Me, Myself, & the Genetic Connection?

“Can I get a reprieve?

This gene pool don’t hurt me.”

Pearl Jam, My Father’s Son

As I’ve mentioned before, there is no one, direct cause when it comes to bipolar disorder. However, it is known that approximately 80% of the cause has been traced back to genetics. And with the heritability rate of bipolar disorder being off the charts, it’s only natural for me to wonder who is responsible for passing this on down the line to me.


It’s a joke, yes, but one that I stumbled upon honestly.

I have been on this journey of “true” self-knowledge for more than 15 years so I’ve learned to pick up on my own cues for the most part. But if a major part of this affliction is hereditary then I feel I deserve to know a little more.

I’m not being facetious in wanting names or anything. I just feel if genetics plays a major role in my particular “predicament” I deserve to have AT LEAST a vague outline of things.

Sometimes…most of the time…I have no idea whether I’m coming or going so a little clarity couldn’t hurt. May not help, either. In fact, it probably wouldn’t so I’d just be happy with another shot in the dark or just some more hope.

Now before I begin to sound any more pretentious or whiny, I know I’m not alone in having to deal with this process of acceptance and self-awareness. At this point, however, I just assumed I was past this part of the process. But as with the bouts of mania and depression, the process of “figuring things out” on a higher level is in of itself a big cycle. A vicious cycle. And one that has enough “lessons” to last a lifetime.

I may never get the answers I want. Or like. We in the bipolar community may have to just get used to it, but it doesn’t mean we have to like it.

I may never learn the direct cause of my bipolar disorder. But I do know there are many effects. These highs and lows are all effects. The way my behavior affects others around me is an effect. But so is my fight onward.

Cause and effect. There’s a cause to every effect. I just ask that, for the sake of myself and millions of others, you don’t take the effect and make it the cause.

Even if it is in your genes.

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