Bipolar Disorder Genetics: From My Grandmother to Me
Thursday, October 5 2017 Hannah Blum
There's a strong genetic component to bipolar disorder. Researchers have already shown that bipolar disorder can be passed from generation to generation.
When diagnosed with bipolar 2 disorder, my doctor was curious as to who could have passed the bipolar gene down to me. In my immediate family, no one showed symptoms of bipolar disorder. Looking deeper into my family history, it became apparent that my grandmother had bipolar disorder. Her story made me think about the differences between what our lives are like living with bipolar.
Similar Bipolar Genetics, Different Life Experiences
My grandmother was born in the late 1920's, and I was born in 1989. We have the same mental health condition but in two completely different generations.
In 2017, we face bipolar stigma on a daily basis. I could not imagine what it must have been like for people living with bipolar disorder, depression or anxiety in the previous generations. It saddens me to know that my grandmother never once received treatment for bipolar disorder, and I cannot blame her.
Supposedly my grandmother was a brilliant woman with a vibrant personality but because she was unmedicated, the colorful part of her was eventually covered in darkness. It is a story that reminds me to be grateful and continue fighting against stigma for the next generation.
In this video, I explore the difference between my life with bipolar 2 disorder in 2017 and my grandmother's life with the same condition in the early to mid-1900's.
Is there someone in your family, born in a different generation, that lives with bipolar disorder? What challenges did they face that differ from the ones you face in present day? How do we reduce stigma for the next generation? Please share your experience below or do a response video and send it into info@ healthyplace.com. Thanks!