For many years bipolar disorder has been given various names, and classified as having a variety of symptoms. Even today there are still quite a few mysteries concerning bipolar disorder. Many sufferers of this condition have been misunderstood and thrown into inpatient situations for long periods of time earlier in history. Luckily, today we understand much more about this mental disorder. However, there are still questions about the disorder that have not received definitive answers from the medical community. One such question has been, "Is bipolar disorder hereditary?
Recently, it has been discovered that this problem is formed because of an imbalance of chemical levels found in your brain. This chemical imbalance can have degrees of severity and manifests itself through a variety of symptoms. It has long been said that it ran in the family, but there haven't been a lot of concrete evidence to support the theory. Now scientists have discovered that it can in fact be passed down genetically, though it is a complicated situation.
Research has shown that children with both parents with the disorder have a higher chance of developing it, but a child with one diagnosed parent and one non-bipolar has a very small risk. There have also been studies on identical twins that states that if one is manic-depressive than the other has an over 80% chance of the mental illness developing. There are several genes that are involved in it's development, and there are so many combinations involved when passed down genes; that's why it is possible it to skip a child even if one parent has that diagnosis.
Although we are not sure which specific genes cause bipolar disorder, with the recent expansion in knowledge of molecular genetics, we may one day find the answer. We will one day understand why the disorder is different between individuals, and why the age in which it manifest varies so greatly. These answers can help further medical and pharmaceutical treatment for this condition. So although it is true, the mental illness can be hereditary, but there are too many factors involved to confirm that you will develop the disorder. Some say that just like alcoholism, people pick up patterns that they learn from their families so it is not really genetic but what one has absorbed in childhood. The good thing about this is that we can unlearn our conditioning and not be slaves to it. You should seek medical advice to evaluate your risk level.
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