Manic depression is characterised by frantic highs, known as ‘manias’ and periods of depression. Scientists have now made a breakthrough in finding the genetic cause of this.
Two mothers, who both come from families which suffer from bipolar disorder, have written a guide on how to deal with psychiatric illness in your family.
Amanda Saunders and Sarah Owen give accounts of their own experiences, followed by practical advice ranging from how to gain diagnosis to treatment and prevention.
Despite bipolar disorder not being fully understood, it is thought that it is caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. The general population has a one in 50 chance of developing the condition, but if there is a blood link and someone in your family has also suffered with the illness, this risk is doubled.
Mrs Owen hopes that in writing the book, she and Saunder’s have pointed out simple things that can be done to reduce your chance of developing the illness. ‘I am prone to low moods when I am stressed. Now I know it could be a warning sign.’ says Sarah
They both believe that it is important to be candid with their children in this instance. ‘If there was a heart condition in the family you would talk about lifestyle choices. This is no different,’ says Amanda.