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Luann, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 158
Experience:  Licensed Psychologist, 24 years experience working with children, adolescents, families and adults.
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Im wondering if there is an increased risk of my child having

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I'm wondering if there is an increased risk of my child having bipolar I have been diagnosed with it as bipolar II and my grandfather and brother have/had it. If there is what is that increase in risk? Please give a percentage of risk of having it if it runs in one side of the family and the percentage for a baby that was born with neither sides effected. Thanks!!

Luann :


Luann :

Bipolar disorder, like all mental illnesses, tends to run in families, but developing bipolar disorder is a combination of genetic, psychological and environmental factors. Heredity or genetics tends to be a slightly larger factor. If you have one parent with bipolar disorder there is a 15 - 30% increased risk, if both parents have bipolar disorder there is a 50-75% increased risk. You can see there is a large range in these statistics because it is just one factor and difficult to determine the direct effect. About 5.7 million people have bipolar disorder in the United States or about 2.6% of the population. To get the most accurate statistics for you, I recommend you seek genetic counseling. This type of counseling can give you a more exact risk of your children inheriting bipolar disorder. Even if both parents have no history of mental illness, there are risks. Don't let your own history deter you from having children. You are right to be concerned and to seek information. Being a parent requires a lot of faith and hard work. Prepare yourself the best you can and enjoy the journey.

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