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Bipolar News

January 19, 2006

Note: One or more of the following articles may require a subscription to view the entire article.  We cannot post articles that require a subscription.  We are sorry for the inconvenience.

Murder suspect allegedly bipolar, schizophrenic
Farmington Daily Times - Farmington,NM,USA
FARMINGTON -- The man accused of killing 19-year-old Nikki Harvey of Bloomfield told police he has been diagnosed as being bipolar and schizophrenic and was ...

Unraveling The Genetics Of Bipolar Disorder
Saturday Evening Post - Indianapolis,IN,USA
... in ongoing studies of families at risk, Post readers are helping researchers identify suspect genes involved in the development of bipolar disorder. ...

New Strategy For Diagnosing Bipolar Disorder
Saturday Evening Post - Indianapolis,IN,USA
Researchers are developing a promising new tool to help in the diagnosis of bipolar disorder, a complex condition affecting 2.3 million Americans. ...

Battling The Blues
Saturday Evening Post - Indianapolis,IN,USA
... Research Laboratory at Harvard Medical School-McLean Hospital, conducted a landmark study on the role of omega-3 fatty acids in bipolar disorder and came up ...

The emotional toll of a bankruptcy
Bankrate.com via Yahoo! Finance Wed, 18 Jan 2006 3:00 AM PST Experts say debtors pay in terms of both physical and emotional health.

Partners from hell
New York Daily News Wed, 18 Jan 2006 1:24 AM PST
'Borderline' people have needy, fractured psyches and make life miserable for those closest to them. Sound like anyone you know?

Good Question: Why Do Children Kill Their Parents?
WCCO Wed, 18 Jan 2006 6:48 AM PST
(WCCO) Few crimes are more disturbing to parents than children accused of killing their own parents. A Chaska, Minn. son is accused of killing his mother for money last weekend and the story sounds a lot like the murder plot that stunned people in Hastings, Minn. last fall.

Health checkup: Food and drug interactions
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle Wed, 18 Jan 2006 2:59 AM PST Prescription and over-the-counter medications can interact with food and beverages.

District To Plug Medicare Drug Gap
Washington Post Thu, 19 Jan 2006 4:00 AM PST
The District will temporarily pay for medicines for thousands of elderly and disabled residents caught in the mess of computer troubles and bureaucratic breakdowns that have marked the new Medicare drug program's start, Mayor Anthony A. Williams said yesterday.

Heredity's links to disorders

The Record (Bergen County, NJ); 1/17/2006; TOM DAVIS

By the time you read this, I'll be a father again.

For the third time.

Don't worry. I'll be fine.

Diapers, bottles, pacifiers by now they're all routine. Waking up at 2 a.m.? Please. If anything, college trained me for those long, sleepless nights.

The only thing I fear is the future. I fear for my children. I think of mental illness, and how it's as much a part of my family as hair that's prematurely gray.

It's an issue that many people struggle with: Should they bring children who are at-risk into a world that's still largely ignorant of the brain's complexities?

Such feelings are natural, professionals say. But expecting parents shouldn't jump to the conclusion that mental illness is their children's destiny.

Studies, in fact, vary on how much of an impact heredity has on mental health.

Researchers believe that at least 80 percent of autism cases a neuropsychiatric disorder that impairs the way people relate to others is because of hereditary factors, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

The American Psychological Association, however, was unable to provide any studies from its database showing heredity's impact on bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other illnesses.

Researchers believe there is a link between mental illness and family history. But the genetic evidence, at this point, is not as advanced as it is with breast cancer and autism.

"Researchers are confident that autism is genetically related," said Jennifer Loukissas, a spokeswoman for National Institute of Mental Health. "But with other disorders, there may be other factors."

Professionals debate whether environment has a bigger influence on a child whose parents suffer from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Or genetics and environment may have a shared impact.

Children mimic the habits of their parents particularly obsessive-compulsive traits like washing hands constantly, or repeating statements over and over, mental health professionals say.

Frank J. Sileo, a Ridgewood psychologist who cares for children and parents, said he always asks his patients if they have a family history of mental illness. He believes there is a link, even if it's not genetic.

If a person grows up in an abusive household, it's possible they feel the pain of that experience for the rest of their lives. It may evolve into depression or other mental disorders later on, Sileo said.

Those symptoms may become pronounced once the children begin to deal with the pressures of teenage and adult life: paying bills, keeping slim and other peer-related anxieties.

"They may have a greater risk of developing something later on," Sileo said. "Usually, it's in the college-age range when things may emerge."

I grew up with a mother who suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder. She washed her hands constantly, and warned me to avoid contact with germs or people who suffered from contagious diseases.

She also worried about what she ate. She rarely finished her dinner plate, and complained that it made her sick. She'd go on about it for 15 minutes, and turn it into the prevailing dinner-table conversation topic.

The whole time, I'd listen to her, making mental notes of what she was saying. By the time I was in college, food made me feel sick, too.

So far, there's no evidence that my children will suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder, as my mother, grandfather and great-grandfather did. Or bulimia, which affected me in college.

But in my house, we try to provide a loving and nurturing atmosphere that's free of fear.

***

The Coping column appears every other Tuesday. To suggest topics, write to Tom Davis, The Record, 150 River St., Hackensack, N.J. 07601 or e-mail davist@northjer sey.com. Please include your phone number with all correspondence.

Copyright ę 2006 Bergen Record Corp. All rights reserved.

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