illness, because this is a condition, which combines the characteristic features of major depression and the manic illnesses. So, a person suffering from bipolar depression usually has the phases of depression in his life, which alternate with the manic periods.

As most of the human health disorders, bipolar depression is characterized with certain risk factors, knowing which may throw some light upon the understanding of this disorder, its causes, and even help people reduce the frequency or severity of the recurrences.

The modern researchers define genes, winter birth, urban birth, as well as certain social and environmental issues as the risk factors, contributing to the development of bipolar depression.

Genes are what we receive from our parents. Predisposition to many serious illnesses, and, especially, mental disorders is coded in our genes. For the time being, scientists consider genetic risk factor so important in developing bipolar depression, that it is still discussable whether it is a risk factor or a direct cause of the disorder. It is a pity, but for the time being we cannot change or fix the genes effectively to prevent the development of the diseases, but scientists do work hard in that direction.

Speaking about physical and psychological risk factors scientists usually mean certain mental disorders, like insanity, psychological instability of a person, or head injuries, received in childhood or within 5 years of onset.

Different social issues may also contribute to the development of bipolar depression. Wars, ecological catastrophes, terrorism, violence, and other events or situations, which disturb the normal way of everyday person’s life, may be considered to be risk factors for the development of bipolar depression. By the way, some scholars say that even social class may pay a role in manic-depressive illness. Their statements are based on some researches which showed that people from upper social class are more prone to bipolar depression.

Pregnancy and birth complication is the next risk factor for bipolar depression. Though its association with the illness is considered to be moderate, some of the clinical studies found out that the number of depressed people is larger among those who were born with some complications in comparison to those people born normally without any birth complications.

Winter birth is, perhaps, the most surprising risk factor for bipolar depression. However, it is true that persons, who were born in winter, suffer from bipolar depression more often than those born during the other seasons of the year. One of the studies, conducted in the USA, showed a 5-6 percent increase of the manic-depressive cases among those people, who were born during December, January, February and March. Perhaps, such association is caused by some influence of the Nature on the human organism that we cannot understand for the time being. Anyway, the condition may develop invisibly and the first vivid symptoms of the bipolar depression may appear later in life.

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To sum it all up, it should be noted that bipolar depression as a separate disorder was identified at the beginning of the 20th century. Since than scientists do their best to understand the condition and find safe and effective treatment options. However, the success of the treatment cannot be guaranteed by medications use only. Personal involvement is extremely important for treating any mental disorder, including bipolar depression. Hopefully, some of the basic risk factors, described above, will be of help for those, who are trying to overcome the problem through understanding it.       


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