Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Bipolar Disorder (Children and Adolescents)

Bipolar Disorder Genetic Transmission

03/22/2007

Question:

Is bipolar disorder hereditary?

Answer:

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.

Best wishes.

der

For more information:

Go to the Bipolar Disorder (Children and Adolescents) health topic, where you can:

Response by:

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