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History of Bipolar disorder


What role does genetics or family history play in bipolar disorder?

The illness tends to be highly genetic, but there are clearly environmental factors that influence whether the illness will occur in a particular child. Bipolar disorder can skip generations and take different forms in different individuals.

The small group of studies that have been done vary in the estimate of risk to a given individual:

  • For the general population, a conservative estimate of an individual's risk of having full-blown bipolar disorder is 1 percent. Disorders in the bipolar spectrum may affect 4-6%.

  • When one parent has bipolar disorder, the risk to each child is l5-30%.

  • When both parents have bipolar disorder, the risk increases to 50-75%.

  • The risk in siblings and fraternal twins is 15-25%.

  • The risk in identical twins is approximately 70%.

In every generation since World War II, there is a higher incidence and an earlier age of onset of bipolar disorder and depression. On average, children with bipolar disorder experience their first episode of illness 10 years earlier than their parents' generation did. The reason for this is unknown.

The family trees of many children who develop early-onset bipolar disorder include individuals who suffered from substance abuse and/or mood disorders (often undiagnosed). Also among their relatives are found highly-accomplished, creative, and extremely successful individuals in business, politics, and the arts.

Historical Perspective

Bipolar disorder has left its mark on history. Many famous and accomplished people had symptoms of the illness, including:

  • Tolstoy
  • Virginia Woolf
  • Hemingway
  • Robert Lowell
  • Anne Sexton
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Winston Churchill
  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • Goethe
  • Balzac
  • Handel
  • Schumann
  • Berlioz

The biographies of Beethoven, Newton, and Dickens, in particular, reveal severe and debilitating recurrent mood swings beginning in childhood.

Bipolar Disorder - Bipolar Disorder is the form of depressive illness in which the sufferer has periods of being on a high, as well as periods of depression.

The less severe form of high in bipolar disorder is hypomania.

Treatment of Bipolar Disorder - Effective treatment is available for bipolar disorder. Treatments include medication, supportive psychotherapy and occasionally ECT.

What is the cause of Bipolar Disorder? Learn about various causes of bipolar disorder such as family tree, your genes, loss of job, etc.

Bipolar Disorder Fact

What are the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder? There are various symptoms of bipolar disorder.

Can Adolescent have bipolar disorder? Bipolar disorder can occur in adolescents and has been investigated by federally funded teams in children as young as age 6.

Can Children Have Bipolar Disorder? Children experience faster mood swings than adults, often cycling many times within a day.

Bipolar disorder - a case study Millions of Americans diagnosed with mental illness lead healthy lives because of information discovered through clinical studies.

History of bipolar disorder - Bipolar disorder has left its mark on history.

Importance of Bipolar disorder diagnosis Diagnosis is important, because it guides treatment decisions.

What is the need of diagnosis in childhood? The importance of proper diagnosis cannot be overstated.

What are the types of bipolar affective disorder? Learn about various types of bipolar disorder.

How can u help ur child and what is the role of parents? Your child can reduce the minor mood swings and stresses that sometimes lead to more severe episodes by adhering to the following tips.

Sometimes crying or laughing
are the only options left,
and laughing feels better right now.

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