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thefatalfetus

exactly how genetic is bipolar?

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I'm sure the MI in my family is genetic, although I'm not sure how much was heritable and how much developed due to environmental stressors. My mum was diagnosed with Bipolar I (amongst other things, including GAD, etc.), and mental illness can be traced back through my maternal family tree without skipping anybody, that I know of. My mum's brothers and sisters have MI, my grandfather had MI, his mother had severe anxiety... The list goes on. 

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All I know is that my mother suicided and I am bipolar. I assume she. Was also. My sister sufferers from depression.

One of my sons is also bipolar .

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At least partly, I strongly suspect.  But I have a ray of hope (or wishful thinking):

 

The wackiness in my family (undiagnosed) comes in different flavors.  It goes back several generations.  However, children are affected by being raised by people with issues. (This is why adoption studies are so great, when you can find them).  Not everyone in my family with a challenging parent has matching (or compensatory) issues.

 

So what I plan to tell the children is:

 

1.  You may well be more vulnerable than the average person, because of how you are bulit and/or because you had to deal with me.

2.  You can practice good mental hygiene.

3.  You can intervene early if things start to go wrong.

4.  Even if you do have issues, not every case is the most severe or difficult to treat.

5.  You can have a good life, because I do now.  In fact, you can have a better life, because I did not do 2 and 3.

 

I hope this works.  Good luck!

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I feel too lazy to look up sources, but I have read several times that there's a genetic component, as others have mentioned.

 

I think I am the only one in family that's getting treatment, but several members need to see a doctor - a suicide attempt, several that self-medicate with alcohol, severe hoarding, etc., etc.

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There is depression and schizophrenia in my family, but no Bipolar that I'm aware of

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Neither of my parents have a MI. There are 6 kids in my family. I have Bipolar Disorder and so does one of my brothers. Another brother has a pretty severe anxiety disorder - I do as well. The other 3 are ok as far as MI's go.  I have no idea if any extended family has Bipolar Disorder. I haven't heard of anyone.

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Depression, dysthymia, bipolar, and schizophrenia in my family. And a few people who have something going on, but haven't been formally diagnosed with anything.

 

Based on what I've read and my own personal experience, I'd say it's genetic. Genetics are a roll of the dice, though - just because a family member has it, doesn't mean you're guaranteed to get it. Environmental factors can have an influence on how your genetics play out. It does mean that you need to be more alert for indicators of it, and that even if you don't end up with it yourself, you need to keep an eye on your kids as well. Recent studies seem to be indicating that a lot of illnesses like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, adhd, depression, and autism share common genetic links.

Edited by Bubble

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I am often asked by medical professionals if anyone else in my family is BP or OCD or experiences depression. I always say no, but in retrospect Ido see OCD in many family members. We are a "productive" OCD people as it seems to manifest in cleaning and "order" (I.e. "a place for everything and everything in its place") we are schedule dependant...whatever...

As far as bipolar goes Idont see that in anyone, however my mothers parents died very very young...so idk much about her family.

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I am posting this as my opinion, because I am too tired to go do the research right now, so grab your salt. But I am under the impression that it is currently believed that BP illness results from an interaction of a genetic predisposition, and environmental factors. You can carry a lot of markers for mental illness, and not be mentally ill. My understanding is that while everyone is different, the general theory is it is a genetic/environment interaction.

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I am posting this as my opinion, because I am too tired to go do the research right now, so grab your salt. But I am under the impression that it is currently believed that BP illness results from an interaction of a genetic predisposition, and environmental factors. You can carry a lot of markers for mental illness, and not be mentally ill. My understanding is that while everyone is different, the general theory is it is a genetic/environment interaction.

 

Third paragraph down under "General Theories" in the link above in my last post says almost exactly what you are saying, about the genetic/environment interaction.

Edited by melissaw72

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I feel strongly that Many Neurological disorders are genetic.

But I have to bring up a topic that is important to me...labeling.

How can you be VERY bipolar? I hate referring to myself as bipolar. I have a disease. It is called bipolar disorder. I have a child who has Autism. If someone calls her Autistic, my fangs come out. She has Autism. It is really just one bullet point that defines who she is. Just like us, MI is not the only bullet point that defines us. My mom has addiction to pain killers. I don't call her an addict.

Maybe I more sensitive to this than others , but I think it is important to treat ourselves and others with dignity. We are not Bipolar. We have a serious disease. It's called Bipolar disorder.

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