Family History of Bipolar Symptoms

bipolar family statistics

Doctors, psychiatrists and medical professionals now know that genetics can play a role in mental health so what does it mean for those who have a family history of bipolar disorder?  While a family history of psychological disorders does indeed mean that there is an increased risk of developing one of these disorders it does not necessarily mean that the development of one of these disorders is guaranteed.  However, for someone that does have a family history of bipolar disorder, such as a bipolar mother or father, the warning signs of bipolar disorder should be watched for.  If the warning signs of psychological disorders begin to crop up, professional help should be sought.

Being Aware of A Family History of Bipolar Disorder

For someone worried that they or someone around them is exhibiting symptoms of bipolar disorder or one of the similar psychological conditions, simply being aware of a family history of bipolar disorder can help one prepare for such a scenario.  Say you are dating someone with bipolar disorder.  They’re likely to have a family history of psychological disorders which means that any children you may have this person may be more likely to develop bipolar disorder or a similar condition.  For a person that has a bipolar mother or father being aware of this can help them prepare for a time when they or an offspring might develop bipolar disorder.  When one of more of the parents of a child suffers from bipolar disorder they should be watchful of their child as they enter their teen years since this is the time in a person’s life when psychological disorders such as bipolar disorder are likely to begin manifesting.

Bipolar Disorder During the Teen Years

For parents that do have a family history of bipolar disorder the teen years of their child’s life can be somewhat stressful.  Teens are known for being moody and unpredictable so sometimes it can be hard to determine if your teen may be exhibiting the beginning symptoms of bipolar disorder or simply being a moody and unpredictable teen.  If your teen does end up being diagnosed with bipolar disorder this can be a very difficult thing for everyone involved.  Teens may feel distant and removed from friends or have a hard time entering into intimate relationships as many teens cannot handle the stress that comes from dating someone with bipolar disorder.

How Much Does it Increase the Risk?

As far as psychological disorders go, bipolar is relatively common.  However, among the general popular the risk of developing bipolar or one of the similar psychological disorders is roughly a 4-6% chance; not terribly likely.  However, when one has a bipolar mother or father the risk jumps to 15-30% and when both parents have bipolar disorder the risk of developing bipolar disorder is a whopping 50-75%.  As can be plainly seen, people that have a family history of bipolar disorder having a much higher risk of developing bipolar disorder making it important to know about the mental health history of one’s family.