6. Prozac Monologues: August 2018

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

What Causes Bipolar -- III

No, your genes did not make you do it.

And the Prozac Monologues Tutorial on Bipolar Disorder continues, with installment #3.

Bipolar starts in the genes. But there is no smoking gun. There is no genetic defense. If you mortgaged the house, went to Vegas, lost the money, caught a disease, now you're in divorce court and maybe jail, nope.

Your genes did not make you do it.

The way the scientists put it, genes do not code for behavior. Okay, as last week's post says, it starts in your genes. But you are not doomed to end up in divorce court. You have just got some extra challenges to surmount.

Mental illnesses are developmental. They start with a brain that has certain vulnerabilities which come from genetic variations from the norm. These are vulnerabilities, not scripts.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Bipolar — What’s That in Your Genes

Your genes — that’s where bipolar gets started. Of all the mental illnesses, bipolar is the most heritable. That means it has the strongest genetic connection. In studies of identical twins, if one twin has bipolar, so does the other in 75% of the pairs. That compares to 60% with depression and 35% with schizophrenia.

If one parent has bipolar, a child is 13 times more likely to develop bipolar than a child with parents who do not have the disorder. If both parents have it, the child is 36 times more likely to develop it.

So you go to your doc and present symptoms of depression. Your doc will ask, Does anyone in your family have bipolar? But that's not the question you will answer. When you say No, the question you are probably answering is, Has anybody in your family ever been diagnosed with bipolar — that you know about?

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

What Causes Bipolar?

While Prozac Monologues the book is on its way to publication😲Prozac Monologues the blog is being revived.  I start the revival with a preview/expansion series on the chapter called Balancing Act, aka, The Science Chapter.

A friend who happens to be an academic psychiatrist reviewed The Science Chapter.  He wrote, Pathophysiology of BP is really tough, even for us "bigwigs", and I hope you have some success summarizing it for a non-professional audience.

So I said, Hold my beer.

And here it is:

In a person with bipolar, a whole series of mis-timings and misalignments in our internal and external cycles results in a failure to rebalance.  The list includes: dysregulation of hormones, neurotransmitters, and immune system; irregularities in communication between brain cells and within brain cells; and wonky wiring among the networks that connect the thinking, feeling, and evaluating parts of the brain.

Okay, that will take some unpacking, which I will do over the coming weeks.  Meanwhile,

it's like this:

Stay tuned...