My history with bipolar, I’m pretty sure, is when I was born. I have a strong suspicion that my maternal grandfathers family had a history of mental illness. I do know, for a fact, that my maternal great-grandfather killed himself with a rifle to the head after his second wife died in childbirth. That left my grandfather and his very young sister orphans at a very young age. I do believe my mother’s brother may have had a history of bipolar illness, undiagnosed however. I do know one of my mother’s cousins, she said, had bipolar. You can never tell, for sure, but enough of a history to make a guess.
My tipping point, when it become evident that I had bipolar, was after the birth of my second child. I became angry, violent and off my rocker, so to speak. One episode I can recall, with horror, was when one of the girls wouldn’t stop crying. I went down to the kitchen and grabbed a sharp knife and stabbed it into the chopping block a few times. Felt so so angry. I almost smashed a handful of plate on the floor one time too. Felt very angry and irritable, to the extreme. I would talk too loudly, exercise too much and everything wouldn’t slow down enough for me. My thoughts were racing. I thought “oh I could write a novel” and “drive to New York City today” in the same 5 minute span. It was like having a horror movie and a nice family movie in my head at the same time.
I sought help at the family doctor. He put me on a antipsychotic and a antidepressant. Unfortunately the antipsychotic slowed me down a lot and I didn’t exercise nearly enough and put on a lot of weight. That drug, Zyprexa, is known for massive weight gain and has been tied to a class action lawsuit in the States for causing diabetes in people.
Fortunately it didn’t take too long for me to get a psychiatrist to see me. She got my drugs adjusted and I was quite stable after that. Had a few dips and bumps along the way since then, but nothing like the horror show of the first 6 months or so, before I sought help.
I have trouble focussing on tasks, have trouble making to-do lists and getting those accomplished. Life is a struggle, sometimes, when I feel down and depressed. I have good days where I feel that everything is ticking along nicely and bad days where it’s hard to find hope. Nobody loves me, what’s the point, why do I bother and so forth.