Bipolar Disorder Community
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Bipolar Disorder is also known as "Manic Depressive Disorder". This forum is for questions and support for people with, or for loved ones of people with Bipolar Disorder. The forum covers topics ranging from Aggressive Behavior, Affect on friends and Family, Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Appetite Changes, Chronic Pain, Denial, Depression, Difficulty Concentrating, Euphoria, Guilt, Manic Depression, Medications, Mood Swings, Poor Judgment, and Sleep Disorders

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What Is Your Background?

I am just wondering if people have anything that stands out in their mind that might have affected them developmentally that could be attributed to "becoming" bipolar.  Please do not tell me about genetics and this being a family condition... I understand that; however, I also feel that certain things (environmentally) in my life aided in the development of me being bipolar.  Maybe this is just me... I am also adopted so I have no biological family to base anything off either.

I am also curious if anyone struggles with their speech, and forming coherent sentences.  This may sound like word salad, but I have been told it is not from my psychiatrist, and instead it is just because of my bipolar... and that my mind is just easily jumbled.  I often feel dumb, and probably sound dumb to others... but in high school I was able to pull mostly straight As, and was able to graduate college within four years, even when I changed my major three times, and was struggling with medications; so I know I'm not dumb per se, but it certainly does not come across that way to others most of the time.

I am just hoping there are people who can relate, or have stories to tell (because I have a full closet of stories that I feel helped contributed to my bipolar, but I'm not looking for pity, or to create an excuse)...
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585414_tn?1288944902
I am more for the genetics arguement because it makes clinical sense. My natural father had schizophrenia and my mother is now diagnosed with cyclothymia (mild bipolar). However, as a person with schizoaffective disorder I started having auditory hallucinations ("hearing voices") at the age of 13 and at the age of 18 I had a full psychotic breakdown. I had to leave college because I could not handle the caseload and being away from home. My stepfather had died and it was traumatic for all of us. I started medication and completed college years later. As for the rest of my life since it now involves a full recovery with an experimental antipsychotic in Phase II FDA study I've been asked to confine it to my journal entries which my provider reads through to check for accuracy and approves. Feel free to pm me.
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Avatar_f_tn
Both of my parents have depression/anxiety. As far as environment goes, I am sure that their mental health problems affected me as a child. I think they were often stressed out, and I felt unwanted at times growing up. I have a foggy memory of my early childhood up to about age 9 or 10, but I recently found out my mother was called to school by my 4th grade teacher to ask if I might be being sexually abused, then the same teacher called my mother in about my sister 6 years later over the same concerns. If I was abused, I don't remember it.
About the speech problems, I'm not sure if this is what you mean, but I have a really hard time concentrating when talking. It's as if I forget what I'm trying to say in the middle of a sentence or have trouble thinking of a word. Also I have to think about what someone is saying to me before I respond, and my family and friends call it the "5 second delay" so it is definitely noticable. I also did well in school and do not consider myself "dumb." I will also say that just from the way you type I can tell you are intelligent. I think I'm a bit of a "grammer snob" and I always notice how so many people misspell words or don't use the correct grammer.
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599945_tn?1240385954
grammer!!!???lol

i believe it is both genetic and environmental as one can have a propensity to the disease triggered by events experienced in life which i think happened in my case. many awful incidents in my life i think triggered the development of this disease. i have a nephew who was adopted as a child and when my sister got in touch his mother wanted to know if we had a family history of depression as my nephew does experience it even though he had different environment, (though i believe his mother was v. strict with him and he did have some issues).

i have found on some medications that i experienced a side effect of being unable to think of the work i needed or had 'brain fog' which stopped when med stopped. talk to your pdoc about it.
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Avatar_f_tn
It is a chemical imbalance in the brain.  The genetic link is not a foregone conclusion, if your parents have a mental health problem you may or may not also have one.  Then again you can have nobody in your family with a mental health problem and yet still have BP.  Some mental health problems are caused by external factors, BP isn't.  External factors can exacerbate symptoms but they cannot cause BP.

Also no mental health illness/disability is indicative of intelligence levels.
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505907_tn?1258372940
What Bulldozer said. Sure our personalities, coping skills, nightmares are very much influenced by our childhoods and external circumstances throughout life but this can't just grow on you like a case of acne. This is science!
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Avatar_f_tn
I know it is genetic and perhaps  can be heightned by traumatic events. I had a traumatic time last summer and I do believe this is when it became apparent it was just not depression, but bp. Hope that helps
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800339_tn?1270437086
Thank ILADVOCATE, I will probably take you up on that offer of pming you... I would be interesting in learning more.

You probably worded it a little more precise Missygen, thanks.  That's pretty much what I experience as well... difficulty finding the right words, and just having my mind "wander" during the conversation where my words end up mushing together/not making sense.  I have also noticed that delay in response.  While I wouldn't wish this on anyone else... it's nice to know I'm not alone.  Haha.  I wish I could say I am the same way, but I also know that I tend to have my moments where even my writing makes me look dumb. :)

I haven't seen a psychiatrist or therapist in almost a year now... I have an appointment coming up on the 27th to try to get back on some medications.  It is just very frustrating for me, and my most recent attempt at trying to the find the right concoction of medicines wore me out... I cycled through Abilify, Seroquel, Geodon, Lamictal, Effexor, Risperdal, and one or two others that escape me, during my senior year in college... and sometimes the effects were to the point where I could not function as a human being.  So I will keep that in mind irishwriter; however, I feel like I am in a "fog" even when I am not on medication.

Well in no way, shape or form, am I trying to discredit the scientific facts, I just feel that I have certain things in my closet that probably "triggered" my bipolar more than genetics... maybe I am just completely backwards in my thinking.  Either way, both arguments are valid, to me; but never have one of my psychiatrists or therapists told me that it was unlikely that my parents were not depressed/bipolar.  In fact, in all likelihood they were... maybe I would view the role of genetics (take it more seriously) if I knew my parents and my family history.  However, I cannot fully blame genetics or the environment, I think both play an important role.  But as for your example bulldozer, if a person can be bipolar, while no one else in that family is... how can you argue that the environment doesn't play a role?  I am always interested in reading more about bipolar, so if you know of any sites that talk about this, please point me in the right direction -- I would appreciate it.

Never did I say that a mental illness was denotative of a person's intelligence level.  I merely am hoping to feel not so alone with my problems, and to see if anyone else can relate.  So I apologize if I came across that way bulldozer, it was not my intent.

I think to some extent it can "grow" on you LetaB, but again maybe my past varies from your guys'.  Without going into detail... I have a past of physical abuse, emotional abuse/neglect, and sexual abuse/rape/undefined appropriate gender boundaries.  So to me... I feel that has played a huge role in who I am today... and why I am the way I am.

I appreciate everyone's response to my post.  I think it's always interesting to hear what others are thinking, and are going through.  It may be selfish of me... but it also makes me feel like I'm not so alone.
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Thanks, it does... it seems that I am the only who doesn't seriously believe in the whole genetics thing.  I guess I will need to start looking into this, eh.  :)
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505907_tn?1258372940
Well, I would like to add that I went along blissfully unaware that I had any kind of "condition" for most of my life. Hard knocks didn't help my symptoms but BP has been documented to usually worsen with age. I've found that to definitely be the case so perhaps that's what some of us are noticing.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, I probably didn't explain myself very well, my point about intelligence levels was a bit of a general statement and I was trying to make you feel better, lol!  I do understand what you mean about your BP impairing your abilities though as there are times when I can't string a sentence together.

You queried the genetic link and the environmental link by saying that if a person has no genetic link then it must be environmental.  It is not environmental it really is all down to brain make-up/chemicals.  As you know we aren't clones of our parents which is why there are going to be instances where we have something that our parents didn't - if I'm not making sense then please tell me.

The things you are describing with regard to environmental factors makes me think more of Borderline Personality Disorder rather than Bipolar.  It is not uncommon for the 2 conditions to be confused or even misdiagnosed or even to have both.  I am not for one minute suggesting you have BPD by the way, but BPD is all about environmental factors, learned behaviour, previous trauma etc etc.

The health pages contain some useful links to sites with information on bipolar.

Good luck with your psych, the medication rollercoaster is a hard one, you described what virtually every one of us has gone through/is going through.  Finding the right med and the right dose is a nightmare.
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Avatar_f_tn
I think it is a mix of genetics and experiences. There are 12 ppl in my 1st cousin level that have the same illness (bp), there is also major depression rampant in the family(my sister and cousins), alcoholism, drug use, suicide,etc. I feel that there has to be a genetic link. In my case I think that having a father w/MS and a mother with mental probs as well as childhood sexual abuse put the spark to the fuse of BP.and GAD.
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Avatar_f_tn
Dear HoneyNut,
There is no accepted mental illness in the family, but I can see it in parents and grandparents and alcoholism was in the generation before my grandparents.  BUT, I agree it is also based  or becomes aware at a time in the persons personality/brain when something traumatic happens. Sounds funny but I became depressed regularly after my three best friends told me how awful I was right before Christmas vacation and I cried the three miles home.  My behavior started to change, my sister was not my friend anymore either and suffering from visable depression, we had moved from the west coast to the south and even my mom was depressed. That is where I pinpoint the start. I called the depression situational until I was 42 when I was going through a rough spot and there was no reason this was the first of the deepest kind of depression of no return without medication.  Yes, my speech gets "blurry" and thoughts hide as I am about to speak them. Monitoring my every day there is a continual layer of depression but the meds do well and so does my pdoc.  Love my family and friends but truly they do not have a clue what we go through daily.
Good luck,
zzzmykids
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800339_tn?1270437086
You definitely could be right LetaB, that's an interesting way to look at it.  I was diagnosed at the age of 9, so I have known nothing else.

Thanks for the clarification bulldozer.  I think though we just won't agree :), because I agree with bastet56's perspective that bipolar is a little of both.  I won't disagree that genetics is part of the cause of bipolar; however, I believe the environment is what determines its impact.

zzzmykids, my family is the same way.  It really is amazing how the environment impacts us... where one day we can be jubilant and the next lethargic and depressed.  I'm not sure if I can pinpoint a pinnacle in my life where everything started, but if I had to say... it would be in elementary school, where it was visible I interpreted things differently than other kids my age.... emotionally out of touch, with outbursts that didn't make sense.
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539549_tn?1315985262
I think I know what you're talking about
I can relate this event happened two years after I was diagones with bipolar


one day the pharmacy was late shipping an Rx
of mine and I went without it for two weeks
without it
at the time I was a student
very young
my mom didn't tell me until I confronted her about it
but I asked my mother to put me back on them but she said no
that I didn't need them
at first I persisted to argue with her
then I just gave up
but was durring the summer
so I didn't have any stressful activities
so the changes were so slight that no one seemed to notice
then school hit
thats when the problems started

at first it was just bein really piticular
having to study for school in a certain envoirment
bein maticulate sort of like a person with OCD
would wanting to turn in a paper free of erase marks
so they keep starting over
or repedly washing the dishes cuz they weren't clean enough
It got wayyyyyyy worse though
like to the point where I was taking apaprt everything in the house
and saying stuff like I was going to build a satalite and the the us govenrment was watching us through the phone
I ended up nearly wrecking my moms car because I was trying to steal it and run away
btw I was only 13 when this happened
I'm lucky nothing seriously went wrong besides my episode
(which was really bad to begin with)

anyways yeah I don't think I have ever been so messed up in my whole life up to or past that point
they admited me into a hospital but I was so paranoid that I wouldn't eat their food or drink their water because I was paranoid it would make me sick
they kept giving me these really high dosages of medication to calm me down
they were restraigning me a few times too giving me a shot of thorsine....the affects of the drugs was soooooo
strong that I was passing out all over the floor and in the chairs durring group therapy
I just wasn't even active at all I could hardly get outta bed

thats when bipolar kinda set it or at least the law of bipolar
what goes up must come down
after being out of school for almost six weeks
I came back and the friends that I had made
weren't as close as they were before
even my mom acted diffrent
I felt isolated
I was deprtessed and it was like a dark cloud just followed me everywhere
I was severly depressed for almost six months
I felt hopeless I even noticed that after this happend there was a personality change
I was acting out and skipping school and starting to smoke pot
up unitl that point I had bipolar for two years and never even knew manic episodes exsited
its so odd to consider that I used to not even get manic whatsoever
because now it seems like I am fighting of mania and anxiety on a regualr basis


I don't think I've been the same since and
this contributed to worsening my bipolar







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Avatar_f_tn
Just to clarify:

BP is NOT CAUSED by environmental factors but it IS EXACERBATED by them.

This is what I have been saying.  The chemicals in your brain have to be messed up in the first place in order to have BP.  A traumatic event will not CAUSE BP but it can cause other mental health illnesses.  

BP is chemical, exacerbated by environmental and external factors and it's also worth looking at the evidence related to the kindling effect which explains how BP worsens if left untreated over a period of time.
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Avatar_f_tn
Oh grief, just realised that last post probably sounded really abrupt! I think it's obvious that I feel quite strongly about the subject, lol.  

It really is worth looking up "The Kindling Effect" though, I think you'd find it very interesting.  In a nutshell it talks about how bad management of or the wrong meds or no treatment has a kindling effect on BP and the BP symptoms get worse with each "episode" or each "trauma".  I used to have one of the pages bookmarked but recently sorted through them all and no longer have it otherwise I'd post a link for you.

I think the kindling effect probably fits in with what you are trying to say about environmental factors but doesn't detract from the scientific fact that BP is chemical.

Ok, so hopefully I haven't offended you honeynut, I was tired and grumpy and therefore should have waited before responding on the previous post - we're all human :-s
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Avatar_f_tn
Please don't feel bad, I know you will though. BP is chemical, we can google and maybe one doc in a million will say its not. It is a chemical issue and that is WHY we have to take medication for it, that is why my doctor tells me I have to take meds. I have knowingly left mine untreated for 6 years because I was in major denial and this most recent episode has been my worst. It even threw in a little paranoia which I've never had, I wouldn't go in my own basement, imagine explaining that to your 4 year old kids as their adult mother. I grew up in a home w/ both of my parents, 2 siblings, they taught me how to love, I had a great childhood, lived in a good neighborhood, etc. I had nightmares when I was little, I was scared all of the time, I started drinking at age 10, pot age 12. I would have overnights at my bestfriends house 2 doors down, whose parents "didn't know" we were drinking their liquor and smoking their pot. My parents never thought their little girl would do that because we weren't that family. I was different, why because my stupid brain made me that was. Depression finally  recognized age 14. BP not recognized until age 23. I had a good life but my brain wouldn't let me live it. I fully believe that it is chemical, and episodes are triggered by traumatic events, which are the envrionmental factors. I don't know if I've ever told you that before, but I just wanted you to know that I agree w/ you, and I wish I had something else to blame it on, I wish I could work it out in therapy, I want to get rid of, I hate it and I'm pissed off that I've had to live with this stupid thing in my head when my  environment wasn't bad to me. If it is the environment, the what the HELL is wrong w/ me??????????????????????????????
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm sorry, my meds arent working yet, thats my excuse and I'm sticking to it.....
:(
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800339_tn?1270437086
It's okay, I appreciate your responses and apology, no offense was taken, but the clarification helped.  I am in a pretty deep funk right now, so I apologize as well.  I will look into "The Kindling Effect", and let you know what I think... it sounds like it will be a good read.
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800339_tn?1270437086
I think I also believe what I do, is because my childhood psychiatrist and therapist reassured me I should be fine without medication, when I went away to college.  They said getting out of the house, away from my mother, and the change of environment would be more beneficial than harmful... so I went without meds for two and a half years, until I realized I needed to reach out for help.
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm not surprised you feel so confused then.  Your child psych was correct in what he was saying because although changing your environment won't remove your BP it does help manage it to some degree.  Leaving you unmedicated was wrong though.  Still, I believe that we need to focus on the present.  I know stuff that happened in my past, I'm lucky that I've dealt with it and moved past it.  I concentrate only on the here and now.  

Medication, healthy diet, exercise (no I don't follow the last 2 ) routine and therapy.  Medication alone is not always enough especially in the early stages of acceptance.

You'll get plenty of advice on here.  Good luck.
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I too have been successful in school however outside the structured building my bipolar gets more distracted, why, electronics everywhere sending messages, beeping etc.
Environment is I think a huge role preying on my bipolar, 40 years ago mental illness was less than now because the technology today is zapping at us. I am for science too
but this fits in that category. Glad you posted I feel the same way. Thanks
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800339_tn?1270437086
I realize that this is an old post that I've neglected.  There really was some great convo going on here.  Sorry.

I wanted to update everyone (if anyone is still following this post).  I am still seeing my Psychiatrist; it got a bit rough when I was laid off, but I managed to pull through, and now have insurance again!  Currently I am on Ability, taking 2 mg twice a day, and 20-30 mg of Adderall (adderrall).  I feel that this is a start, but I still have a ways to go.

Bernie40, I have found a new therapist, who did mention that I have traits of having a borderline personality disorder.  I brought it up to my Psychiatrist, and he said I could have traits of the disorder, but it doesn't mean I necessarily have it.  You have to *love* mental disorders since the lines can be heavily blurred as to what is what. I appreciate your continued responses to my posts on this thread. I am happy for you that you are able to live in the present.  It is actually something I talked with my therapist about last week, and something I have to work on during our sessions.  I am not happy nor content with the present, so I tend to live in the what-if future, and use the past as a way to try and explain preset situations.  I am wondering though, do you believe in a a higher being?  Why or why not?

I don't believe I was ever trying to discredit genetics.  I agree that environmental factors exacerbate mental issues.  The more environmental impact you have the more the chemicals become out of whack.  So in your argument, I already had a chemical imbalance, I won't disagree with that, but like anything, mental disorders can worsen if not treated.  My psychiatrist was telling me that a Cyclothymic can go to a Bipolar 2 to a Bipolar 1.  Which brings me to adults who have been misdiagnosed, or have gone without treatment for too long (thus prolonging their negative environmental exposure).  Perhaps it's a fruitless hope, but I do believe that if I had one lifeline available to me when I was a child, I might not be in such a predicament I am now.

The frustrating thing is that these things make sense to me, so whether I am unable to properly express myself, or I am even misunderstood in the Bipolar community I am not sure. (Not meant to be a self pity statement.)  It is frustrating.  Perhaps I am just beating a dead horse.

Twelvesgirl, I think you can work it out in the therapy.  I'm not saying that it will be the full cure you are looking for; however, I think therapy in combination with medication is needed for some Bipolars out there, who have more traumatic backgrounds that makes it more than just chemicals acting up in our brain. (That sentence is not meant to downplay any Bipolar suffering out there.)  All of the therapists I have gone to have done talk therapy with me (they never helped!).  My current therapist suggested we steer away from talk therapy, into something more (this gave me hope!).  What, I have no clue, but I intend to ask this coming week.  I hope I have something more to follow up with for you.  I've found that in the midst of my depression and numbness I really am angry.  Angry at a lot of people (including myself) and incidents.  I am hoping I can work them out in therapy, and start moving forward... away from my past that seems to only be holding me back from my full potential.  I hope you are in a good place today.

Whimpy2, thanks for responding.  I agree that there is a lot more variables now (in part due to technology) today than 40 years ago.  Thanks for adding that into the discussion.


ʚ- HoᴖeyNᴗt
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1221258_tn?1267546029
My opinion is that our parents could have suffered from similar disorders, but they are from the school that you tough it out, don't go to the doctor unless you are physically sick.
My dad would sometimes lose his temper and throw things. He'd sometimes just sit in his chair and zone out watching TV, I believe he was unhappy and depressed. My mom has never driven a car, and I feel she has serious anxiety disorders, it's just that they were never addressed as a mental disorder... it was just "normal" for them to be this way.
I did have an aunt that was a diagnosed Schizophrenic and took shock therapy and was on serious (Mellaril) anti-psychotic drugs. This occurred after she has serious bouts of depression. So, I know it's in my family, it was just never diagnosed.
I don't know if this helps with your question. I was diagnosed late in life after years of self medication and self destructive behaviors. I do believe when my dog was hit and killed by a car in front of me, I broke down... seemed I couldn't get the movie of that out of my mind. Shopping sprees, two bankruptcies, broken relationships, and finally my therapist of 25 years told me "why, you are bipolar, isn't that clear?", It was a shock to me to find this out, but since then, I feel like I have a huge label stuck on my forehead.
All the medicines, loss of jobs... I work hard on it every day.
I wish I didn't have to obsess about it, since the diagnosis I have "acted" better unless I drink. OK, my 2 cents.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hey nice to "see" you again :).  I think I understand what you're getting at with regards the whole environmental angle.  I agree with you completely that should we not have outside stressors (through childhood and into adulthood), such as bad upbringing, trauma, etc then our symptoms would be less.  I often think that if I lived in a perfect world with no stress then I would not need medication.  My history sort of shows this:  I "coped" without meds until 2006, around 36 years old.  I was then faced with losing 3 dear friends close together, my father had to have an operation, my boss was a bully, all in a short space of time - yep I crashed and burned and went on medication.  The rollercoaster of meds was horrible.  I then became fairly stable (so I thought), came off the meds, went back to work full-time, then I lost my gran, guess what ... I crashed and burned.  I've been on lithium now for just over a year and finally feel the most stable I can ever actually remember feeling.

So, yes I have a chemical imabalance called BP, were all those years unmedicated causing the kindling effect?  Was it inevitable that at some point I would get worse, would I have remained ok if I hadn't had so much going on in my life?  They are all interesting questions.  The answer I give to myself and one that I can accept is that I have BP, it's chemical but is definitely made worse by environmental factors so I take my meds and I do what I can to avoid triggers.  I am not 100% stable but I'd say around 80% and I can deal with that.

I don't know if any of that made any sense, lol.

I'm glad you're starting to see some improvement and really hope your journey back to stability continues.  Please feel free to pm me if you wish, I don't come on the site as often as I used to but I always check my mail.
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I think that I always, (at least from my teen years) had milder elements of bipolar disorder.  I've also read that there are triggers that can make it worse or really accelerate it to the next "level".  For me it was a death in the family.  I was a Naturopathic physician.  My nephew got sick so my brother called me to take a look at him.  I did and said he needed to go to the hospital right away.  They took him to the hospital , diagnosed him with two space occupying tumors, had to do immediate surgery, and he died 2 days later.  Not my fault right?  He was the last patient I ever had.  I quit.  Decided to go to nursing school and where did they put me for my pediatric rounds where my nephew had died less than a year before,,right on the floor where he died.  I kind of lost it.  
Like I said, there wasn't anything I could've done, and I had symptoms of it as a teen, but I think that traumatic event is what pushed me over the edge.
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889557_tn?1260154405
i think enviorment did have alot to do with pushing my already exsisting condition over the egde. when i was younger my father was very abusive physical and mentaly. he was never acted like he cared and i had no one to back me up or support me. i believe those experiences have alot to do also with my exsisting Anxiety.

Heidi
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Lindeelou, I appreciate every cent.  As I do not know my family history, I suppose it's difficult for me to completely "bow down" to the concept that Bipolar is genetic.  I've come to the conclusion that the precursor has to be there, but after that it really is up to your environment how you turn out.  Are you currently taking any medications?  Perhaps your therapist can help you retrain your brain when you get into one of those obsessive funks?  I know my therapist is suppose to help me learn how to redirect my thoughts.

Bernie40, no worries, perhaps us BPs have our own language -- it's my only guess, seeing as my thoughts and reasoning are lost on the world outside of this forum.  My reasoning also comes from my childhood, where I was on medication to help stabilize me; however, environmental factor after environmental factor continued to spiral me unstable.  It was almost like my Psychiatrist, back then, was just waiting for a new medication to come out, so we could stop cycling through the ones I already tried.  Probably a bit of an exaggeration, since I really don't recall much from that time period, but I know I've hit a wall with options as of now.  I am glad to hear that you're 80% stable. I have my days, where I probably feel close to that, but then I wait with baited breath as to when I should feel my stomach flop, because the roller coaster will be going down, and fast.

ʚ- HoᴖeyNᴗt
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Regelio63, I can only imagine that when you're in the medical field it is a catch 22 working with family, but you made the best decision that you could have for your nephew at that time.  Were you immediately diagnosed with Bipolar after your traumatic event?  What did you decide for a career afterward?

Heidi, feel free to not have to answer, but at what age were you diagnosed with Bipolar?  It is a terrible feeling for one to suffer that kind of abuse and know no one is there -- I wouldn't wish that feeling on anyone.

Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences and thoughts!

ʚ- HoᴖeyNᴗt
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It is genetics with me too.  My father had MI and growing up in a house with a father with MI, rages, and at times physically abusive, it manifested my all ready predetermined genetic future.  I can look back now and see the signs that I had mental issues as a child; tourettes, horrible self esteem., depression.  As a child I would spend my days hidding in the crawl space under my neighbors house, hide in the top of a tree all day to look down on life but not participate in life. I know these were not normal "kids" behavior.  Life hasn't been all bad though, I've had a lot of good times too, but, I believe I was predisposed to  MI.  My children suffer from depression also.  Due to my own behaviors in life, I'm sure I have contributed to many of the enviromental aspects of their inherited MI. The cycle continues with MI...
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In response to the Boderline Personality Disorder, I have no doubt I suffered from BPD due to enviroment as a child.  I have noticed that my BPD is not as prevelant now that I am older, however, my BP issues have seened to increase over the years.  I have read that the BP eases with age, however, I have not found that to be true with me.  Stress is a huge trigger for me.  As I have aged, my ability to handle stress is null; it throws me into episodes much easier than in the past. I have become unable to work due to the least little bit of stress and I end up on the  physc ward.  Sometimes I wonder how I have made it in this world for 57 yrs., I guess with the  grace of God and medication.
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heyjude, my story is similar in that as I've got older stress has more of an impact and I can quickly spiral, although this is diminished now I'm on the medication I'm currently on.  With regard to work I also had to give up work and it looks unlikely that I'll return to work any time soon.  I have 4 children, 3 of them teenagers and that in itself obviously creates stressful situations (not that I'm complaining), however put work on top of that and I literally fall apart.  It makes me very frustrated because I actually enjoy working, I also enjoy being a mother but it seems I just can't do the two.

The other issue I have trouble with, even now, is being tied down to times, dates etc.  I can go a week maybe 2 weeks of really even mood but then there are times when my mood will fluctuate up and down throughout the day or I'll wake on a downer that could last half an hour or 24 hours.  I try and keep appointments (social or otherwise) to a minimum of about 2 or 3 a week as any more than that and I find myself stressing about it and then being unable to attend any of them.  Does anyone else have this?

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For me, I think it is genetic. I say this with the knowledge that my cousin has schizophrenia and bipolar and schizophrenia are in similar families of disorders. My father has never been diagnosed with anything, but he had mood swings. Lots of anger. Depression for sure. But he had "reasons" for these things such as he had diabetes (which does cause mood fluctuations,) or when my mom died it was grief.

My mom, what I remember of her, she would get this nervous habbit she had of she would shake her knees while sitting. People used to tell her she was weird for doing that. But now that I look at it I would guess she had anxiety. I wish she was alive so I could ask her. And, of course she was probalby depressed because she was sick with cancer for many years, but she fought it anyway.

And then there was me as a little girl. Always crying. Always afraid of people. Coming up with these strange "stories" about being an alien from another planet. Never being able to handle these giant feelings I had all the time and never being close to other kids. Always feeling outside, and beliving the only real friends I had were my toys. And then the kids became meaner and meaner. I would say for bipolar is genetic.

For my BPD, however; I think that is merely caused by my mother being ill my whole life. I mean, she was there trying the best she could, but she was in bed. Even with mom and dad I felt like an outsider. The kids at school were so mean to me, I didn't trust any teachers because they all thought I was a manipulator, when all I needed was someone to listen. I wasn't manipulating, just no one would help me even when I asked. (I guess asking for help is being a liar when you're a kid.) And then my mom died, and it was just me and my dad and I was home alone. And so, now here I am.

That's just my take on how I ended up this way.
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He died in 2004.  I didn't get diagnosed till April 2009.  My wife is still in denial.  She says how could we have been married this long and all of the sudden this happens.  I don't know, I just don't know, but it did.
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Bernie...yes, absolutely, I find keeping appts difficult.  I'll be having a good week and will make appts and I do try to make say, a hair appt, for that very day or at least the next because any longer than that and I may not feel well enough to go.  The most difficult appts to keep are seeing my PCP every six months because you have to make an appt so far in advance and who knows how I'll feel next month, you know?

Rogelio...I know I've mentioned this before, but I just don't think your wife knows how well you hid things.  When it comes to being around others, even our spouses, we can be the very best actor/actresses in the world.  

I've never been officially dx'd, but reading this forum for so long now, I am clearly bipolar.  I did have a therapist who thought I was BPD though.  I have a felt "odd" since I can remember and I believe it's genetic, but growing up with molestation, physical and mental abuse really made me who I am today.  I've oftened wondered how I might be if I had different parents.  Parents who were empathetic and able to work with and understand my sensitivities even as a very small child.  



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Jade59, I think that you make a very good point, in that we can be very good actors; however, I find that I tend to be more "open" and "free" with the people closest to me.

Rogelio, with that being said, I hope your wife is able to come around to the notion that she may not know you as well as she thought.

HeyJude1, Bernie40, Xila31, I appreciate your guys' responses.  It just makes me wish even more that I knew my family history.  Such is life.  Have any of you read a good book/journal/article that would further support your argument that you can suggest?

Thanks again everyone!  I'm really enjoying reading all your responses.

ʚ- HoᴖeyNᴗt
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That is something we will never know, I mean if we had not been abused as a child, but my parents were not all that bad, my Dad suffered from MI too and had a rough childhood.  I'm sure the tramatic events have probably made my genetic predispositon worse but hey, I guess you just live with the cross you have been given.  

Medical science has discovered new medications, different types of therapies every day.  I can remember as a child seeing my dad after he had shock treatments, coming home, totally out of it.  We had to stay outside for days and had to tiptoe if we came iin the house at night go to bed.  ECT is so much gentle compared to the shock treatments in the 50's.  He lived on valium for over 40 yrs...abusing them, not knowing what was going on.   You know, everything is so different now, I wish they had the help and medications back then to have helped him.  But my point is perhaps as the years pass we will be able to control our BP better.  There is always hope and that is something we can never give up.
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I had an early onset of bp that was triggered because my father was very aggressive with my mother and his children. I tried to end my own life from the drepression at the age of 8. My pshyciatrist says that it seems to her, based on the way I talk about him, that he is bipolar as well. My brother abused me and my other two sisters sexually. Its a little bit of both I guess. There is the the genetic part of it and then there is the environment part. But then again, I'll never know that if my father and brother had never been around would my brain still work the way it does. One of  my sisters said her counselor said that he thinks that she may have bipolar disorder as well. I don't think it really matters how it got there. The goal should be to treat it and try to move on. Thats at least what I'm trying to do. It's best not to dwell on the what ifs and other stuff that you can't change.
As for the problems with the speech. I do that too. I got A's in school and am in college finishing out my 2nd year. My words get confused and I forget what I was going to say or  how I was going to say it. Its something I am also trying to work on.
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You bring up a great point of not dwelling on the past -- it's something I struggle with everyday.  However, this post wasn't meant to do that, but merely see how others felt about the topic.  It seems there is an overwhelming response on the genetics side.  So while there is that, I still can't completely let go in my belief that the environment played a huge role for me.  It was one of the main reasons I wanted to get other people's perspective on the topic.  It's also a great way for others to inadvertently share their story, if they so choose.  There is obviously a pattern of the environment playing a factor in each of our stories, and with that, we can also see the level of resiliency we all have.

Wishing you the best in the rest of your schooling,

ʚ- HoᴖeyNᴗt
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