Hello Everyone, I am new to the message board world but I hope that I can find some support here and share some experiences.
First, I am a single mother that comes from a long history of bipolar illness. My mother has been bipolar (or a manic depressive as they called it when I was young) for as long as I can remember. She ran from one mental institution to another my entire life. It was difficult as an only child because I could really have friends over, I always had to ask my mother specific questions to find out what "mood" she was in. She went through some good times when she was manic and we would just enjoy life...as a kid having a mother that acted like she smoked too much weed was fun! She would take me shopping, get our nails done, hang out and laugh for hours...THEN she would snap and fall into a horrible depression in an instant. She would beat me, yell all the time, call me names, sit and stare into space for days withour showering, eating, or even getting up to go potty (guess who cleaned up the mess?). She has gone through 7 husbands in her 62 years and put just about all of them through bankruptsy. When I became a young woman I realized that I had some of the same traits as my mother but I did everything I could to hide from the truth. I have always had a hard time with relationships (friendships, work, school, marriage, etc.). I have gone through years and years of therapy and I have been diagnosed twice as bipolar. I still refused to accept that diagnosis until last week. I am in a depressed stage and I have gotten myself into some pretty big financial problems with my mania. I ended my marriage in 1997 and have not had a serious relationship since (very lonely). I still don't have friends. It has been a very hard life...always trying to figure out what was wrong with me, why I wasn't normal, and all the while denying what I already knew.
To add to the family tree...I have a 14 year old that was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1st grade. She has actually come to me in the past month and said "Mom, I think I am bipolar." I have NEVER talked to her about the history or my issues with the illness. She said one of her friends in bipolar and she started looking into it and thinks that she is also. She had no idea that I already knew she was. Of course we talked and agreed that we should work together.
I started medication today...Symbyax. I hope that I can begin to take control and finally have a balanced life. I feel so alone and very, very afraid. What if the treatments don't help and I am alone and unhappy forever...just like my mother. (she stopped treatment many years ago and refuses to even talk about having an illness, although the bipolar illness is worse than ever)
Anyway...thanks for listening...I hope you will have some stories and advice to share.
I have a bipolar boyfriend who is currently in denial and I think it is so fantastic that you are getting treatment. There are many people here who know a ton more about meds than I do, but if this one does not work, there are more options.
I don't really have much to say, but I wanted to say hello and that I am impressed that you are looking after yourself.
twomny, You won't be alone. focus on a bright future. You have acknowledged that somthing is wrong, are you aware how much streanght that took on your part? Instead of being scared try to look at it as exciting. see what you can become. the only one that can really help you is you. you are on the right path. Try not to get down, the first meds aren't always the right ones, (I pray for you that they are) if not try again. You will get there.
I am new to this particular board too. Sorry to hear about your upbringing. I couldn't help but notice the similarities to mine. I am bipolar and an only child too, brought up by a bipolar & borderline personality mother. It probably was good we were always isolated from the rest of the family, as grandmother committed suicide, grandfather was an alcoholic, father died of morphine overdose, aunt is schizophrenic & alcoholic, etc. Talk about a dysfunctional family gathering that would be. It sure was hard to grow up as an only child with a physically and mentally abusive parent. In my case, I had nobody to talk to.
I think it is fantastic your daughter was able to come to you with her concerns and that you are supportive and working together with her to get help for both of you. Remember the right medication can take some effort to find/work out, so if you find things not working right remember to hang in there. It is normal to have to try at least a few different things. Hanging in there is worth it for your daughter. As you read around, I am sure you will find many other helpful people who are always willing to share their experiences and lend helpful advice. Nice to see you here!
Thank you to those that have replied...it is nice to have people that care and understand.
destroyed-thanks for your reply. I don't know how your post became a topic again. Since this is my first day here I didn't know much about the history but wanted to reply to what I read. Sorry if it was my fault that the post came up again.
Welcome to the boards and I just know you are going to meet some wonderful people on here. I know I have and it is a relief to share the things we go through in this disease along with those who suffer with the ones they love.
It is wonderful that your daughter came to you and felt she could do that and said hey this is what i think. That takes a lot of courage on her part and it is wonderful to see that she did research on her own about it. My son did simiarly with his grandparents. And he is amazing when it comes to his illness and that he is not afraid to say when it is bad or when things are ok.
Myself is a different story. My dad was bipolar died in 2001 of suicide. My mom I am pretty sure is Borderline Personalty. I have a nephew with Bipolar/Schizophrenia. And of course there is me with Bipolar I. I would agree that when our family gets together it does make it well interesting as all our personalities clash.
I have problems with relationships and somehow making friends is very hard for me. Right now the only friends i have are on the net. They do help brighten my day and vice versa. But I do know that I need a life outside of the net with real people also. I am currently separated from hubby number two and if I have any luck we will be divorcing. After that it's a we'll see deal.