Another Depressing Search Term

This one appeared today, and this blog is on the first page of google results. The search was ‘Why does mommy have bi-polar?’. My mental image this time is of a 9 year old using the hunt-and-peck method of typing.

In short, there is no single answer to why people have bipolar disorder. There appears to be a genetic component, but identical twin studies (where the genetic code is identical) both twins don’t always have it, which proves that that there is much more to it than just genes.

I suspect (and my suspicion has little research to back it up) that there are actually multiple causes for bipolar disorder. There are some people that are bipolar because they are predisposed genetically to be that way with a small environmental input at a critical time that seals it. There are probably other people that have few or none of the genes for bipolar that develop it entirely because of their environment.

If I had to guess, I would say that the people most helped by medication are the ones that are genetically bipolar, wile the ones that are environmentally bipolar show no or less improvement from the meds. Correspondingly, counseling alone might help someone who is not genetically bipolar, but would have little benefit alone for someone with those genes.

Current information on bipolar disorder and its causes can be found at NIH and Psych Central.

~ by namegoeshere on May 17, 2008.

One Response to “Another Depressing Search Term”

  1. This is a classic nature or nurture argument. I think that I have the genetic code for it, but I also think that it would not be as pronounced had certain things not taken place in my childhood. I believe in the genetics argument because I know that when I find the right meds I feel better. Yet, I also know that there are times that I can fall into a depressive cycle when I discuss or focus on chapters of my past.
    Statistics (which I wish I had on hand) do show that a high percentage of females with bipolar were abused (generally sexually) as children. There is your proof for your nurture argument. And those who are bipolar in quotes because of episodes such as that are probably never going to really get better with meds, they are going to benefit more from talk therapy.

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