Mar 24, 2009
AN ACCOUNT OF MY BIPOLAR DISORDER
A 66 YEAR CONTEXT: October 1943 To March 2009
RON PRICE: George Town Tasmania Australia
(84 Pages: Font 14—32,000 words)
1. Preamble and Introduction:
1.1 This is a longitudinal, retrospective account going back to my conception in October 1943. I make reference to a genetic predisposition to bipolar disorder(BPD) due to a family history of affective disorder in a first-degree relative, my mother(1904-1978). She had BPD, although her disability was never given that medical diagnosis. About half of all patients with BPD have one parent who also has a mood disorder. There is, therefore, a clinical significance in my mother’s mood disorder in the diagnosis of my own BPD. The high heritability of BPD has been well documented through familial incidence, twin, and adoption studies. There is an unquestionable justification for the inclusion of my family in my understanding of BPD. No specific gene has yet been identified as the one "bipolar gene." It appears likely that BPD is caused by the presence of multiple genes conferring susceptibility to BPD when combined with psychosocial stressors. I make this point as an opening remark and pass on to my story.
1.2 My account also provides a statement of my most recent experiences in the last two years, 2007-2009, with manic-depression(MD) or BPD as it has come to be called in recent years. Some prospective analysis of my illness is also included with the view to assessing potential long-term strategies, appropriate lifestyle choices and activities in which to engage in the years ahead. For the most part, though, this account, this statement I have written here in some 32,000 words is an outline, a description, of this partially genetic-family-based illness and my experience with it throughout my life.
1.3 Some of the personal context for this illness over the lifespan in my private and public life, in the relationships to my family of birth and my two families of marriage, in my employment life and now in my retirement are discussed in this document. I include some of what seems to me my major and relevant: (a) personal circumstances as they relate to my values, beliefs and attitudes on the one hand--what some might call my religion as defined in a broad sense; (b) family circumstances; for example, my parents’ life and my wife’s illness; (c) employment circumstances involving as they did: (i) stress, (ii) movement from place to place and (iii) my sense of identity and meaning; (d) a range of other aspects of my day-to-day life and their wider socio-historical setting and (e) some details on other aspects of my medical condition to help provide a wider context for this BPD in the last two years.
1.4 This lengthy account will hopefully provide mental health sufferers, clients or consumers, as they are now variously called these days, with: (i) a more adequate information base to make some comparisons and contrasts with their own situation, their own predicament whatever it may be, (ii) some helpful general knowledge and understanding and (iii) some useful techniques in assisting them to cope with and sort out problems associated with their particular form of mental illness or some other traumatized disorder that affects their body, their spirit and their soul.
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