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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