Bipolar disorder can lead to emotional instability, but emotional instability is not necessarily bipolar disorder. There are a variety of disorders that affect mood and look like bipolar disorder, but they are not.
Disorders often confused with bipolar disorder include: major depressive disorder, mild mood disorder, anxiety disorder, adjustment disorder, personality disorder, and schizophrenia.
The disease most often misunderstood as bipolar disorder is "major depression". Major depressive disorder is a disease with only major depressive episodes and no manic episodes. Logically speaking, major depressive episodes are low mood, manic episodes are high mood, it should not be difficult to distinguish, but in fact it is not so easy - Depression During this time, the patient may become particularly irritable, restless, and look a bit like a manic episode. Therefore, in the outpatient clinic, many patients will claim to be "manic-depressive disorder", but after detailed diagnosis and treatment, they are found to be "major depression".
Another disorder that is often confused with bipolar disorder is "Adaptation Disorder" and "Acute Stress Response". These two types of diseases are based on stress events, the former is persistent chronic stress, the latter is acute stress, but both can bring symptoms such as anxiety, depression, irritability, inability to concentrate, etc. Many people mistake it for bipolar disorder.
In addition, there are some emotional diseases, although there are ups and downs, but the severity has not reached the level of manic episodes or major depressive episodes. At this time, it cannot be called bipolar disorder. Such mood disorders include: "Cyclothic Affective Disorder" and "Depressed Affective Disorder". The mood of the former will be high and low, and the mood of the latter will only be low and not high. Although the severity is not as severe as bipolar disorder or major depression, the duration is longer, at least more than two years.
In addition, the disease often confused with bipolar disorder is "personality disorder". The so-called personality disorder refers to the deviation of the patient's personality, which causes suffering to oneself or others. There are many types of personality disorders, each with its own symptoms and often mood changes. Some personality disorders can cause emotional ups and downs. At first glance, they look like bipolar disorder, but if you distinguish carefully, you will find that the problems of personality disorders occur in "personality" and "personality" - even when the mood is stable, the personality There are still biases; while bipolar disorder is a "mood" problem, as long as it is not during an episode, the personality may still be unaffected.
In addition to the above diseases, there are also diseases such as panic disorder, fear disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, somatization disorder, dissociation disorder, eating disorder, etc., which may affect mood.
So, don't judge whether you have bipolar disorder by "emotional changes". There are many diseases that affect mood. If you're worried about bipolar disorder in yourself or a loved one, what you should do is see a doctor, not just worry about it alone.
Many people will wonder: why does a person get bipolar disorder?
There is still no conclusion on this issue. However, the factors that cause bipolar disorder may include: genetics, stress, endocrine, brain lesions, ion metabolism, neurotransmitters, etc.
Major stressful events are generally thought to cause bipolar disorder. It is believed that some people lose control of their emotions because they can't stand the stimulation or the torment of the environment, and they become bipolar. However, clinical studies have found that although major stressful events such as lovelorn, divorce, unemployment, etc. can induce bipolar disorder, not everyone will suffer from it - it seems that some people are particularly susceptible to the disease, while others are less likely. The stressful event is just a trigger - it stirs up the original problem and causes the disease to flare up.
Genetic studies support this view. Large-scale surveys have found that children of bipolar patients have a higher rate of bipolar disorder, even if these children have been adopted from childhood to others. In twins, the odds of both being sick together are greatly increased. Relatives of bipolar disorder also have a significantly higher proportion of patients with other bipolar disorder. These studies have confirmed that bipolar disorder is strongly hereditary. However, it is still unknown which part of the gene is at fault.
Others have noted a link between endocrine disorders and bipolar disorder. Diseases such as thyroid, adrenal cortex, and gonads are often associated with bipolar disorder. A well-known example is the prevalence of emotional disorders in menopausal women.
Either way, neither can fully explain the causes of bipolar disorder. There is a saying that the above factors work together to cause bipolar disorder. That is to say: first, there are genetic problems, and then there are abnormalities in endocrine and neurotransmitters, and they are hit by major life events, and finally the disease occurs. However, the detailed process is still to be further studied.