Psychiatrist Questions Bipolar Disorder

Can bipolar disorder affect anyone at any age?

I recently read about bipolar disorder and how it can affect someone's life. Are there any factors that can lead anyone to have it? Every source that I've read isn't really specific on who really has it.

10 Answers

It usually starts in young adulthood, rarely childhood. It's very unlikely to start after 35.
Bipolar illness can occur at any age. It is much more common at younger ages. It occurs frequently in adolescence and young adulthood.

Jan Fawcett, MD
Bipolar illness is a major mental illness in which the symptoms are fairly undeniable. It carries a genetic component and therefore affects persons earlier versus later in life.
That is a good question. To generalize:
The older a person is, the less likely he/she is to develop this disorder. The more prevalent this occurs in relatives, the greater the chances one would be afflicted by this. Reasons one might become ill later in life would be a side effect of certain medications such as steroids. Once this is treated, the chances of a reoccurrence would be rare. Another reason for late life occurrence is extreme and possibly unrelenting stress. This is not contagious, but usually medication induced or innate.
yes it can affect anyone at any age. It usually runs in family and there is genetic, psychological and environmental factors.
Bipolar typically manifests in late teens/early 20s but I have seen patients who claim they had no manic symptoms until their 50s. I'd recommend a psychiatric evaluation if you are concerned that you or someone you love has it.
Bipolar disorder is a genetic illness that can be worsened or improved during the first years of life by the care takers usually mother, father.....It is characterized by mood swings with 3 poles, depression, happiness, anger.

The diagnosis is subject to mode. 30 yers ago everybody was labeled schzophreic and nw nearly everybody is labeled manic depressive.....

If you are not a physician, do not read medical books.
Yes, bipolar disorder can start at a young age.
You should check www.DBSAlliance.org. They have lots of information. There are no good tests for psychiatric illness. They are based on symptoms and, to some extent, response to treatment.

Good luck,

DRGK
There is a stronger predisposition to it in people who have a relative with a mood disorder and/or bipolar disorder. The prevalence is higher depending on the number of immediate relatives with the condition. That said, stress makes everything worse and may increase the likelihood of manifesting the disorder or making it worse. It is also important to treat early so that there are fewer likely episodes to occur.