Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The unfortunate genetics of bipolar disorder

Oh geez, it's been one of those nights. I'm dealing with my bipolar disorder quite well thanks to the running and getting back on my lithium, but one of the my main problems that I have to deal with the high risk of passing on the same genetic makeup to your children. Fortunately, my son has shown a very low tendency of having a mood disorder or other mental illness but my daughter on the other hand has had definite problems with mood disorders and substance abuse. In the past, even arguably minor problems have cost her significantly...relationships breaking up, the passing of a friend, basically things that most "normal" (and I do use that term lightly because what the hell is "normal" anymore?) people would recover from fairly quickly would send her over the deep end for weeks/months. Tonight I found out one of those life altering events has happened again.

I can tell by her Facebook posts that the mood is going downhill, but luckily she actually went to see a counselor at the college and has an appointment with a provider to get a prescription this week. Hopefully she tells the whole story about her mental health history...which I just don't see happening. But, she is an adult and needs to make her own mistakes...hopefully not a permanent one.

You see, I have a history of attempting suicide at least 6-7 times since I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder back in 1997 with the last time probably in the early 2000's. I've tried overdoses, planned out suicide by train, dreamed of driving off a deep ravine and so many other ways. I've been in the ICU for an overdose for 3 days and on the unit 4 more days. I've been in an inpatient psych unit twice for a week or more. My kids have found me after overdosing and had to take care of me while calling their dad to come home. I've been seriously screwed up in the past. I'm stable now...but the question is for how long? Had I known I had a mental illness before I had kids would I have even considered having them? Truthfully, I probably would not have taken the chance. Especially if I had the knowledge about mental illness that I have now. After being a psych patient for nearly 20 years and having taught/studied psych nursing for 6 years I know so much more now than I did when I first started having the kids.

Don't get me wrong, mental illness, in most cases, is totally survivable but there are always the few that don't make it. But had I known the trials and tribulations that I would go through there is no way I would have taken the chance for my kids to have to go through anything similar. Unfortunately, my knowledge and experience came too late. Now I have to sit and watch, crossing my fingers that my daughter will find a way to survive as I have. I'm here if she needs me, but she has to be willing to ask for help before it can be given. It's time to just take things one day at a time and watch for any major mis-steps that may occur.

100 Days Challenge:

  • 1.69 mile walk in 26:02 minutes
  • Hatha yoga class for 1:36:05 
What I Ate Today:
  • 1 serving Cream of Wheat
  • 3/4 cup non-fat, lactose free milk
  • 12 oz non-fat, lactose free milk
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup Skinny rosemary potato soup
  • 40 oz G2
  • 10 Swedish meatballs with gravy
  • 3 cups cooked egg noodles
  • 1/4 cup steamed carrots
  • 2 oranges

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