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    Old 12-29-2004, 07:13 PM   #1
    Munozchick
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    Passing Bipolar on to children...

    I know, I know...too many post. This is important. My husband and I are trying to have kids. Yet, I feel very guilty that my children will have to go through the same stuff that I have had to go through. What are the chances of my kids dealing with this?

     
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    Old 12-30-2004, 01:51 AM   #2
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    Re: Passing Bipolar on to children...

    Hi there 'D'

    Been following most of your postings. These days I read more and post less, part of my ongoing self-management.

    I am about to start an on-line experiment (watch the boards) following the most monumental discoveries I have made regarding being Bi-P.

    BI-P is NOT, repeat NOT, 'proven' to be genetic. That is a 'proven' fact.

    It is possible that like most behavour, being Bi-P can be 'learned' by our children, just like good manners or being violent.

    The good news is that if you have kids, by the time they are old enough to be affected by being Bi-P, the info I have discovered will have filtered its way around the medical community to the degree that people will no longer accept the huge number of 'apparant' mental illnesses.

    So don't worry about your kids being Bi-P.

    Just for the record... I'm Bi-P(or so I was told) for seven years, on 1200gms Lithium, two small kids, thought my young son was showing signs of being Bi-P.

    Hope it helps,

    Hedge.

    Last edited by Hedgehog No 1; 12-30-2004 at 01:53 AM.

     
    Old 12-30-2004, 06:08 AM   #3
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    Re: Passing Bipolar on to children...

    This is a difficult question to answer. There is ample evidence that bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses have a genetic component. Some studies show that up to 50% of people with bipolar disorder have a parent with a mood disorder. As for the chances that your children could be bipolar? With one bipolar parent, the odds range from 15% to 50%, depending on which study you are looking at. Does your husband also have mental illness? Because that could increase the odds.

    Most researchers no longer believe that bipolar is a "learned behavior," (like bad manners) that children pick up from being raised by a mentally ill parent. People with bipolar disorder are born with it, certainly your environment can affect the course of your illness, but it cannot cause disease where there is none.

    But. . . genetics are not destiny. There is no guarantee that your children would have any problems.

    I understand what you are going through. My husband is bipolar, and I have problems with depression. We have decided not to have biological children in part because of this. I strongly believe that mental illness has a genetic component, and I see evidence of that in our own families. His aunt was bipolar and his father had a variety of problems, and many members of my family struggle with mental illness as well. Other friends of mine with mental illness have parents who are also ill. I realize that this is not proof, but it is persuasive to me.

    Another thing to consider is how the stress of being a parent will affect your illness. My husband and I have talked about adoption. He has had a lot of problems in the past, but has now been stable for about a year. We would like him to remain stable for several more years before we would consider adding the stresses of children to our marriage.

    This is a hard question, good luck.

     
    Old 12-30-2004, 06:51 AM   #4
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    Re: Passing Bipolar on to children...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Munozchick
    I know, I know...too many post. This is important. My husband and I are trying to have kids. Yet, I feel very guilty that my children will have to go through the same stuff that I have had to go through. What are the chances of my kids dealing with this?
    I THINK THE CHANCES ARE QUITE STRONG, BUT IF IT OCCURS YOUR CHILDREN'S TREATMENT WILL BE STARTED EARLIER BECAUSE OF A POSITIVE HISTORY. IT BROKE MY HEART TO SEE MY 16/17 YR OLD HAVE THE IDENTICAL SYMPTOMS TO MINE WHEN I WAS 18 ISH. I TOLD MY GP I WISH I HAD NEVER HAD THEM BECAUSE OF THE RISKS, AND HE SEEMED QUITE SHOCKED AND SAID THE THING WAS TO GET ANY OF MY CHILDREN TO TREATMENT EARLY. IT WILL BE A LONG TIME BEFORE I FORGIVE MYSELF FOR PASSING THIS 'RUBBISH' ON.

     
    Old 12-30-2004, 06:53 AM   #5
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    Re: Passing Bipolar on to children...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jgregg
    i Think The Chances Are Quite Strong, But If It Occurs Your Children's Treatment Will Be Started Earlier Because Of A Positive History. It Broke My Heart To See My 16/17 Yr Old Have The Identical Symptoms To Mine When I Was 18 Ish. I Told My Gp I Wish I Had Never Had Them Because Of The Risks, And He Seemed Quite Shocked And Said The Thing Was To Get Any Of My Children To Treatment Early. It Will Be A Long Time Before I Forgive Myself For Passing This 'rubbish' On.

     
    Old 12-30-2004, 07:25 AM   #6
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    Re: Passing Bipolar on to children...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hedgehog No 1
    Hi there 'D'

    Been following most of your postings. These days I read more and post less, part of my ongoing self-management.

    I am about to start an on-line experiment (watch the boards) following the most monumental discoveries I have made regarding being Bi-P.

    BI-P is NOT, repeat NOT, 'proven' to be genetic. That is a 'proven' fact.

    It is possible that like most behavour, being Bi-P can be 'learned' by our children, just like good manners or being violent.

    The good news is that if you have kids, by the time they are old enough to be affected by being Bi-P, the info I have discovered will have filtered its way around the medical community to the degree that people will no longer accept the huge number of 'apparant' mental illnesses.

    So don't worry about your kids being Bi-P.

    Just for the record... I'm Bi-P(or so I was told) for seven years, on 1200gms Lithium, two small kids, thought my young son was showing signs of being Bi-P.

    Hope it helps,

    Hedge.
    Sorry, but I think this information might be a little off.

    Bipolar is indeed genetic (or at least it can be)

    It's not a 'behavior' it's an illness that needs to be treated. A behavior is a totally different thing than an illness is.

    This kind of thinking- that it's 'learned' or similar thoughts- is in part what leads so many people fighting bipolar and other disorders to refrain from getting help.

    They percieve it as some type of weakness or something- rather than the illness that it is.

    We can not control whether or not we become bipolar. I'm assuredly bipolar, as is my mother, aunt, grandmother- and unfortunately my daughter.

    While my daughter has my genes, I refuse to be responsible for her mental illness- or for mine. As long as I'm being treated. We have enough guilt in our lives for whatever reasons. Feeling guilty because our 'behavior' caused our kid to be bipolar is just way over the top.

    While not every case of bipolar is genetic- there are certainly enough studies that show a definite genetic link.

     
    Old 12-30-2004, 09:43 AM   #7
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    Re: Passing Bipolar on to children...

    A note to all concerned...

    I am NOT getting involved in a discussion/argument concerning my information, but, what I will do is suggest what was suggested to me and I will let each and everyone of you make up your OWN mind. This is after all a 'peer' group 'support system'.

    1) GENETIC LINKS. It is a non-disputed FACT, by ALL medical communities that as of todays date there is no identified gene responsible for Bi-Polar Affective Dissorder.

    That means it CAN NOT be officially called a 'genetic' illness/disease/problem.

    I am VERY OPEN to the idea that it MIGHT be because I looked at myself, my father and my grandfather when I was first diagnosed. What I TRIED to explain - and failed - is that if you research this illness, you will find a HUGE amount of disagreement WITHIN the medical community, the very people who provide us ALL with a diagnosis, regarding this illness.

    I have investigated this VERY thoroughly. Go do the same, please, see what YOU can learn about YOUR illness/condition etc.

    Signing off, with NO argument, just a suggestion to learn...

    Hedge.

     
    Old 12-30-2004, 10:41 AM   #8
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    Re: Passing Bipolar on to children...

    I was just diagnosed about 3 weeks ago and my son is only 4 years old and his preschool teacher thinks he may be bipolar. Is that possible? My son has alot of learning & behavioral problems right now. He was observed at school because his teacher & myself thought he is ADHD. They think he may be depressed!! He does have pretty bad mood swings for a boy his age.
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    Old 12-30-2004, 12:06 PM   #9
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    Re: Passing Bipolar on to children...

    Michele,

    My son is now 7 years old and he too is having problems in school. I have been diagnosed about 1 1/2 years. Ricky had problems starting in K and now is in 2nd grade. With help he is doing much better. The only thing the doc and counselor have said is he is emotionally disabled and that makes sense to me. The reason it makes sense is with my being BP. Kids need to have structure and have consistancy in regards to disapline and the like. Well, I am everything but consistant with my moods being all over the place (I'm a rapid cycler).
    The doc wants to start him on medication for BP along the lines of what I am taking, but I really don't think it would do any good. For now he is just reacting to how I am acting I believe. When he gets older and begins to realize what is going on, maybe he will "straighten out." Another reason I back of a bit is he is on Stattera for ADD and most of the meds for BP have not been tested on children for that person. I, personally, don't want to risk it.
    What I am saying is be careful, listen to everyone's opionion Especially Yours!
    Misti

     
    Old 12-30-2004, 03:10 PM   #10
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    Re: Passing Bipolar on to children...

    Woah...I started something. Ok, first of all...Hedge. I believe the bipolar is not learned. But I totally understand what you're saying. Children copy the behavior of other people. Since, they are around their parents all the time, they could definetly "learn" the symptoms of bipolar. Thank you so much for the help.
    I'm still not totally sure how I feel. I do know that i want kids with my husband. My family has told me that having if I have kids, I simply need to monitor them and be there for them.
    If y'all have anything else, keep it coming. I can use all the help i can get.

     
    Old 12-30-2004, 10:13 PM   #11
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    Re: Passing Bipolar on to children...

    I THINK EVERY PERSON WITH A POST IN THIS THREAD WOULD GET AN A+ and maybe even extra credit.

    Genetic...not genetic....hey, what huge respect I have for all of you to even ADMIT a child could have this (regardless of where it came from). Too many teen suicides, ruined lives and families when a 13 year old is told to "turn that frown upsidedown!)

    My husband's mother has emotional problems and has sadly turned her back on any sort of treatment. My husband rapidly sunk into depression over the last 4 months and his brother also goes though this. Unfortuneatly, they will not admit there is a real problem. In fact, they just say they are a little "blue".

    I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder 3 months ago and it has been tough for myself and in turn, my 3 year old and 11 month old little boys. Obvioiusly, my husband and I are in trouble as these disorders hit us.

    I want to work on myself and also my marriage and will hopefully be able to gain enough strength to give my husband som help. He still has not made an effort or accepted that his condidtion will not just go away and also continues to become more withdrawn, angry and sadly sullen.

    I am adpoted, I have no idea if my bio parents had emotinal problems. I don't care, I want to deal with this and beat this and if one of my sweet little boys someday suffer from any sort of lasting or reoccuring emotional distress, I want to back them 110% Denial will not happen in my home!

    So to me, this is all interesting, but more uplifting to know there are so many people ready to accept and support this should it reach their family.


    Good luck everyone!

     
    Old 12-31-2004, 04:01 AM   #12
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    Re: Passing Bipolar on to children...

    Yes, it can be passed on to chlidren. There are studies that say that there is. I recall seeing 10% all the way up to 40% depending on the parents, grandparents, siblings, ect.....

    There is hope!
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    Old 12-31-2004, 11:17 AM   #13
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    Wink Re: Passing Bipolar on to children...

    They said they'd have bipolar cured in the next 10-20 years, but sometimes people's estimates of when treatments/cures/etc will be in use are grossly off. I don't know about genetic counselling though. I do remember that my mom saw on TV 2 years ago that someone finally identified ONE gene that is responsible for bipolar, but there's more than one gene responsible, apparently.
    Though I'm still young (18 in March), this is something I still do worry about a lot. I know my age must make it seem like I have it good though! And I probably do... I hope.
    Good luck,
    Kristina

     
    Old 12-31-2004, 02:21 PM   #14
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    Re: Passing Bipolar on to children...

    I'm only 21...maybe I should until Im 40 to have kids, huh Kristina??? It sure as hell would make it easier on them if they're bipolar and there is a cure for it! I appreciate the insight

     
    Old 12-31-2004, 02:23 PM   #15
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    Re: Passing Bipolar on to children...

    Quote:
    Yet, I feel very guilty that my children will have to go through the same stuff that I have had to go through.
    Controversy about inheritance risks aside, I felt that this sentence was one I certainly could relate to.

    I didn't get married until I was 35 - but I had made my mind up that I would not have children of my own.
    a) The risk of passing this along to a child (25% I'd always heard)
    b) The risk to the fetus if I stayed on the medication and the risk to me if I went off (i.e. didn't want to give birth in a psych ward)
    c) Just because I WANTED kids didn't mean I HAD to have them.

    When I met my husband I told him as soon as I even sensed he was getting serious that I wouldn't be having children so he could back out if he wanted to have children of his own.

    As it turns out, neither of us felt strongly in our late thirties that we wanted to "buy a baby" (my term for adoption) at $15,000 and we've definitely been the favorite Aunt & Uncle - and now Great Aunt & Great Uncle of both our families. My husband also coaches Jr. Bowling - about 250 kids/wk.

    Maybe I always had a lower drive for kids? The risks just seemed to outweigh the benefits for me in my own particular situation....

     
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