Bipolar disorder is one of the most common mental disorder in which a person has manic attacks which his mood may fluctuate rapidly. The person may be hyperactive but after few seconds he may go in depression. Manic attacks may flare up any time however, it is generally triggered due to major changes in a person life.Is bipolar hereditary? Is a major cause of concern of bipolar parents because they fear that their disorder may pass on to their kids and they blame themselves for the conditions of their kids.
Many couples you are planning to marry may find making the decision very difficult because of the fact that their offspring may have also the disorder. Almost in every case of bipolar you can find that the patient has one or the other relative who has bipolar disorder. It is not necessary to be immediate family, even if someone of your extended family like your aunt, uncle or grandfather has the disorder then your chances of having the disorder is quiet high in comparison to other people. The risk is maximum if both the parents have bipolar and in almost 80% cases child also has bipolar.
Doctors have found several genes such as ANK3 which are responsible for bipolar however, if tests shows deposition of bipolar in the genes of your child doesn’t really mean that he will surely have bipolar in your future. There are other factors too which decide the manifestation of the disorder in the future which include stressful events, changes in sleep pattern and chronic medical illness.
Doctors still don’t know what makes these genes increase the chances of bipolar disorder in a person. A test can show show presence of these genes in children who are only 5 years old but the disorder manifests only after 16 years and after that person may show regular flare ups and manic attacks. According to another recent theory states that flow of sodium and calcium ions in the neurons of the brain may be the cause of the flare ups however, it has not been proven yet. In almost 3% cases of bipolar there were no relatives of the patient who had bipolar.
If you want a straight answer of Is bipolar hereditary? Then it is both yes and no because as stated above it isn’t the only cause of the disorder. Even if both the parents are having bipolar but if there are no other risk factors involved in the life of a person then he can have a normal life. You can prevent bipolar disorder in your kids by ensuring proper sleeping pattern, healthy diet, avoiding alcohol and drugs and proper parenting. If your child doesn’t have a major stressful event then chances are there he may not suffer from bipolar.
You can not control genetics but you can surely control other risk factors. So need not worry and blame yourself for your child’s condition instead you should focus on proper parenting and development of your child.