Bipolar disorder—once known as manic depression—is a serious mental condition. The alarming highs and lows associated with the problem are controlled by powerful drugs, but neuroscientists are at a loss as to what is actually going on.
Most assume it’s a genetic problem, and some believe it could be caused by a chemical imbalance. But new research suggests it is neither of those: instead, there’s a very strong link to ‘adverse experiences’ that happened to the sufferer in childhood.
Bad experiences such as neglect and abuse before the sufferer reached the age of 19 nearly triple the chances of bipolar disorder, researchers from the University of Manchester in the UK have discovered. Emotional abuse seems to have the strongest connection, raising the risk four-fold. 1
Earlier research they carried out suggested that schizophrenia could have the same cause.
If they carried on looking, they’d discover that almost every mental problem—such as depression and anxiety—has the exact same genesis. ‘Bad’ experiences and trauma leave an energetic imprint that find expression as emotional outbursts, negative thought patterns—and so-called mental problems.
And if therapists and researchers were to look closer still, they would see that this energy creates the ‘problem’ first, and then the ‘person’ who identifies with it, owns it and feels responsibility for it. The path goes something like this: adverse experience (and why we have adverse experiences in the first place will take too long in this short blog to explain), which leaves an energetic residue, which is expressed as an emotion or feeling and eventually a thought, and which creates a ‘self’ that has the problem.
Without clearly seeing this process, deep and lasting transformation is difficult because the person who is depressed or has bipolar disorder—and who goes for therapy—is merely an extension of the problem itself.
- British Journal of Psychiatry, 2016; doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.115.179655