It's long been known that babies of older moms can have more health problems, but studies have now linked mental illness to advanced paternal age:
Researchers analyzed Swedish national registry data from more than 80,000 people, including 13,428 with bipolar disorder who were born between 1932 and 1991.
The risks started increasing around age 40 but were strongest among those 55 and older. Children with these dads were 37 percent more likely to develop bipolar disorder than those born to men in their 20s.
They also faced more than double the risk of developing bipolar disorder before age 20. Scientists call that early onset disease, and although they have long known that bipolar disorder tends to run in families, early onset disease has been thought to be most strongly linked with genetics.
http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/conditions/09/01/older.dads.bipolar.ap/index.html?iref=mpstoryview - Thanks Tiffany!
Kids of old dads also have the added stress of wondering when dear ol' dad is going to pop his clogs. I would expect more emotional (and possibly mental) problems from that aspect alone.
The use of antidepressants (and the side effects of mania) has seen the unreliable "labelling" by quacks of people as BP sky-rocketed.
Correlation does not necessarily equal causation, people!
As for seeing bi-polar symptoms earlier if the parents were older at conception, I'm gonna call BS on that. It all depends on brain chemistry, and when it changes during puberty. So unless dear old dad's genes are causing early puberty, there is no way to say that. I wonder if they are using date of DX or date of first symptoms.
No, but kids don't generally worry about their 30-year-old father getting hit by a bus. But if he's 90, I think there's more likely to be questions about how long he's going to last.
And I didn't mean to imply that this could CAUSE bi-polar disorder. All I meant was that the stress could certainly cause other emotional issues. Bi-polar disorder stems from something physical. Merely being worried about your old dad isn't going to cause it.
And yes, bi-polar ISN'T schizophrenia.
(General) Bipolar symptoms: massive mood swings between deep depression and manic highs, (extremely manic highs can lead to delusions and hallucinations.)
Schizophrenia symptoms: (postive) hallucinations- auditory and visual, delusions. (Negative) Lack of appetite, apathy, lack of motivation.
Just wanted to clear that up. (Wiki it if you want to know more!)