Learning Center Articles

Predisposing Factors Bipolar Disorders

Predisposing Factors

  • Biological theories
    • Genetics
      • Twin and family studies
      • Other genetic studies
    • Biochemical influences
      • Possible excess of norepinephrine and dopamine
    • Physiological influences
      • Brain lesions
      • Enlarged ventricles
      • Medication side effects
  • Psychosocial theories
    • Credibility of psychosocial theories has declined in recent years.
    • Bipolar disorder is viewed as a disease of the brain.

Developmental implications: Childhood and Adolescence

  • Lifetime prevalence of pediatric and adolescent bipolar disorders is estimated at about 1%.
  • Diagnosis is difficult.
  • Treatment strategies
    • Psychopharmacology
      • Lithium
      • Divalproex
      • Carbamazepine
      • Atypical antipsychotics
    • Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (A D H D) is the most common comorbid condition.
    • A D H D agents may exacerbate mania and should be administered only after bipolar symptoms have been controlled.
    • Family interventions
      • Psychoeducation about bipolar disorder
      • Communication training
      • Problem-solving skills training