Posted by: desperate | 2004/11/05

bipolar parent and effects on children

We are in the process of divorce . My wife has a relationship with a highly intelectual person who is sufferring with a bipolar condition. My wife will have custody of the children and intends marrying this other party.

I am very concerned for the emotional well being of our children aged 13 and 11years,firstly from the effects of the divorce and more so from this other party. I have read as much as I can about bipolar conditions, however there is little available on the risks for children emotionally living with people suffering with this biplar condition.

I would greatly appreciate it if you could provide some insight for me.

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Our expert says:
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In Bipolar Disorder in one or both of one's genetic parents, one can inherit a degree of vulnerability to developing a similar illness onesefl. I have seen no good evidence that this would apply to a step-parent's influence, and the children are old enough to be less vulnerable, anyway. Simiarly, children are generally less affected by divorce than by living in a chronically unhappy family. And as one assumes that your wife's potential new partner would be sensible enough to be under good treatment for his bipolar disorder, the impact should be minimal.

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