Is Bipolar Hereditary?



I read in the book: “The Bipolar Child”, that each child had a 30% chance of being bipolar if one parent were bipolar, and WAY higher chance if both parents were bipolar.  I also sat down with a friend this week who said that she was so grateful that I confided in her the name of my upcoming book, because she herself is bipolar, her mother, nd late grandmother (who died from kidney failure due to lithium), and her uncle did an attempted murder/suicide due to being bipolar. Out of her siblings, most of them were bipolar, as well as her cousins. Wow… Can you imagine the dynamics of those family reunions?!

Another friend of mine, Autumn Stringham, who wrote the book: “The Promise of Hope”, had a Bipolar mother and grandfather who both killed themselves. Out of ten children, two of them  were extremely ill with bipolar until finding a natural cure.

Then take my Family Tree, wow, what gnarly branches :

My Mom’s Dad’s side: my Great-grandmother self medicated with alcohol and drank herself to death alone in an apartment.  Her husband, my great-grandfather, was an alcoholic who dies suspiciously in a barn fire when my grandpa was about seven. My Grandpa Popeye: undiagnosed Bipolar: Promiscuous, a drunk (until he eventually got sober), angry, moody, depressed at times, but mostly manic and productive his entire life until he was hospitalized for Alzheimer’s.

My Mom’s Mom’s side: Thankfully my grandmother is one of the most sane people I know, she had to be to put up with Popeye, but her sister killed herself, and that sister’s son is bipolar.

My Dad’s Dad’s side: There is good “story” evidence that My great-grandmother was bipolar and had to move in with family because she could not survive on her own, yet family couldn’t hardly stand her either.

My Dad: Diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder

My Mom: On anti-depressants, highly-functioning Registered Nurse, all of us kids and our dad are pretty sure she is Bipolar, but she won’t get diagnosed.

My mom had four kids, and 3 of us are bipolar: One med-free and stable, one newly on Seroquel and hopefully improving, and one un-medicated and unstable, who mostly suffers from mania, which he likes.

My mom’s sister is so very clearly Bipolar to everyone else, but if you mention that to her she will go berserk.

So, in answer to the question: Is Bipolar Hereditary? Well, I am not a doctor, or a gene specialist, but my answer would be “Yes”, Bipolar is VERY hereditary.

And then we will talk about my daughter, but that is for another day…..she is only 4 years old, so her story is still unfolding.




2 thoughts on “Is Bipolar Hereditary?

    1. I am not sure if it is “hereditary”, although I think the propensity and gene presentation can be passed on, activated or not by food and environment (study epigenetics). Gut flora can be passed on, and this affects so many things. (


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