A parent with bipolar disorder may wonder if they’ve passed along the disease to their children. Will a son or daughter have to experience some of the same challenges? Some researchers say that bipolar disorder can be hereditary although the risk is not typically high.

It’s not an absolute that a bipolar parent will have a child with bipolar disorder. The risk can be higher due to the genetics factor, which weighs in about 75 to 80 percent. Besides heredity there are other factors can come in to play though such as chronic medical illnesses and stress, according to researchers.

The risk can depend on a mix of genetics, environment and psychological components. Researchers have not yet pinpointed the mix of internal and external factors that could spark manic depression.

So what is the hereditary risk of a bipolar parent having a bipolar child? The risk is between 4 percent and 15 percent for a child with one parent with bipolar disorder. On the other hand the risk is zero to two percent for families where the neither parent has the disease.

There are ways to help a possibly predisposed child not develop bipolar disorder. A child should have a regular sleep schedule, regular exercise and a nutritious diet. Life stresses and major events can cause an onset of mania or depression. A stable home life is important.

It is important to know that anyone can develop manic depression and it can manifest at any age. Be mindful of the symptoms, but aware that even when there’s a hereditary risk there is typically a greater chance that an individual won’t develop manic depression than the chance that they will.

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It is best to prepare for your first appointment for a bipolar disorder assessment with a psychiatrist.

You may have already talked with your regular doctor and gotten a referral for a psychiatrist who will assess you to see if you should be given a formal diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

Here are some things you can do for your bipolar disorder assessment appointment. You’ll also learn what to expect.

— The psychiatrist will want to know the symptoms you’ve had that led you to believe you have bipolar disorder. Write down everything you’re experiencing health-wise that’s unusual, even if it doesn’t seem to relate to your mental health.

— Make note of recent major life events or stressful situations you’ve experienced in your life.

— Write down the medications and vitamins you take.

— Prepare a list of questions to ask the doctor so that you don’t miss anything you want to know. Also ask questions of the doctor if he or she says something you don’t understand.


You will be asked questions during your appointment to assist the psychiatrist in making a bipolar disorder diagnosis if that is the case.

–Some of the questions the doctor will ask will likely ask include how long you’ve had symptoms of mania, depression or hypomania. He or she will want to know if you have suicidal thoughts and how often your moods change.

— Other questions could include the level of severity of your symptoms and if they impact your daily routine and relationships. Your loved ones may have noticed your symptoms before you so gather some feedback.

— The psychiatrist will also want to know any other physical or mental health conditions you may have even if you don’t think it relates to bipolar disorder.

— You’ll be asked about your sleep habits and about possible use of drugs and/or alcohol.

— The doctor will also want to know if you have blood relatives with bipolar disorder as this can impact your risk level for having the disease.


If you can, take a close friend or relative with you to your bipolar disorder assessment appointment. There is a lot of information to process during your appointment and it’s good to have someone else there with you for support.

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Raising a bipolar child can be a challenge, but there are books on bipolar disorder that can help you along the journey. These bipolar books offer medical information and practical advise you can use to raise your child and attend to their unique needs. You will find new hope as you realize that you are not alone in the questions and issues you have on manic depression.

Some of these books address issues at various levels in your son or daughter’s development, such as childhood and adolescence. You’ll find useful information to raise your child and teenager while helping them manage their mood swings.

Here is a list of books on raising a bipolar child:

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If you or a loved one has bipolar disorder, it will be beneficial to buy books on bipolar disorder for your home library. These books not only serve as a resource, but also offer encouragement and helpful advice.

While bipolar disorder books are not a replacement for medical treatment and counseling, you’ll get some additional answers you seek about the disease. This list includes books on living in a bipolar relationship, raising bipolar children and how to manage your own manic depression.

Some of these authors have personally experienced manic depression in their lives. Others are licensed medical professionals writing on the subject. These titles are appropriate to purchase for yourself or to give to a loved one seeking help. Stay tuned for a list of titles divided by topic in the near future.

Here is a list of bipolar disorder books:

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Only you can decide when and how to tell someone you are bipolar. It is no secret that there are many social stigmas that are attached to bipolar disorder. However, an individual should not be ashamed of their condition. Bipolar disorder is simply a part of their life.

It can be difficult to figure out how to tell someone you are bipolar. If a friend or loved one truly cares about you, then they will not pass judgment on you simply because you have a disorder. You should be prepared for people to ask questions. There are many aspects of the disease that they may not understand. These questions will be asked out of curiosity, rather than derision.

It is important to explain to those who are close to you that you have bipolar disorder. This provides those who care about you with an explanation to your behaviors at certain times, such as when you are experiencing a bout of depression. This can assist those around you with figuring out how to best help you during these periods, and you should be able to rely on your friends and family for support. There are some individuals who will react negatively to this news when you tell them. However, if this occurs, then you should simply let the situation go. You cannot control their reactions or their responses.

Before you tell someone you are bipolar, there are several questions you should ask yourself. First, is there a benefit, whether it be personal or professional, to you to tell this person? Secondly, what is your reason behind your desire to tell someone you are bipolar? Finally, does the person, such as a significant other or a superior at work, you will be talking too have a right to know about your condition? Bipolar disorder is an intensely personal issue, and it will be up to your discretion as to whom you inform about it.

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