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What is the Most Common Cause of Bipolar Disorder? (And Why are Lima Beans So Expensive)

cause of bipolar disorder

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One of the things people with Bipolar Disorder will be very insistent about is that their illness is NOT to be confused with depression. This is fair because there are major functional differences between the two. Alternating between the highs and lows of being upbeat and down – and having little to no control over it – is much more challenging than dealing with a consistent down with depression.

Indeed, bipolar disorder is an unfortunate development for both people and their friends / families. Not suggesting depression isn’t, but at least there is consistency with depression that allows people to have a better understanding of it.

Take a parent with two children for example; one of them refuses to eat any and all vegetables, and the other takes more of a pick-and-choose approach. The parent wishes neither of them had this aversion to healthy food and hopes some day they’ll grow out of it. However, it’s more difficult to try and remember which vegetables the second child dislikes, as compared to ease of knowing ALL of them are a no-go for the first child.

Bipolar Because

This example may be a stretch, but hopefully it gives some perspective on the difference between bipolar and depression. When someone bounces between being “up” and “down” – as is the nature with bipolar disorder - it’s naturally more difficult for someone to fully embrace the thinking that something’s not right with them.

So, if you’re one who doesn’t understand what causes a person to be all over the map with their mood, it may be helpful to know what is the most common cause of bipolar disorder. The answer is that for most people it’s a three-part equation. It starts with a person’s genetic makeup – people with certain genes are more likely to develop bipolar disorder than others.

This leads to the next part of it, and that’s family history. We all inherit genes from our parents, and this genetic basis means that when you ask what is the most common cause of bipolar disorder a big part of the answer is that it will ‘run in the family’ as the expression goes. However, it’s important to keep in mind that a genetic predisposition to being bipolar is NOT a guarantee that you’ll have it in the same way a family member does.

There’s no better evidence of this than the fact that there’s been documented cases of identical twins where one of them becomes bipolar and the other does not. Now of course there’s no connection there to whether or not both those twins refuse to eat vegetables or not in their childhood. If there is a genetic predisposition to vegetable aversion, it has yet to be determined.

Then There’s the Brain Itself

When we’re looking at what is the most common cause of bipolar disorder we need to look at the final part of this 3-way equation. Studies have shown that the brains of people with bipolar disorder (including both Bipolar I and Bipolar II disorders) are at times structurally irregular. Researchers have yet to determine exactly how these irregularities contribute to increasing a person’s chances of becoming bipolar.

Lima Beans

Now veering back to our side topic of sorts, my parents have been especially appreciative that I was not a picky eater as a child. There were never any objections to vegetables on my place, or any other food type for that matter. And in fact, I’m extremely fond of beans, and always have been. In much the same way that researchers have yet to pinpoint the connection between brain structure differences to developing bipolar disorders, I have never been able to understand why lima beans are so much more expensive than other types.

Well, it turns out there are some very specific reasons lima beans are expensive. And while they’ll do nothing to answer the question what is the most common cause of bipolar disorder, you may find them interesting if you’re also a fan of those little green gems. It turns out lima beans are difficult to grow, and also very labour intensive to pick. That and the fact they’re a seasonal vegetable, and are highly perishable.

I’ve read that between all of this, there’s significantly more cost attached to the process of growing and harvesting lima beans before they end up in a can at your local grocery store or supermarket.

So yes, if there were any finicky children who refused to eat their lima beans and I – for whatever reason – was at the dinner table I would happily remove this burden from them.

Medications for Bipolar Disorder

When it comes to effective medications for treating bipolar disorder, there are none that are as well-known and highly regarded as Abilify (Aripiprazole). It readjusts brain biochemistry and decrease abnormal excitement stimuluses. Carbolith (Lithium Carbonate) is another one that’s an excellent choice and a regular prescribing choice for physicians.

Same goes for Seroquel (Quetiapine), and it is particularly good for anyone who has bipolar disorder along with an accompanying mental health condition (schizophrenia most notably).


IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for your pet. See your veterinarian for medical advice and treatment for your pet if you have any concerns.


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