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Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Bipolar Disorder (Children and Adolescents)
Bipolar Disorder Genetic Transmission
Is bipolar disorder hereditary?
Thank you for an excellent question. Yes, bipolar disorder can be inherited. However, always keep in mind two things:
1) "Genes do not equal destiny." Just because other family members have a disease, it doesn't mean 100% that a child will have it; it just increases the probability.
2) Even though the cause of bipolar disorder is probably biological, its course (or how it develops over time) is influenced in positive and negative ways by environmental events (e.g., home life, school, friends, therapy, medications etc.)
The ONLY way to find out if someone has bipolar, or for that matter any psychiatric disorder, is to get a comprehensive and detailed psychological assessment from a trained mental health professional.
I hope this answer is helpful.
Nicholas Lofthouse, PhD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University