Manic depression is known to cause a lot of problems to a large number of people and it can completely disrupt a person’s life. The huge mood swings not only cause trouble to the person but also to the family members of the person. The good thing about this is that it can be treated with the help of medication, therapy and support. However, the main cause of manic depression has yet to be understood. Scientists are of the opinion that several factors which act together cause manic depression. The several factors responsible for the occurrence of manic depression are discussed below.

 Manic depression can be caused by an imbalance of the chemicals in sections of the brain. The functioning of the brain is regulated by neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and therefore, any imbalance of these chemicals causes manic depression. When the levels of these chemicals are beyond the limit, mania is said to occur and the opposite causes depression. The levels of several other neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin also play a significant role.

 The role of the genes in the occurrence of manic depression is also quite vital. If a closely related family member has a history of manic depression, it is possible that the children might also have this disorder. However not only genetic factors  cause manic depression.  Environmental factors like stress are required to trigger the disorder. It has been noted that a prolonged emotional stress, illness and drug use can also trigger the occurrence of manic depression.

 The occurrence of manic depression can be explained with the help of the Diathesis Stress explanation. The word diathesis means the presence of a particular genotype that makes the person susceptible to a particular kind of disorder. This explanation states that a person inherits a particular vulnerability to a disorder and this disorder may manifest itself only if a particular environmental condition like stress  is also present. This basically says that even if you are born with the particular genes and have the possibility of getting the disorder, the necessary external triggers are also required to cause manic depression.

There are also several other disorders and diseases which mimic the symptoms of manic depression. Head trauma, thyroid problem, epilepsy, sodium imbalance and diabetes are known to show symptoms similar to that of manic depression. It should however be noted that these do not cause manic depression but just exhibit similar signs and symptoms. Several other psychiatric problems may also seem like manic depression and hence, the correct diagnosis becomes very essential. ADHD, anorexia nervosa, drug abuse, schizophrenia and delusional disorder also show similar symptoms.

 Reference

http://www.medicinenet.com/bipolar_disorder/article.html

http://www.allaboutlifechallenges.org/manic-depressive.html