2013 Bipolar Update
Looking At Bipolar Families
A common debate in many circles is whether bipolar disorder runs in the genes or not. The debate raises a lot of interesting questions in the area of hereditary medicine because up to this day, full diagnosis of the causes of Bipolar Disorder has yet to be discovered. In contrast, a lot of documented cases show that people with relatives suffering from Bipolar Disorder have an elevated risk towards acquiring the disease than those whose family trees continue to remain clean from Bipolar Disorder.
There is a growing body of evidence showing cases of bipolar families where multiple members in one household experience a Bipolar Syndrome in varying stages, oftentimes undiagnosed, and in some cases occurring at the same time. Medical science is starting to pay attention to these trends so it can develop early detection methods that can be used to screen and detect the onset of Bipolar Syndrome in bipolar families where members are yet to show symptoms.
First, however, there is a need to understand the underlying causes of Bipolar Disorder as far as current medical science is concerned. In the most recent scientific journals, Bipolar Disorder is described as the unpredictable fluctuation of mood associated with a chemical imbalance in the brain of the sufferer. This chemical imbalance disrupts the typical way that mood is handled by the brain and as a result, the patient suffers from wild mood swings from high euphoria to low depression. Bipolar episodes can last from a few days to a few months and specific to major depressive moods, there is an inherent danger for suicidal tendencies, a general feeling of apathy and the loss of interest in doing everyday activities.
The argument supporting the existence of bipolar families lies in the fact that the tendency towards this chemical imbalance – or better yet, the production of a chemical that doesn’t naturally occur in normal brains and causes the disruption of the delicate chemical balance – is governed by genetics. Currently, there is no conclusive evidence that exists to support or refute this model but efforts are underway to look into common genetic signatures that can lead to an imbalance. The truth is that there are no shortages of traumatic or depressive circumstances that trigger the onset of bipolar syndrome. Everyone goes through a phase where everything seems to be going bad but not everyone comes out of it with a bipolar syndrome. If some underlying genetic profile predisposes some individuals to pick up Bipolar Syndrome as a response to these traumatic and depressing circumstances, then it would influence the search for a cure in a much more productive manner.
As the number of bipolar families continues to grow, the race to peg the underlying cause for Bipolar Syndrome becomes an even more critical effort. In the meantime, patients can turn to existing “management medications” and therapy as a means to help them tide over. True, a cure exists today but even with the most advanced methods available, it still takes time to fully get rid of the illness and even then, there is an inherent risk for the patient to relapse if they do not follow their doctor's orders. It has been found that careful management of patients by informed family members is the best way to make sure that bipolar symptoms are kept under wraps at all times.
In the same way, family members of bipolar patients must seek the services of a trained psychiatrist or psychologist for potential early diagnosis of Bipolar Syndrome. Bipolar families can be avoided by nipping the disease in the bud and this can only be done through early detection.
It is not easy to constantly deal with a bipolar relative, much less somebody you spend time with on a daily basis. The stress can be enough to trigger your own bipolar syndrome. Be open and honest about your feelings and talk to your patient’s doctor whenever possible in order to control or prevent the proliferation of the disease resulting in the growth of more bipolar families. Until a more conclusive medical screening method is developed, this is the only way to proactively guard against the gripping effects of Bipolar Disorder.
Though this alls seems depressing do remember as stated earlier that there are cures available though they take time. A bipolar individual can lead a normal life with proper care and cooperation of the patient.
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