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Doctor insights on: Does Bipolar Disorder Have To Run In Your Family For You To Get It

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Does bipolar disorder have to run in your family for you to get it?

Does bipolar disorder have to run in your family for you to get it?

No: Many mental illnesses run in families, but there has never been any convincing evidence that they are hereditary (passed down in the genes). ...Read more

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Dr. Alan Ali
1,717 doctors shared insights

Bipolar Disorder (Definition)

Also known as manic-depressive illness, bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that in its most severe form causes dramatic shifts in mood, from mania to depression. Symptoms of mania include markedly elevated mood and energy, reduced sleep and a reduced need for sleep, racing thoughts, and grandiose ideas. When mood changes are severe, psychotic ideation may be present. Symptoms of depression can include low energy, feeling sad, feelings of guilt and hopelessness that are out of proportion to the patient's actual situation, low motivation, inability to experience pleasure, and suicidal ideation. Sleep may be increased, and concentration may be impaired. Some manic patients may be extremely irritable rather than euphoric. Less severe but clearly abnormal mood ...Read more


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Does bipolar disorder run in the family> should you tell them if you get it?

Does bipolar disorder run in the family> should you tell them if you get it?

Yes: Bipolar is one of the more heritable psychiatric conditions but may manefest in different ways such as anxiety and panic or ocd. Knowledge of family history and family response to treatment can be very helpful. ...Read more

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I take Abilify (aripiprazole) for bipolar disorder. It sometimes causes uncontrollable speech if i run out or if i'm exhausted. What could be happening? Tourette's?

I take Abilify (aripiprazole) for bipolar disorder. It sometimes causes uncontrollable speech if i run out or if i'm exhausted. What could be happening? Tourette's?

Discuss w/ doctor: Who prescribed abilify (aripiprazole). There are tourette's pts who are given this to control that symptom. I suppose, like sometimes happens with newer drugs - symptoms may be elicited. Your doctor should be told about this in detail. A different drug or dose may relieve you. Also, try not to get exhausted. Bipolar (or any) psychiatric condition is worsened by fatigue. Talk therapy may help you find balance. ...Read more

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My sister says she has bipolar disorder. Are family members more likely to get the same thing?

My sister says she has bipolar disorder. Are family members more likely to get the same thing?

Increased Risk: There is an increased risk among close family members if someone has bipolar disorder. However, this is not an automatic result. ...Read more

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If one child in a family has bipolar disorder, how likely is it that another child will get it too?

If one child in a family has bipolar disorder, how likely is it that another child will get it too?

Higher risk: A study in the lancet (2009) showed that if sibling a has bipolar, the sibling b is 8 times more likely to develop bipolar disorder. Other studies place the relative risk range between 7 and 10 times. This translates to a 5-20% risk. ...Read more

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How much can family history effect bipolar disorder?

How much can family history effect bipolar disorder?

Likely: Bipolar disorder most frequently is associated with a family history of that disorder, or those related (including alcoholism). This shows that there is often a genetic predisposition to the disorder in a given individual. ...Read more

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Please tell me, could you develop bipolar disorder without a clear family history?

Please tell me, could you develop bipolar disorder without a clear family history?

Yes: There are new cases that are seen without a family history of mood disorder. There are some family lines in which multiple members have had some form of bipolar spectrum disorder. There may be other family lines with history of alcoholism, anxiety disorder or depression - but no known history of bipolar disorder. ...Read more

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Docs can you explain what is a chance bipolar disorder passing down the family in fourth generation?

Docs can you explain what is a chance bipolar disorder passing down the family in fourth generation?

A chance: It is difficult to determine a % risk of a 4th generation and without knowing your history. What I do know is a child who has one bipolar parent has a 15-30% risk. One who has 2 bipolar parents has a 50-75% risk. Bipolar disorder can also sometimes skip a generation. Environmental stressors can also be a trigger of bipolar for some individuals. Is there a chance, yes, but not a definite one. ...Read more

Dr. Donald Jacobson
737 doctors shared insights

Manic Depressive Disorder (Definition)

Though depression is not required for diagnosis most people have both manic and depressive episodes and may have mixed episodes with features of both. Length of episodes vary, but are separated by "normal" periods of emotion and behavior. See my answers to similar ...Read more