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bipolar in families, how much is genetic?

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by cln1812 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:11 am

How likely is it to pass bipolar on to a child if it's in your family?

I am bipolar. I strongly suspect one of my late grandfathers was bipolar. His father (my great grandfather) committed suicide and so could have been bipolar. In addition, that whole branch of my family (my maternal side) presents with all types of mental issues ranging from severe anxiety (grandmother, aunt, and mother) and severe depression (one of my aunts and mom). Another aunt on that side is diagnosed with something like schizoaffective disorder; she hallucinates from time to time and is not even allowed to drive. I know I was probably pre-disposed to bipolar and then had a sexual assault happen as a young child along with living with an indifferent father who was often angry (I now believe he has Asperger's just never was diagnosed), so besides it being in my genes, environmental factors likely played a role.

How likely is it that these mental conditons or bipolar will get passed down to my daughter (she will be 10 in December and is starting to enter puberty)?

On the positive side, my husband's side of the family does not seem to have much in the way of mental health issues, at least not that I see or that he talks about. Of course, his parents are of a generation (Depression era) where you just buck it up and don't talk about any of that stuff, so who knows?
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by AvantGarde » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:37 am

It doesn't really discriminate... with a good environment the probability lowers, but there's still a chance with so much mental illness in your family.

With you having it, it's about 10% to 25%
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by Steponme » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:47 am

My brother and I both have bipolar. No one in our extended family has it, but there is quite a bit of other mental disorders mixed in our genetics. I don't know how it works or the chances of children getting it.
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by Mocha » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:51 am

Hi cln1812.......My bio family is nutty as hell, but my sons are just fine.

They also weren't raised anywhere near my bio family, thank buddha, so as AG mentioned, environmental issues def came into play.

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by Mom2dani » Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:08 am

I've been recently wondering the same thing cln1812. My mother, I'm pretty sure, was undiagnosed bipolar. I explained my mothers issues to my tdoc, of course I'm not doctor, but according to her my mother showed classic signs of BP1.

Now my 14 yr old is asking to see a therapist. Says her moods are everywhere and that she has been depressed for 2 years. I've never seen her depressed, she always been, for the most part happy and easy going. Sure moods popped up during the hormonal time of the month, I figured that's normal.

It seems like she is trying to hint that she thinks she is BP but I think it's something she is manifesting in her mind due to my recent dx and me having to take meds 2xs a day. She claims she's gone to that dark place. She has asked me if they can put her on meds. I told her let's just wait until you talk to tdoc, she has an appt Oct 30th. To me she doesn't show signs of being bipolar, but again I can't dx her. But I do worry that this environmental change is going to cause something, I don't know.

Recently is she depressed and irritable, yes. The divorce was filed on Monday after 2 months of the douche stringing me along. She knows I'm angry and hurt (heard me rip her dad apart. Bad mom I know).

So i too am curious about the genetics of BP and the environmental issue we both are experiencing right now.

This is a great question and a great discussion.

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by Duckysmom » Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:09 am

Mental health issues run in my family as well. My mother has been severely depressed all her life. With her dementia she forgets her meds frequently. My brother was dxd BP but won't take meds. I have ADD. My daughter has ADHD. I have a learning disability, my daughter does too. But my daughter does not have BP in spite of the rough childhood she had.

I spent my life abused. Pdoc has mentioned that that contributed, but not necessarily caused my BP.

It's a tough question and not enough research.
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by hal » Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:43 am

My dad had BP, though it was diagnosed as schizophrenia back in the '40s, when BP was hardly on the horizon for American psychiatrists. I think that's it.
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