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Bipolar Disorder (Children and Adolescents)

Abuse and the Bipolar Child

02/15/2005

Question:

Can part of a bipolar disorder be caused by abusive parents?

Answer:

Thank you for your question. At the moment, no evidence exists in the scientific literature to suggest that bipolar disorder can be caused by abusive parents. While the exact cause(s) of bipolar disorder is (are) not presently known, substantial evidence suggests a biological basis. Genetic studies show the risk of having bipolar disorder increases if there is a family history of bipolar disorder, depression and/or substance abuse. An imbalance of neurotransmitters (i.e., chemicals responsible for sending "messages") within the brain have been implicated in bipolar disorder, as have various areas of the brain responsible for controlling thoughts, behaviors and emotions. Thus, bipolar disorder can be considered a "no-fault brain disorder."

Best wishes.

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Response by:

Nicholas   Lofthouse, PhD Nicholas Lofthouse, PhD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University