Is it Genetic?


Dear Dr. Heller:

I am a 20 year old college student. I have known, for quite some time now, that something must be wrong with me. I know this because I experience unusually frequent mood swings and on a daily basis, I am very confused and angry. I answered “yes” to every question on the screening test describing ADD and BPD. I never knew that there was actually a medical reason for why I experience these things.

My mother has a history of moderate mental illness. I wondered sometimes if maybe it was genetic. I just wanted to tell you how helpful and reassuring your web site has been for me. I know it is just the beginning, but I am so glad to know that there are other people who go through the same things I do.

Again, thank you.


Thank you for your kind words. You have no idea how common – or how genetic – these problems are. The US Surgeon General recently reported that 20% of our population fits the criteria for a “mental illness” annually, and 50% in their lifetime. I see the combination of ADD and BPD every day. Three individuals with this profile work for me. I’m great at remembering details and what happened today, but those with ADD are better at the big picture and remembering things from the past. It works out as a great team.

I love helping borderlines, and treating ADD is simply exciting. Those with ADD are remarkably bright and creative, and adding the ability to focus, to stay on task, to consider before acting, and having mental energy is phenomenal. These people are so much fun when treated. I encourage you to get treated. The information in my books and this Website can be of enormous help to you.