Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that affects many people around the world. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that in 2012 alone, about 1 per cent of adults. It had diagnosed bipolar disorder with such a high percentage of people being affected. There boun to be plenty of questions surrounding this disease.
One question that is often raised: Is there any hereditary connection?
This article will discuss how genetics play a role in developing bipolar disorder. And what scientists have uncovered about family trees with these genes.
It will also describe past research and what scientists hope to learn in the future.
What is Bipolar Disorder?
To begin, let us define bipolar disorder. Bipolar I am the more severe form of this condition. It includes having manic episodes. That last for at least one week as well as a period of depressive symptoms lasting for two weeks or more. Patients can have at least one manic and depressive episode, which know as having bipolar II disorder. People who have this type of bipolar disorder do not experience full-blown manic episodes like those with bipolar I. But still, experience symptoms that indicate an imbalance in their moods.
Both types have characterized by periods of high functioning between the two opposite states (high or low mood). For example, a person with bipolar I or bipolar II disorder may be very active and outgoing when they are in a manic state. Then, as their mood crashes, the same person may become depressed and see themselves as worthless.
Common Ages of Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is most diagnosed between the ages of 18 to 25. It affects men and women equally. However, for those who suffer from this disease over their lifespan. It typically develops at a younger age between the ages of 15 and 25. Bipolar disorder can cause many physical symptoms including involuntary body movements as well as long periods of sleeplessness in patients with manic episodes.
Bipolar Disorder: Is There a Hereditary Connection?
While there are many unanswered questions about bipolar disorder, scientists have uncovered several facts that may help lead to a cure, in the future. One of these is whether it has any hereditary connection.
It has been discussed meanwhile there are many unanswered questions about bipolar disorder, scientists have uncovered several facts that may help lead to a cure, in the future. One of these is whether it has any hereditary connection.
Symptoms of bipolar disorder can begin in the early ’20s. In some cases, patients show signs of this mental illness at a younger age around 15 or even younger in rare instances. Severe mood swings are not present at an earlier age. This could indicate that there is no hereditary connection to developing this form of mental illness.
However, it is possible that symptoms of bipolar disorder could be present earlier in life and go unnoticed. Many children experience these mood swings anyway. So they have passed off as “normal” behaviour. This would most likely occur if there was a strong familial history (much like ADHD) according to the National Institute for Mental Health’s (NIMH) website.
The NIMH is a government organization that conducts research on mental illness. And provides information about the brain and nervous system to the American public. The organization notes, “About 80% of people with bipolar disorder have a family history of the disorder or other psychiatric conditions.” It is important to note that these statistics are based on the results of a study made up of patients. Who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder? It should also be mentioned that this applies to only those who receive a diagnosis. It is believed that many family members may have symptoms and not even realize that they have them.