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bipolar genetics


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specifically? Dunno. Your pdoc should have generated a case history when they first took you on as a patient.

Generally, bi-polar almost always has some genetic component (meaning family history). Keep in mind that BP has only really recently been broken down into specific types... meaning what in the past may have been a clinically depressed Uncle or Aunt might really have been such a relative with BP, it's just that back then they didn't call it that let alone have all the types specified in the DSM-IV today. Prolly clear as mud. I need coffee.

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Depression in your family is a risk factor for bipolar disorder. Especially if the depression is recurrent or particularly severe.

You may not know your entire family history either. Has anyone in your family been really successful or well adapted and then just 'crashed' and turned into failure? Has anyone owned a business that was successful then failed? Anyone who went to college and did well then failed out? That's non-diagnostic but definitely some reason to suspect bipolar.

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You can have bipolar without a family history.

Check [link=http://www.pendulum.org/causes.html" target="_blank]this[/link] out. It looks pretty well sourced.

I was gonna think of that. Good link. Another good one is Dr. Phelps' site.

As more research is done, as genetic things tend to go, I predict that the notion of BP as something one "gets" without a family history will be set aside as overly simplistic. The researchers at UC Irvine who found the ADHD allele suspected that "family histories" were simply incomplete pictures and the recent documented accounting of over-dxing ADHD made them wonder if there really was a "hunter gene" latent in the gene pool that expressed in certain genetic lines (families), which led them to seek out funding and see if they could even ID such a thing. They've already done that successfully with Tourette's Syndrome, which is part of the whole "attention-difference" spectrum of disorders with BP, Asbergers and ADD/ADHD. Like anything else related, following the Laws of Ecology, I'm guessing with enough reasearch this will be true for BP as well. AND it is exceptionally complex which will drive the normals batshit.

I hedging my bets that family histories of the future (where "we" in the late 20th and early 21st century are the third and fourth generation ancestors) will most likely show positive for descendants who "get" the disorder (IOW, their genetic makeup will express too much of the good thing we got too much of as well).

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What Reborn said...and Jack and I are fans of Dr. Phelps. No nonsense and very helpful I found, as is his book - a definitely recommended read.

If you have depression disorders in your family, it's not really such a leap to Bipolar, at least I don't really think it is (though I may be wrong). On the other hand, I had a maternal grandmother and a mother who were clearly bipolar (although it wasn't diagnosed as such then) so I suppose it's not really surprising that lucky old me got the BP gene. Mind you, I suspect my brother did too, but that's a whole other story.

I'm not sure I made much sense there. Sorry! ;)

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I have a father who thinks he's MDD, but used to go on these massive $20,000 spending sprees (I kid you not... on eBay, to boot. "Ancient Roman Artifacts") and takes 20mg of zyprexa every day. But he's not BP, and used to get upset when I suggested he was.

Oh well, it's just a label. It's just a label.

His father was most likely BP, but this was during the dust bowl years and they didn't have a name for crazy ass, then depressed as shit. My mother and father both agree on that.

My mother has massive anxiety issues and generally flutters around the house with agitation. She no longer takes any meds, but when really bad, will take one of my dad's xanax.

So genetically, I think I was screwed. I wasn't diagnosed until after my kids were born, so I wonder what I passed down to them. My son has ADHD (my father has it) and my daughter is extremely sensitive to mood and tone of voice.

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