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The American Journal of Psychiatry reports that a child diagnosed with bipolar disorder has a 30% probability of a blood parent having the same disorder.

Researchers were curious to determine if bipolar children were getting medical attention sooner and more often due to at least one parent having the disorder. Researchers decided to determine if a high correlation existed between children diagnosed with bipolar disorder and a parent diagnosed with severe mood dysregulation.

They did not find the same high parent–child bipolar disorder correlation with bipolar child and severe mood dysregulation parent. Because the high correlation did not exist, the authors warned that children with non-episodic irritability should not mistakenly be diagnosed as being bipolar.

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  • Jennifer October 15, 2007, 1:24 pm

    my sister of 21 yrs is bipolar – i’m wondering what my chances are of having a child with bipolar?

  • admin October 15, 2007, 1:40 pm


    The article is limited in scope to children of bipolar parents. Your particular situation is unfortunately not addressed.

    You might discuss the matter with your OBYN and get the name of a genetic counselor. No one is going to be able to give you anything more than probability–that’s for now.

    Good luck