Both human and animal studies have found links between emotional sensitivity and response to stress, and the predisposition toward mood disorders. A Swedish twin study found that the relationship between stressful life events and mood disorders was due to a combination of environment and genes. Researchers found that some people with mood disorders tended to be drawn to high-risk environments.
High levels of stress and limited access to social support, such as family and friends, are linked with recurrence of bipolar episodes, particularly in cases of people diagnosed with bipolar I disorder (the classic form of the disease, marked by recurrent episodes of mania and depression with possible mixed episodes). The stress related to a death in the family and other major life events was found to be associated with increased risk of first admission with bipolar disorder. This means that major stress relates to the onset of a bipolar episode severe enough to potentially result in a hospitalization.
Find out more about this book:Bipolar 101: A Practical Guide to Identifying Triggers, Managing Medications, Coping with Symptoms, and More