Causes of unipolar and bipolar disorders
Unipolar is characterized by bouts of intense sadness so severe it causes depression to the point of wretched despair. Daily activities become affected, or seriously interrupted, making life abundantly unbearable. It is not entirely understood what causes Unipolar Depression,
But many believe it is neurotransmitters in the brain that have malfunctioned causing the person to become crippled with depression. Being genetically disposed to depression or other mood disorders are highly likely other causes for unipolar depression. With Unipolar there is no mania present, just depression.
Bipolar Disorder on the other hand, is a mood disorder of extreme highs and devastating lows with normal (level) episodes in between, with or without psychosis. Many people want to deny that a chemical imbalance exists, but there are studies of the bipolar brain showing imaging that points to a chemical imbalance of the brain.
It is not fully understood exactly how you become Bipolar, but like Unipolar it can be inherited, and handed down to from generation to generation. With bipolar you may experience such euphoria, you believe you are God, and the crashing depression often leads to suicide. Finding a balance between the two is crucial to well-being.
If for instance your mother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, you also may develop it, or it may skip a generation, thus leaving your child predisposed to developing unipolar or bipolar disorder. There are other theories on the cause of unipolar and bipolar disorder. Unipolar depression can have many underlying causes. Certain medications such as pain killers, and even anxiety medications can cause depression, environmental causes such as a tragic loss, financial difficulties, stress at work, a disability, job loss or any number of things.
There is a link between the chemicals serotonin and norepinephrine at low levels that may be the cause of depression. Unlike bipolar disorder, which too much norepinephrine may cause manic episodes. If there is not enough serotonin in the brain, this could very well be the underlying cause of an underlying mood disorder.
So in essence, the underlying cause of unipolar and bipolar are somewhat perplexing. Many people are adamantly against the chemical imbalance in the brain, and others are happy to have a root cause for the illness. Using imaging like MRI's and CT scans are still in the inception stages, but the science of these tests are slowly showing new ways to diagnose unipolar and bipolar disorder correctly.