by Scholten A

Risk Factors for Bipolar Disorder

A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.
It is possible to develop bipolar disorder with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing bipolar disorder. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your risk.
Bipolar disorder can run in families. There is a high likelihood that there is a genetic component to this disorder. Eighty to ninety percent of individuals with bipolar disorder have a relative with either depression or bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is not caused by one specific gene. It is caused by many genes that act together.
Being diagnosed with other psychiatric disorders, such as depression, can increase your risk of bipolar disorder.


Bipolar disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated August 15, 2013. Accessed September 4, 2013.
Bipolar disorder in adults. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: Updated 2012. Accessed September 4, 2013.
DSM-5. American Psychiatric Association website. Available at: Accessed September 4, 2013.
Fusar-Poli P, Bechdolf A, Borgwardt S. Mapping vulnerability to bipolar disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis of neuroimaging studies. J Psychiatry Neurosci. 2012;37(3):170-184.
Salvadore G, Drevets WC, Henter ID, Zarate CA, Manji HK. Early intervention in Bipolar Disorder, Part II: Therapeutics. Early Interv Psychiatry. 2008;2(3):136-146.

Revision Information

Health Library Search

Only show results from the selected categories.

3 Genetics and Mental Health lifestyle - mental health

Could your genes put you at a higher risk for a mental health condition? Have researchers discovered a link between certain genes and the development of schizophrenia, de...

You’ve just had a heart attack. While working toward recovery, you're focused on your heart and body, but don't lose sight of your mental health. Depression after a hear...

Men get depressed, as do women, but the effects are different. Why is this the case? And what does it mean for men?...

6 Can Folic Acid Help Ease Depression? lifestyle - mental health

Studies suggest that folic acid deficiency may occur in patients with severe depression, and that treatment with the vitamin may enhance recovery of the mental state. Wha...

Depression in the workplace is a serious, yet often undiscussed problem. No job category or professional level is immune to depression and even a formerly outstanding emp...

8 The Role of Depression in Adolescent Obesity lifestyle - kids' & teens' health

You remember a time when little Johnny would hurry home from school, grab an apple, and race out the door to play with his friends. Now he comes home, goes straight up t...

Been feeling down or hopeless? Do you find little pleasure in things you used to enjoy? These may be signs of depression. Many Americans are depressed, but have not been ...

20 Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder condition indepth