Contemporary research among biomedical experts and psychotherapists has been attempting to determine the exact cause of bipolar disorder. While no ultimate conclusions have been determined, studies have revealed a number of consistent results. Most research attests that bi-polar is oftentimes found in families, which logically implies a genetic basis for the disorder. Generally, it begins to take hold in individuals at different times, based on gender. The onset in males occurs most frequently in their early 20s, while in females it occurs much later – as late as the mid to their mid to upper thirties. Also differentiating the disorder along gender lines is the way it affects the patients, as in males the manic stage sets in first, whereas females first experience the depressive stage of the manic cycle. The lifetime prevalence of bipolar disorder is approximately 0.5-1.5%. Sadly, not much more has been determined about the primary causes of the illness. While psychoanalysis and certain cognitive therapies investigate the patient for instances of past childhood experiences or social dysfunctions that might lead to onsets of the illness, no conclusive results have been developed. While Bipolar disorder may be a highly debilitating disease, there exist a number of treatment options. Treatment for the disorder before the 1970s was non-existent. Patients were often sent to psychiatric wards or in less severe instances instructed to merely cope with their disorder. Since the early 1970s, a number of treatment options have emerged that have progressively reshaped the therapeutic climate. While many of these treatments are medicinal treatments, there is a wide variety of options for patients suffering from Bi-polar symptoms.