Bipolar Disorder

I’ve always known that I look a lot like my dad. What I didn’t know was that I had inherited some not so welcome gene from his side of the family. Two and a half years ago I was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder.

The diagnosis came following an episode of abnormal behavior and insomnia. I had to be hospitalized for 5 days. My husband asked for an early release because he felt my son needed his mother more than I needed to be in hospital.

Since then, with medication, I live a normal life. I no longer suffer from bouts of depression or anger. I go about my business like any other person. However I feel embarrassed talking about my illness and only my close family knows about it. I don’t even know how I’m writing this or whether I’ll actually publish it.

According to WebMD, the exact cause of bipolar disorder has yet to be found, but scientists confirm that bipolar disorder has a genetic component, meaning the disorder can run in families. Children who have one parent with the disorder have about a 10%-25% chance of developing the disorder themselves. I’m scared to death that I may have passed a bad gene to my son. But what can I do now except pray, I didn’t even know I had it when I was pregnant. Whenever he throws a temper tantrum it sets alarm bells ringing in my mind. The same happens when someone says “Oh that look on his face is just like yours!”

I talked to my doctor about it but he just told me to enjoy my son and hope for the best.

Bipolar disorder can present itself at any age, but typically onset occurs around age 25. I hope I’m around at that time to see my son develop into a normal healthy young man.

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21 thoughts on “Bipolar Disorder

  1. I find one of the biggest problems with “mental disorders” is the stigma that surrounds them.
    Nobody thinks less of a diabetic, or someone with heart disease, so why is it so different for mental disorders? Is it because they’re somewhat invisible? because society in general doesn’t have as deep an understanding of them as we do of other diseases?

    It sounds to me that you’re doing incredibly well managing your bipolar, and possibly the best thing you can do for your son is to help him understand that bipolar is just one very small part of who you are and it’s not the end of the world, either.

    It is certainly a terrifying prospect to consider that you may have passed something onto your son that you struggled with, but think about how well you are going now that you’ve been educated about bipolar, and given the tools with which to manage it?

    If he is raised in an environment where he can see that his mom has this thing called bipolar, and every now and then, life is a bit harder for her than it is for others, but it’s okay because she has medicines she takes, and they help her out – it will be just as normal to him as children who grow up with diabetic parents who need insulin shots every day.

    Congratulations on the scary step of publicly “outing” your disorder. You sound to me like you’re doing very, very well and I wish you and your family the best of health and happiness.

    • Thank you so much for your comment. It makes me feel more confident of myself. I hope my son grows up to understand that what I have is just as “normal” as any other illness.
      My son is my inspiration for most of my writing. This year I wrote two children’s books for him and had them published. I cherish the memories I have with him and long for more wonderful moments in the future.

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  3. It’s apparent more than anything else that you love your son. As long as you have that you have nothing to be ashamed or afraid of. If you do pass on the (I won’t call it bad) gene you can only hope that he’ll take it with the same dignity as you are. Like I said, don’t be ashamed, your doing great 🙂

  4. Winds at you beautiful! I’ve read somewhere that often these disorders always jump an geração.Eu know how hard I have suffered many things like depression, phobia social.sindrome of panic. And I learned a lot carrying these things with me. I learned to look at the world with different eyes. And to question. :). Of course, I would never have gone through this and still step. but in life always a bigger reason that is often incomprehensible to us at the time. You have a beautiful son! Have faith and a path will open to beautiful vc and him!

    • I had to google translate geração! 🙂 Thank you for your beautiful comment. Yes I’ve learnt to look at life positively but sometimes I feel scared of making mistakes as far as my son is concerned. All I can do is try my best and pray.

      • I’m sorry. = P I’m using google translator to communicate in English 🙂 I have to take shame in the face and study the English hehe. I hope to to understand what I comment .. You are a bright light! And I’m sure you are doing your best. I like your way of writing and their courage to share your story with us. Thank you =)
        P.S Do not be afraid of making mistakes. Be afraid of not loving;)

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  6. Why worry there is more then 90% percent chance that your son is never going to suffer from bipolar disorder………. at least you were bold enough to acknowledge the disease. Many of us pretend to ourselves that we are alright when we are not. So Don’t worry Be Happy.

  7. Pingback: Weekly Writing Challenge – DNA Analysis | Joe's Musings

  8. Good for you for talking about this. It will give others hope to hear you say that you have bipolar disorder, but with medications, live a normal life. Good luck to you and your beautiful son.

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