There are a number of known risk factors that increase your likelihood of manifesting bipolarity, including certain genetic markers and the prevalence of diseases such as thyroid disorders and Parkinson's syndrome. However, there are are almost certainly additional additional risk factors that scientists have not yet isolated. Research that examines the medical and personal histories of bipolar patients for commonalities would be useful in allowing doctors to make earlier diagnoses and possibly offer some hint as to the causes of the disease.
Reasons for Increase in Childhood Bipolarity
In recent years, there has been a rise in diagnosed cases of childhood adolescent bipolarity. Scientists are as yet unsure of the reasons for this increase. Although the recorded number of cases may have simply risen as a result of increased awareness of the disease, which in turn led to an increase in the prevalence of diagnoses, the rise in the number of children suffering from bipolarity may in fact be real. Given that the causes of bipolarity remain poorly understood, the reasons that more children are contracting it is equally mysterious.
Medications Results Comparison
People suffering from bipolarity are often prescribed medications, such as antidepressants and lithium, intended to help them control the disease. Each of these drugs has different mechanisms by which they regulate the body's functioning and check the disease, and each can cause different side effects. Although medication for bipolarity has been prescribed for several decades, there has yet to be a major study that attempts to describe which medication is most effective on which patient.
Best Practices for Therapy
In addition to medication, many patients are prescribed one or more types of psychological counseling, including cognitive behavioral therapy, in which the patient learns to change thought pattens, and family-based therapy, in which the patient's family is included. Yet, given that no scientist has developed an empirical comparison of the results from different types of therapy, much of this counseling remains educated guesswork. The study of bipolarity would benefit greatly from an establishment of "best practices" for the psychological treatment of the disease.
- sadness image by Frenk_Danielle Kaufmann from Fotolia.com