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How can my family health history help in diagnosing bipolar disorder?

Ruth White, MPH
Social Work
Knowing your family's mental health history will help in diagnosis and treatment of your illness. Because bipolar disorder tends to run in families, this may help clarify whether your symptoms might be bipolar disorder or something else. Bring this information with you to your mental health provider to assist in diagnosis and treatment. In a journal, answer the following questions:

1. Have any members of your immediate or extended family been diagnosed with a mental illness? If so, write down their names, the illnesses for which they were diagnosed, and which, if any, medications you know or suspect they may have taken or are currently taking for treatment.

2. Are many of the symptoms of mania or depression present in any members of your immediate family? If so, what symptoms have you noticed, who are the affected family members, and how are they related to you?

3. Are many of the symptoms of mania or depression present in any members of your extended family? If so, what symptoms have you noticed, who has these symptoms, and how are they related to you?
Bipolar 101: A Practical Guide to Identifying Triggers, Managing Medications, Coping with Symptoms, and More

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Bipolar 101: A Practical Guide to Identifying Triggers, Managing Medications, Coping with Symptoms, and More

After receiving a bipolar diagnosis, you need clear answers. Bipolar 101 is a straightforward guide to understanding bipolar disorder. It includes all the information you need to control your...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.