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Old 03-07-2009, 08:35 PM   #1
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What was your childhood like?

I am wondering about the childhood of other people who have BP diagnosis. I am wondering if I've had it since childhood.

As a child, I was very smart. I loved to do extra assignments and teachers considered skipping me a grade in elementary school. I was kind of bossy to my peers. I always thought I was right and needed everything done my way. I loved coming up with projects like making a cat/dog sitting business. I did this when I was in the fourth grade. I recruited peers to work and we held meetings and advertised. I also started groups in my neighborhood to take children on hikes in the woods (my backyard). I also advertised with flyers and posters for this. I was probably in third grade. Of course, adults just kind of laughed at my efforts and thought it was cute.

I did not sleep well as a child. I would stay up as late as possible reading novels. I read my first novel in Kindergarten. I didn't have any problem getting out of bed in the morning though.

Although I didn't have any behavior problems in school, I sometimes had violent behaviors at home. I would lash out at my parents and sister. I remember one day throwing my supper on the floor and smashing the plate because I didn't like what my mom had made. I would physically beat up my sister and parents, even as a young child. I remember being about 10 and pushing my father to the ground. My violence was often a result of conflict about my sister. She lied a lot and got me into trouble for things I didn't do. I also got mad about things like having to go on vacation or on outings to places like the beach for example. I did not like having my routine thrown off. I never had any violent behaviors at school. I might have been a bit bossy, but only enough to make my peers annoyed for a short period of time.

I remember having so much stress in my life that I would sit cross legged and rock on the floor. I would stare at the wall until I almost forgot everything that was going on around me. I could lose track of time that way.

I had some paranoia when I was young. Even at the elementary school age, I remember worrying that there were people hiding in the bush outside my bedroom window. I would worry that there was a camera watching me in my room sometimes, or someone hiding in my closet. Sometimes I would feel like something was going to get me if I didn't wrap my entire body in a blanket at night. I never slept with my feet out of the blanket.

Ever since I was a child, I remember seeing frightening things. I saw what I believed to be the devil hovering over my bed when I was probably elementary school age. I ran to my parents room once it went away. They insisted I was dreaming, but I knew I wasn't. Sometimes everything went different colors. Everything would have a tint of grey, white or red for instance. Like someone put in a colored lightbulb. I saw a white person standing in my living room one day.

As I grew older, I continued to do very well in school but became really depressed. I became more violent at home and had a lot of anxiety at school. I always had a boyfriend that I counted on to get me through the days. I had migraines, back pain and insomnia. I felt the need to always be busy. I worked 20 hours a week, went to school and played on three sports teams in grade 11. The conflict at home led me to move to my grandmother's house in grade 11 and for almost a year I had no conflict with my parents. I continued to do well in school but skipped class a lot. I couldn't bear to be there and had bad social anxiety. I had few friends and didn't like talking to people at all.

When I started university, I broke up with my boyfriend, started drinking 4-5 nights a week and becoming very social. I lost all of my friends that I had before. Within a few months I was very depressed again and spent most of my time in bed, skipping school. I continued to do well in school though. I started hearing voices then. I would hear my name whispered occasionally, or people chattering.

I started antidepressants a year later. I went through 11 of them in three months and went through major psychosis. I saw monsters who were looking at me through windows, tvs and computer screens. I wouldn't leave the house. I couldn't eat... lost about 40 lbs in three months. I continued to make As in school,although I rarely attended. I was hospitalized for three days when I thought the monsters were coming and wanted me to hang myself from an iv pole. I wasn't actually going to, but I guess doctors interpreted that as being suicidal.

I withdrew on my own from all of my medications. I have been coping with diet and exercise.

That is the extent of my past. Wondering if people had similar childhoods. Any reason I was only violent to my parents and sister? Why was I able to keep up in school? Do you think I had BP my whole life?

 
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Old 03-07-2009, 09:25 PM   #2
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Re: What was your childhood like?

I did not have a good childhood. I suffered 4 different kinds of trauma over the span of 18 years. However, I was considered gifted and loved school. If I could go back to those days, I would because it was a time when I actually felt normal in the true sense of the word. I also loved being challenged in my Honors classes as well as participating in a number of extra-curricular activities. It wasn't until 1991 when everything changed. I started hearing voices, became depressed and displaying signs of bipolar even though I wasn't officially diagnosed until 2006. From that point on, it has been an uphill battle that sometimes feels like I will never win. I keep fighting though because I refuse to let bipolar defeat me.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

 
Old 03-07-2009, 10:01 PM   #3
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Re: What was your childhood like?

My childhood was overly traumatic, I was molested by my father starting at the age of 9 through 13 and then verbally so through 16. I also loved school it was the only "normal safe" atmosphere in my life, I liked being there so much that in my high school years I took classes in summer. I ended up graduating a year early with Honors and 4.49 G.P.A, and started college when I was 17. I'm pretty much old school and don't beleive that BiPolar can be diagnosed in Children. It's hard enough to diagnose it in adults. I was diagnosed BiPolar in 1990 after my first suicide attempt 3 weeks after the birth of my first son, as BP tends to be about 100 times worse when combined with post partum depression. 3 years ago my diagnoses was upgraded to BiPolar w/Severe Med Resistant Suicidal Depression, after 5 suicide attempts and there has been one more this past July. I had locked all of my childhood traumas away somewhere in my "mind" and didn't really remember the years 9-1, but a year and a half ago my "mind" unlocked itself and everything just came pouring out, since then I have been under the care of both a pdoc and tdoc and have been completely Med Compliant. I also have PTSD, OCD, and SH/SI for which I have been to Urgent Care for stitches 4 times since July. I currently take Lamictal, Abilify, Cymbalta, Buspar, Topamax, Trazadone, Vit. D, and Biotin to try and keep my Depression under control these work maybe 10% of the time. So there's the gist of my story. Do I think my childhood trauma's affected my BP? Not really as BP is a Brain Chemical Imbalance and not really Trauma induced. In my case it is a Genetic condition that has manifested itself in different conditions thoughout my maternal bloodline. Do I think my childhood trauma's were caused by the BP, ummm no since my father caused it. So hopefully I answered your question.

kat

 
Old 03-08-2009, 06:41 AM   #4
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Re: What was your childhood like?

Kat,

I also don't think my BP was caused by my traumas. I was sexually, physically and emotionally abused by my father and emotionally abused by my mother. My life was also threatened when I was 9 years old. However, none of that has anything to do with bipolar although stress and trauma can definitely play a part in causing someone to experience a full-blown manic episode. Like you, I also have PTSD because of all the traumas I experienced. I've never tried to commit suicide (with the exception of my first manic/psychotic episode in which my voices tried to tell me to injest an entire bottle of Tylenol), but I do have problems with SH (as you know). I'm also under the care of a pdoc and tdoc. I've been in T since 1991 ever since I started hearing voices and displayed signs of bipolar. I've seen my tdoc for 1.5 years and my pdoc since December.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

Last edited by dreams in neon; 03-08-2009 at 06:42 AM.

 
Old 03-08-2009, 06:45 AM   #5
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Re: What was your childhood like?

Kat,

Just curious...how were you able to receive a 4.49 GPA? Did you attend private schools? At all of the schools I attended (suburban public schools), the highest GPA a student could receive was a 4.0 even if they took AP classes. I took several AP classes during my junior and senior year in high school and did quite well in them, but my cumulative GPA never amounted to more than a 4.0.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

Last edited by dreams in neon; 03-08-2009 at 06:47 AM.

 
Old 03-08-2009, 10:54 AM   #6
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Re: What was your childhood like?

Even though im 17 turning 18 in september i still had a horrible childhood, i was molested by my uncle when i was 8 or 9 and it happened about 3 or 4 times. i just recently told my mom about it when i started at my first tdoc which was 7 or 8 months ago. she was heart broken. i sucked at school and i dropped out when i turned 16 because i failed 10th grade and i couldnt deal with the stress and anxiety every day.

Ive always been scared of the dark and mirrors when its dark, i used to have a night light up until i was 15 and im afriad to sleep alone so i always sleep with my boyfriend. im so scared that something is gonna touch me when im laying in bed because when i was 14 i felt "something" grab my leg while i was laying in bed and i freaked out so i always sleep curled up now.

Ive had so many traumatic things happen its unbelievable. ive been heart broken so many times and stressed out. i would always get so stressed to the point that i felt like throwing up but i never did. last year i was an alcoholic i used to drink until i got drunk every single night and i tried to commit suicide 2 times, i have so many scars on my arms from burning myself with cigarettes and cutting.

I used to beat my sister up and i was violent towards animals i had the worst anger problems ever. the medicine that im on now is helping but not as i wish it would. i still have clouded thoughts but im not as violent. i really want to be put on abilify but im nervous to ask my pdoc.

Its weird that most of us have had traumatic things happen to us and we turned out the way we are, i wonder if bipolar disorder could be formed from traumatic experiences.

 
Old 03-08-2009, 11:51 AM   #7
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Re: What was your childhood like?

I did some reading on the Internet and found several articles which support the fact that bipolar can be caused by trauma. They indicated that manic episodes are oftentimes precipitated by stressful events. They also stated that bipolar could be an emotional and behavioral response to early stressors similar to the way stressful events trigger physical illness.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

 
Old 03-08-2009, 12:41 PM   #8
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Re: What was your childhood like?

Dreams,

I tood Honors classes from Jr. High on through H.S. Graducation, I was also in a Program called Project Gold where we did Community Service which we got extra credit for, on top of this my Jr. and Sr. year of High School I took college lever courses parallel with my High School Courses. When I started my first year of College I was already half way through. So all of it added to extra Credits and Grade Points. I was just one of those Geeks that did whatever I could to stay at school and away from school. I never go out of that mode, I have to Degrees and am a Certified Parallegal, and am thinking of going back for a third degree...I'm happiest when I'm learning knew things I guess.

My mother also caused me trauma, abusive physically and verbally. She knew what my father was doing the whole time and never tried to stop him or report him, she was such a great MOM!

kat

 
Old 03-08-2009, 02:57 PM   #9
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Re: What was your childhood like?

Thanks for the explanation, kat. I've never taken college prep courses unless you consider AP courses to be college prep. When I was tested during my freshman year of college, I scored at least 3 years above grade level in every subject. My writing was equal to that of a college graduate. I only have 2 more courses to take before earning my Bachelor's in social work. From there, I plan to earn a Master's in psychology and a Ph.D. in psychiatry. However, I have no idea when that will be until I can get my bipolar under control. Right now I just don't have the energy, attentiveness or motivation to be in a 3 hour lecture.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

 
Old 03-08-2009, 03:29 PM   #10
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Re: What was your childhood like?

I hear you dreams, that's whats keeping me from going back to get my C.P.A. License, I'm just not at a place where I can manage the dicsipline and "want to" to dedicate myself to get there.

My current 2 degrees are in Computer Science, and Financial Accounting. But the C.P.A. Licensure would bump my salary range up from 65k to closer to 3 digits.

My Junion year High School English course was created explecitely for 8 of us who had finished our required credits by that time, it was a combination of Comp and Retoric and British Lit, it was great since there were only 8 of us, we pretty much got to pick the curriculum, it was all writing, thesis papers, and Shakespeare, I loved it.

kat

 
Old 03-08-2009, 03:48 PM   #11
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Re: What was your childhood like?

Kalua,

My pdoc and tdoc both have the same theory regarding BiPolar and PTSD regarding childhood. Most of us just aren't strong enough as children to fight the adults who abuse us and let us down and we don't have any other adults to take care of us. So we tend to develop a coping skill that is not what we should've learned from the adults in our lives and we just keep burrying ourselves into that place where we can't get out of. We stay depressed and scared and angry, which mirrors depression in bipolar states. My coping method was SH/SI. Each child can have a different method, it's something that helps us deal with our trauma's, or makes us thing that we are dealing with them. As we grow our BiPolar develops into a legible experience and we take those "learned" bad coping skills with us and apply them to handling the BiPolar. All of the mental disorders in our lives tend to be tied together which is usually not a good thing. BiPolar is always there with us as it is a Chemical Imbalance, but it doesn't "come" out until we are young adults for the most part. The PTSD of childhood can help it appear.

Hope this makes some sense to you.

kat

 
Old 03-08-2009, 05:36 PM   #12
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Re: What was your childhood like?

Kat,

I can't help but feel so upset about all of the things bipolar has taken away from me. I used to LOVE school. I put everything I had into it, but I just can't do it anymore. I can't focus long enough and find that as time passes during a 3 hour lecture, the more agitated I become because the professor's voice grates on my nerves. I love to learn, but since I no longer have the patience to sit in a classroom, I prefer to read books or the Internet. Everyone keeps telling me to press on and not to quit. What they don't understand though is how much bipolar affects my study habits, my attention span and ability to complete assignments. If truth be told, I miss the old me -- the me who used to love school and would soak up everything I learned in the classroom.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

 
Old 03-08-2009, 06:17 PM   #13
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Re: What was your childhood like?

Dreams,

Most of my basic classes I can take on the Internet so I don't have those problems, for me it's kind of the opposite....I just get to "down" to make it to class, to depressed to even get in the car and drive to class. That way I don't have to deal with all the other people and professors. Have you checked into this, because it allows you to go at your own pace somewhat...

Right now still reeling from lack of a job, I don't have much interest in anything. I added up my "mental" expenses yesterday and without insurance they're $2,831.00 with cobraing my insurance they're $1,490.00 and that's with the cost of the insurance. The meds alone are $507 vs. $1,921.00. I don't know how people without insurance do it, it's just insane!

So trying to get all my ducks in a row is taking it's toll these days but I'm trying to keep it all going, we'll see.

Kat

 
Old 03-08-2009, 11:16 PM   #14
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Re: What was your childhood like?

neondreams,

I know exactly what you mean. I have had to drop out of 3 different schools, been unable work, lost relationships.

I talk to my t about this. She says I have to mourn, go through those stages of anger, mourning, etc. She's right, and you've every right and are quite normal to be feeling the way you do.

We do go through great loss when we lose "that person" we were. I can get a good case of If Only.

Allow yourself your feelings, they are appropriate and actually necessary for us to feel that way. I think they're part of acceptance (boy, do I dislike that word.

Seaturtle

 
Old 03-09-2009, 02:43 AM   #15
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Re: What was your childhood like?

Kat and Seaturtle,

Kat, I can't take classes on the Internet because I don't have the concentration or patience to. Besides, I struggle too much with rapid cycling, mania and racing thoughts. Once my rapid cycling is under better control, I'll investigate the possibility of taking online courses.

Seaturtle, I'm glad someone else understands how I feel. I'm still depressed right now. I went to bed a few hours ago, but woke up and can't sleep. I don't want to take a higher PRN dosage of my Trazodone for fear of not being able to wake up on time for my pdoc appointment. Oh well. I guess by the way things have been lately, this is the norm for me.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

 
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