No Gender Differences in Bipolar Disorder
Doctor Ellen Leibenluft explains that women and men are equally likely to develop bipolar disorder. Women are, however, more likely to develop the disorder after giving birth.
There are no gender differences in the prevalence of bipolar disorder. In other words, men and women are equally likely to have the illness. There is some evidence that women with bipolar disorder may tend to have particularly frequent depressions relative to men. Thereâ€™s also some evidence, although itâ€™s not entirely clearcut, that women may be more likely than men to have whatâ€™s called rapid cycling bipolar disorder, which means that they shift very rapidly between depression and mania. Importantly, women with bipolar disorder are at risk for having an episode when they are postpartum, so thatâ€™s a very important aspect of gender issues if you will and bipolar disorder. [At] the postpartum period, right after a woman with bipolar disorder has a baby, sheâ€™s at very high risk to have an episode particularly actually of mania or mania mixed with depression.
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Doctor Ellen Leibenluft discusses two theories on the relationship between postpartum events and bipolar disorder - hormones and a disruption if the sleep-wake cycle.
Doctor Ellen Leibenluft describes how circadian rhythms, the 24-hour sleep-wake cycle, may be disrupted in bipolar disorder.
Doctor Ellen Leibenluft explains that although individuals with bipolar disorder can have trouble interpreting emotional expressions, this is much more subtle than in autism.
Doctor Ellen Leibenluft explains that there is no one gene for bipolar disorder. Instead, what we have what are called genes of small effect.
Doctor Ellen Leibenluft describes how environmental stressors such as grief and sleep-disturbance can precipitate bipolar disorder.
Doctor Ellen Leibenluft discusses recent research into childhood bipolar disorder, which is most commonly found in children with a family history of the disorder.
Doctor Ellen Liebenluft explains that individuals with bipolar disorder can spend some time in a normal mood, which is called euthymia.
Doctor Ellen Leibenluft discusses the similarities between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, which have some genetic risk factors in common.
Doctor Ellen Leibenluft discusses brain regions associated with bipolar disorder, including the amygdala (which may be smaller) and prefrontal cortex (which may have different activity).
Doctor Ellen Leibenluft discusses possible reasons for the dramatic increase in the rates of diagnosis in childhood bipolar disorder in the past decade.