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I just wanted to know if Bipolar is genetic. My was recently told that my grandad is bipolar and wondered if I was to as I believe I have some sort of mental problem. I don't really know much about bipolar and be good to learn about it also, not just from reading books and websites but from people who actually exprience it themselves or with other people.

Thanks heaps and look forward to hearing from anyone


Hi dlemah89,


Firstly- love your play on spelling 'Dilemma'! Very good. If you think of the words 'bi' and 'polar', that in short explains the mental health issues sufferers face. Moods can go from one extreme to the other quite quickly. A person with bi-polar may be happy and high and the life and soul of the party, yet they peak and then decend in to a low, suicidal depression. However, bi-polar can be different for different people and there are five types of bi-polar that has been indentified; bi-polar type 1 & type 2, cyclothymic disorder, rapid cycling and mixed states. Type 1 is mostly characterised by experiencing high, manic episodes but not all people have an extreme low afterwards. In a high state, there can be hallucinations and delusions. Type 2- the stereotypical bi-polar- lots of high, manic episodes followed by extreme lows. Cyclothymic disorder- very like type 2, but with normal behaviour inbetween manic highs and lows and the duration of the person's episodes are shorter in duration. Mixed states- depression and elation at the same time, so in effect, mood changes can be erratic and spontanious.


Manic- or high- moods can cause someone to do lots of things they wouldn't normally do. Some sufferers get in to a lot of debt, are promiscious, gamble, drink and take dangerous risks when in a manic state. Some often have delusions of grandeur and hallucinations, where they may think they're someone they're not. One time (many, many years ago), I was going through a period of time where I exhibited signs of bi-polar (I was later diagnosed with a personality disorder) where I spent a day telling everyone I met that I'd been accepted in to a girl pop group. I don't really remember it, but I was told later that I was also wandering around our neighbourhood in my underwear. Some people have manic episodes like that where they can't really recall what happened. Some can recall everything, but don't understand why they behaved in a certain way.


Low moods can be suicidal or catatonic. Catatonic depression is where the person can barely move; they sleep a lot and can barely find the energy to go to the bathroom or feed themselves. As a result, there can be physical health issues such as malnutritian and skin sores and lessions, as well as hygiene and personal care issues.


You open your post with a concern about bi-polar being genetic.

To answer your question....a genetic relationship with bi-polar is not well defined. There is higher risk of having a mental health issue, if there are existing mental health problems in the family, yet this does not necessarily indicate that it is genetically inherited. It can also be down to unconciously learning a set of behaviours during our formative years (childhood and teenage years).

If you really believe that you may be suffering with bi-polar, go and see you physician/GP. No one can give you a diagnosis on here and tbh, it is a dangerous thing to try and self-diagnose. People will connect certain symptoms when actually, the symptoms are not connected and have different or other causes. Before concluding that you have a mental health illness, there are a number of factors to consider beyond genetics.


Best of luck to you.







Hello again! I have bipolar type 1 with psychotic features, rapid cycling and mixed states (holy God, I know) Bipolar type 1 is the typical Manic-depession that you hear about and see in movies of famous artists. Extreme manic highs, extreme depressive lows, chance of psychotic episodes, the 'big one' so to speak. Bipolar type two has a lot of depression but doesn't need to have any mania to be diagnosed. Mixed states, psychotic features and rapid cycling are 'extra's'. So, I have bipolar type 1 because I have major episodes of both extremes, I fluctuate very quickly between moods so I have ultra-rapid cycling, I also get mixed states in between extremes, where I have symptoms of mania AND depression, I have psychotic features because my (generally manic) moods can go so extreme I fall into psychosis.
My other illnesses (OCD, panic disorder, social phobia) colour my moods also. Co when I'm manic I don't just get a euphoric high, I have major panic attacks because of my panic disorder. When I'm very depressed I tend to get a bit OCD, get upset when my things are touched etc. My social phobia is born from all the times I've had an episode in public and embarrassed myself.
So, the way bipolar manifests varies hugely depending on a whole lot of contributing factors. The four main types of bipolar are bipolar 1, bipolar 2, cyclothymia and bipolar not specified. All four's symptoms are hugely dependent on the individual experiencing them though they all require specific points to be diagnosed.
Wikipedia, googling things etc really doesn't outline very much does it? Makes bipolar sound like PMS!


Hi V

Um thanks about my name, it's actually the initials of my entire name so in a way my name is Dlemah if that makes any sense I don't know.

Anyways I would like to thank you for your reply. There is a lot to read over. I'm trying to see if there are any free GPs or Psycologists as i'm a bit short on cash for a while.

As i've talked in other discussions I am moody and have been suicidal I can be happy and angry all in one blow. I always feel like two people fighting over my head for control. I always see, hear and smell things other people can't. I can see an evil image of myself not just looking in a miroor. At a young age I always so things and thought may be it was the fact of living across from a cemetary I don't know. I don't care if I die and always talk about death. I've read other mental illnesses but they all seem the same to me. Hopefully I see someone soon and find out what's going on in this head of mine.

Thanks again for replying


Thanks aleaht for your comment.