Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Mental Health Family Tree Program

Bipolar disorder (manic depression) is a treatable medical condition that affects approximately 5.7 million American adults. But the condition can be hard to recognize because it may come across as depression, euphoria, trouble at work, out-of-control spending, substance abuse or even suicide attempts. Now, a new program that addresses the family connection of bipolar disorder is available to help families get their doctors to more accurately and quickly diagnose this complex condition.

The Mental Health Family Tree program:, launched by the national non-profit organization Families for Depression Awareness (FFDA), draws attention to the important role a person's family mental health history can play in diagnosing bipolar disorder, while helping individuals identify some of the common - but sometimes unknown - behaviors associated with the condition. People concerned about the existence of bipolar disorder in themselves or in family members can visit, to build their own Mental Health Family Tree by completing a simple, interactive questionnaire. This family tree can be printed out and
used to spark conversations with doctors or relatives.
This intriguing notice was originally published in UpFront with NGS, The Online Newsletter of the National Genealogical Society, Volume 5, Number 6: 1 June 2006

I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life; I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well. - Theodore Roosevelt, Des Moines, Iowa, 04 November 1910


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