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Bipolar Disorder

Updated: 3 days ago

Bipolar Disorder

The Mayo Clinic

Medical News Today


Bipolar disorder, formerly called manic depression, is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression).

Medical News Today

Bipolar disorder and the brain

Bipolar disorder affects multiple structures in the brain, as well as how the organ functions.

Experts believe that bipolar disorder is associated with the smaller size of certain regions of the brain and with changes in the brain’s chemicals. It can also cause changes in thinking and hallucinations.

In some cases, it is unknown whether changes to the brain cause bipolar disorder or result from the condition.

Vitamin Supplements for bipolar disorder

From sources across the web

GABA ~ Gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that's thought to have many health benefits, including:

  • Anxiety and stress: GABA can help counteract the body's natural fight-or-flight response to stress by relaxing the brain. Low levels of GABA are associated with anxiety disorders and chronic stress.

  • Sleep: GABA can help you relax, which may help you fall asleep faster.

  • Mood: GABA may help improve your mood.

  • Inflammation: GABA supplements may help with inflammation issues, which could help with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or other conditions that cause chronic pain. 

Other potential benefits of GABA include:

Memory enhancement, Circadian rhythm regulation, Pain perception, Anti-depression, Anti-hypertensive, and Anti-diabetes. 

GABA is generally well tolerated by healthy adults, but some people may experience side effects such as:

  • Gastric distress

  • Nausea

  • Diminished appetite

  • Constipation

  • Burning throat

  • Drowsiness and fatigue

  • Muscle weakness

  • Shortness of breath (at very high doses)

  • Fish oil ~ The benefits of fish oil seem to come from its omega-3 fatty acid content. Fish that are especially rich in these oils include mackerel, herring, tuna, and salmon. The body doesn't produce many of its own omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce pain and swelling, and also prevent the blood from clotting easily.

  • Folic acid ~ Folic acid is crucial for proper brain function and plays an important role in mental and emotional health. It aids in the production of DNA and RNA, the body's genetic material, and is especially important when cells and tissues are growing rapidly, such as in infancy, adolescence, and pregnancy.

  • Magnesium ~ Magnesium is a mineral that is essential for healthy muscles, nerves, bones and blood sugar levels. If you don't get enough magnesium in your diet over a long time, you may be at a higher risk of health problems such as heart attack, stroke, diabetes or osteoporosis.

  • Choline ~ What is choline and what does it do? Choline is a nutrient that is found in many foods. Your brain and nervous system need it to regulate memory, mood, muscle control, and other functions. You also need choline to form the membranes that surround your body's cells.

  • CoQ10 ~ Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), also known as ubiquinone or vitamin Q10, is a natural enzyme found in almost every cell in the body that helps convert food into energy and act as an antioxidant. CoQ10 may have several health benefits, including:

  • Energy CoQ10 can increase energy levels and reduce fatigue, especially during exercise.

  • Antioxidant CoQ10 can neutralize free radicals, which are damaging particles that can damage cell membranes, DNA, and even cause cell death. Scientists believe free radicals contribute to aging and other health problems, such as heart disease and cancer.

  • Immune system CoQ10 may help boost the immune system.

  • Heart health CoQ10 may help improve heart health, including reducing blood pressure and lowering LDL cholesterol levels in people with diabetes. Some research also suggests that CoQ10 may help with recovery after bypass and heart valve surgeries.

  • Melatonin ~ Melatonin may improve sleep, eye health, seasonal depression, HGH levels and GERD. Doses of 0.5–10 mg per day appear to be effective, though it's best to follow label recommendations. Melatonin is safe and associated with minimal side effects, but may interact with some medications.

  • Vitamin D ~ Together with calcium, vitamin D also helps protect older adults from osteoporosis. Vitamin D has other roles in the body, including reduction of inflammation as well as modulation of such processes as cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, and glucose metabolism.

  • B vitamins ~ B vitamins have many benefits, including:

  • Energy B vitamins help release energy from fats, proteins, and carbohydrates through metabolism.

  • Nervous system B vitamins support the nervous system and are involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters.

  • DNA and RNA B vitamins are cofactors for enzymes that help synthesize DNA and RNA.

  • Skin B vitamins can help with skin hydration, collagen production, and cell renewal. They can also help reduce acne, soften skin texture, and prevent pigmentation.

  • Heart disease B vitamins may help reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering bad cholesterol (LDL) and increasing good cholesterol (HDL).

  • Multivitamins ~ Multivitamin/minerals and Health

  • Increase nutrient intakes. ...

  • Improve health or prevent chronic disease. ...

  • Cancer. ...

  • Cardiovascular disease. ...

  • Cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. ...

  • Pregnancy and birth outcomes. ...

  • Multiple outcomes. ...

  • People who could become pregnant.

  • Taking multivitamins and keeping a healthy lifestyle can keep you energetic and fit. Certain studies have shown that daily multivitamin has positive effects on a person's mood and emotional well-being. Getting enough vitamins and minerals improves the brain functions responsible for your mood.

  • Tryptophan ~ Function. The body uses tryptophan to help make melatonin and serotonin. Melatonin helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle, and serotonin is thought to help regulate appetite, sleep, mood, and pain. The liver can also use tryptophan to produce niacin (vitamin B3), which is needed for energy metabolism and DNA production.

  • Ashwagandha ~ Overall, the studies found that ashwagandha significantly reduced stress and anxiety levels (subjectively measured by validated rating scales), reduced sleeplessness and fatigue, and reduced serum cortisol (a stress hormone) levels, compared with placebo.

  • Probiotics ~ Probiotics, in theory, fight on the side of your beneficial microbes. Many probiotic products are formulated with beneficial bacteria and yeasts for the purpose of preventing or recovering from bacterial or yeast infections in your different body parts, including: Atopic dermatitis and acne. Cavities and gum disease.

  • SAMe ~ SAMe plays a role in the immune system, maintains cell membranes, and helps produce and break down brain chemicals, such as serotonin, melatonin, and dopamine. It works with vitamin B12 and folate (vitamin B9). Being deficient in either vitamin B12 or folate may reduce levels of SAMe in your body.

15 Bible Verses on Mental Health

Mental health, stability, and clarity is a struggle for many people—including Christians. Thankfully, God gives the promise of His steady presence and sovereignty so that we can cast all of our “anxieties on Him, because He cares for [us]” (1 Peter 5:7). Through prayer, we can go to God with all of our anxiety and receive the peace of God (Philippians 4:7). Mental health may be a struggle for many, but God can provide rest and peace beyond understanding.

What Does the Bible Say About Mental Health?

“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”

“The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; And saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.”

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; And lean not unto thine own understanding.”

“Keep thy heart with all diligence; For out of it are the issues of life.”

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

“casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

What happens in the brain of someone with bipolar disorder?

The brain of a person with bipolar disorder can differ in many ways from the brain of a person without the disorder.

One contributing factor to bipolar disorder is an imbalance of certain chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. A chemical imbalance may cause different symptoms in different people.

Experts also believe that there are structural changes in the brain of somebody living with bipolar disorder, with certain regions of the brain experiencing a reduction in size.

Parts of the brain that bipolar disorder affects

Bipolar disorder can affect all regions of the brain, both structurally and functionally.

Notable areas of the brain that bipolar disorder affects include:

  • The prefrontal cortex: This part of the brain plays an important role in mood-related disorders and is responsible for cognitive control, impulsivity, and attention.

  • Gray matter: This is the outermost part of the brain. Gray matter processes information and is important forTrusted Source movement, emotions, and memory.

  • The hippocampus: This part of the brain plays a roleTrusted Source in emotions and memory.

Bipolar disorder may reduce gray matter volume

Gray matter plays an important role in enabling humans to function each day. It is present in the central nervous systemin both the brain and spinal cord. Gray matter contributes in some way to every aspect

of human life.

found a significantly lower volume of gray matter in the brains of people with bipolar disorder compared with those of people without the condition. This was also true for people with major depressive disorder.

These reductions in gray matter happened in areas of the brain associated with mood regulation, information processing, and awareness of bodily states.

In a 2021 study, researchers did not find consistent differences in brain volume between people with or without bipolar disorder. However, they did report an association between a higher frequency of manic and hypo-manic episodes and gray matter loss in the brain, mainly in the prefrontal cortex.

Bipolar disorder may shrink parts of the hippocampus

The hippocampus is an area of the brain that is important for emotional control, including the stressresponse and memory formation and retrieval.

In people with bipolar disorder, parts of the hippocampus may be smaller than in people without a mood disorder, although research findings have not always been consistent.

explored whether hippocampal volume was related to mood disorders and mood episodes. The researchers used MRI scans to view the brains of study participants and measure the volumes of regions of the brain.

The study involved 152 people who did not have a mood disorder, 133 who had bipolar disorder, and 86 who had major depressive disorder.

The researchers compared the MRI scans and found that certain parts of the hippocampus were smaller in people with bipolar disorder than in those in the other two groups.

They noted that these size reductions in areas of the hippocampus were most distinct in people who had bipolar I disorder, which typically entails periods of extreme mania. In fact, the reduced hippocampal volume was most significant in people who had also experienced the most episodes of mania.

More recently, a 2022 study

also concluded that reduced hippocampal gray matter volume is a common feature of people with bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder may change the brain’s chemical balance

Experts believe that bipolar disorder is associated with a chemical imbalance in the brain.

Brain chemicals called neurotransmitters help deliver messages between areas of the brain. An imbalance of these chemicals may cause symptoms of bipolar disorder.

However, it is unknown whether this imbalance causes bipolar disorder or occurs because of it.

Key neurotransmitters affected by bipolar disorder

The three main neurotransmitters that bipolar disorder may affect are:

Symptoms of high norepinephrine levels

In people with bipolar disorder, high and low levels of norepinephrine — also called noradrenaline — are associated with periods of mania and depressive episodes, respectively.

During an episode of mania, a person with bipolar disorder may experience:

  • high energy

  • intense feelings of happiness, elation, or joy

  • having new ideas or plans

  • talking quickly

  • feeling easily agitated or annoyed

  • hallucinations

  • delusions or illogical thinking

  • being easily distracted

  • avoidance of sleep

  • impulsive choices, such as spending large amounts of money

  • not eating

Symptoms of low serotonin levels

Low levels of serotonin are associated with depression and low mood.

People with bipolar disorder having a depressive episode may experience:

  • low energy

  • suicidal thoughts

  • feeling sad, hopeless, or irritable most of the time

  • self-doubt

  • lack of interest

  • feelings of guilt

  • pessimism

  • difficulty sleeping

  • low appetite

  • difficulty with concentration

  • memory issues

  • delusional thoughts

Does bipolar disorder damage the brain?

Bipolar disorder is associated with structural and functional effects on numerous regions of the brain. When areas of the brain shrink or become altered, it damages their function.

However, it is still unclear whether changes to the brain cause bipolar disorder or occur due to the condition.

Can the brain recover from bipolar disorder?

There is no cure for bipolar disorder, in the secular world and medical analysis, they’re practically alluding that changes to the brain can be permanent in a sense of a karnal state of mind.

But the Bible tells us different, in the spiritual, “by faith healing is possible and can occur!

Therefore Yes, most definitely the brain can recover from bipolar disorder!

However, doctors exclaim that treatments for bipolar disorder, such as lithium, may have a “normalizing effect” on the brain. The author of a 2015 review

concluded that the use of lithium or mood stabilizers is associated with increases in gray matter volume.

Please be advised that all medication and pharmaceutical’s have side effects or affects!

Does bipolar disorder worsen with age?

Every person with bipolar disorder is different and may experience different symptoms throughout their life.

Episodes of depression and mania may decrease with age, according to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. It states that mania may decrease more than depression.

However, this is not true for everyone, and mania or depression may increase with age for some individuals.

Can a person ever feel ‘normal’ with bipolar?

Between episodes of depression and mania, a person with bipolar may have periods where they have a regular mood. With effective treatment, the severity and number of episodes a person has may also reduce and allow a person to live as regular a life as possible.

When you become depressed, you may feel sad or hopeless and lose interest or pleasure in most activities. When your mood shifts to mania or hypomania (less extreme than mania), you may feel euphoric, full of energy or unusually irritable. These mood swings can affect sleep, energy, activity, judgment, behavior and the ability to think clearly.

Requires a medical diagnosis

Manic episodes may include symptoms such as high energy, reduced need for sleep, and loss of touch with reality. Depressive episodes may include symptoms such as low energy, low motivation, and loss of interest in daily activities. Mood episodes last days to months at a time and may also be associated with suicidal thoughts.

People may experience:

Mood: mood swings, sadness, elevated mood, anger, anxiety, apathy, apprehension, euphoria, general discontent, guilt, hopelessness, loss of interest, or loss of interest or pleasure in activities

Behavioral: irritability, risk taking behaviors, disorganized behavior, aggression, agitation, crying, excess desire for sex, hyperactivity, impulsivity, or self-harm

Cognitive: unwanted thoughts, delusion, lack of concentration, racing thoughts, slowness in activity, or false belief of superiority

Psychological: depression, manic episode, agitated depression, or paranoia

Sleep: difficulty falling asleep or excess sleepiness

Whole body: fatigue or restlessness

Weight: weight gain or weight loss

Also common: rapid and frenzied speaking

Episodes of mood swings may occur rarely or multiple times a year. While most people will experience some emotional symptoms between episodes, some may not experience any.

Although bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition, you can manage your mood swings and other symptoms by following a treatment plan. In most cases, bipolar disorder is treated with medications and psychological counseling (psychotherapy).


There are several types of bipolar and related disorders. They may include mania or hypomania and depression. Symptoms can cause unpredictable changes in mood and behavior, resulting in significant distress and difficulty in life.

  • Bipolar I disorder. You've had at least one manic episode that may be preceded or followed by hypomanic or major depressive episodes. In some cases, mania may trigger a break from reality (psychosis).

  • Bipolar II disorder. You've had at least one major depressive episode and at least one hypomanic episode, but you've never had a manic episode.

  • Cyclothymic disorder. You've had at least two years — or one year in children and teenagers — of many periods of hypomania symptoms and periods of depressive symptoms (though less severe than major depression).

  • Other types. These include, for example, bipolar and related disorders induced by certain drugs or alcohol or due to a medical condition, such as Cushing's disease, multiple sclerosis or stroke.

Bipolar II disorder is not a milder form of bipolar I disorder, but a separate diagnosis. While the manic episodes of bipolar I disorder can be severe and dangerous, individuals with bipolar II disorder can be depressed for longer periods, which can cause significant impairment.

Although bipolar disorder can occur at any age, typically it's diagnosed in the teenage years or early 20s. Symptoms can vary from person to person, and symptoms may vary over time.

Mania and hypomania

Mania and hypomania are two distinct types of episodes, but they have the same symptoms. Mania is more severe than hypomania and causes more noticeable problems at work, school and social activities, as well as relationship difficulties. Mania may also trigger a break from reality (psychosis) and require hospitalization.

Both a manic and a hypomanic episode include three or more of these symptoms:

  • Abnormally upbeat, jumpy or wired

  • Increased activity, energy or agitation

  • Exaggerated sense of well-being and self-confidence (euphoria)

  • Decreased need for sleep

  • Unusual talkativeness

  • Racing thoughts

  • Distractibility

  • Poor decision-making — for example, going on buying sprees, taking sexual risks or making foolish investments

Major depressive episode

A major depressive episode includes symptoms that are severe enough to cause noticeable difficulty in day-to-day activities, such as work, school, social activities or relationships. An episode includes five or more of these symptoms:

  • Depressed mood, such as feeling sad, empty, hopeless or tearful (in children and teens, depressed mood can appear as irritability)

  • Marked loss of interest or feeling no pleasure in all — or almost all — activities

  • Significant weight loss when not dieting, weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite (in children, failure to gain weight as expected can be a sign of depression)

  • Either insomnia or sleeping too much

  • Either restlessness or slowed behavior

  • Fatigue or loss of energy

  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt

  • Decreased ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness

  • Thinking about, planning or attempting suicide.

Other features of bipolar disorder

Signs and symptoms of bipolar I and bipolar II disorders may include other features, such as anxious distress, melancholy, psychosis or others. The timing of symptoms may include diagnostic labels such as mixed or rapid cycling. In addition, bipolar symptoms may occur during pregnancy or change with the seasons.

Symptoms in children and teens

Symptoms of bipolar disorder can be difficult to identify in children and teens. It's often hard to tell whether these are normal ups and downs, the results of stress or trauma, or signs of a mental health problem other than bipolar disorder.

Children and teens may have distinct major depressive or manic or hypomanic episodes, but the pattern can vary from that of adults with bipolar disorder. And moods can rapidly shift during episodes. Some children may have periods without mood symptoms between episodes.

The most prominent signs of bipolar disorder in children and teenagers may include severe mood swings that are different from their usual mood swings.

When to see a doctor

Despite the mood extremes, people with bipolar disorder often don't recognize how much their emotional instability disrupts their lives and the lives of their loved ones and don't get the treatment they need.

And if you're like some people with bipolar disorder, you may enjoy the feelings of euphoria and cycles of being more productive. However, this euphoria is always followed by an emotional crash that can leave you depressed, worn out — and perhaps in financial, legal or relationship trouble.

If you have any symptoms of depression or mania, see your doctor or mental health professional. Bipolar disorder doesn't get better on its own. Getting treatment from a mental health professional with experience in bipolar disorder can help you get your symptoms under control.

When to get emergency help

Suicidal thoughts and behavior are common among people with bipolar disorder. If you have thoughts of hurting yourself, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately, go to an emergency room, or confide in a trusted relative or friend. Or contact a suicide hotline. In the U.S., call or text 988 to reach the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Or use the Lifeline Chat. Services are free and confidential.

If you have a loved one who is in danger of suicide or has made a suicide attempt, make sure someone stays with that person. Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. Or, if you think you can do so safely, take the person to the nearest hospital emergency room.


The exact cause of bipolar disorder is unknown, but several factors may be involved, such as:

  • Biological differences. People with bipolar disorder appear to have physical changes in their brains. The significance of these changes is still uncertain but may eventually help pinpoint causes.

  • Genetics. Bipolar disorder is more common in people who have a first-degree relative, such as a sibling or parent, with the condition. Researchers are trying to find genes that may be involved in causing bipolar disorder.

Risk factors

Factors that may increase the risk of developing bipolar disorder or act as a trigger for the first episode include:

  • Having a first-degree relative, such as a parent or sibling, with bipolar disorder

  • Periods of high stress, such as the death of a loved one or other traumatic event

  • Drug or alcohol abuse


Left untreated, bipolar disorder can result in serious problems that affect every area of your life, such as:

  • Problems related to drug and alcohol use

  • Suicide or suicide attempts

  • Legal or financial problems

  • Damaged relationships

  • Poor work or school performance

Co-occurring conditions

If you have bipolar disorder, you may also have another health condition that needs to be treated along with bipolar disorder. Some conditions can worsen bipolar disorder symptoms or make treatment less successful.

Examples include:

  • Anxiety disorders

  • Eating disorders

  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

  • Alcohol or drug problems

  • Physical health problems, such as heart disease, thyroid problems, headaches or obesity


There's no sure way to prevent bipolar disorder. However, getting treatment at the earliest sign of a mental health disorder can help prevent bipolar disorder or other mental health conditions from worsening.

If you've been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, some strategies can help prevent minor symptoms from becoming full-blown episodes of mania or depression:

  • Pay attention to warning signs.Addressing symptoms early on can prevent episodes from getting worse. You may have identified a pattern to your bipolar episodes and what triggers them. Call your doctor if you feel you're falling into an episode of depression or mania. Involve family members or friends in watching for warning signs.

  • Avoid drugs and alcohol. Using alcohol or recreational drugs can worsen your symptoms and make them more likely to come back.

  • Take your medications exactly as directed. You may be tempted to stop treatment — but don't. Stopping your medication or reducing your dose on your own may cause withdrawal effects or your symptoms may worsen or return.

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