I have been struggling since I was 15. I was considered "rebellious" for years. I went through many stages - drugs, drinking (heavily), promiscuity at age 21, cutting, and suicide attempts (as a teen). I have was diagnosed at age 20 as having a panic/anxiety disorder. Then the diagnoses continued from panic disorder, to having a minor depressive episode to a major depressive episode, obsessive compulsive disorder, adjustment disorder, being "borderline bipolar" , and then about 4 years ago as a bipolar. Honestly, I'm pretty sure I was none of the other things and have always been bipolar. I am almost 30 now, and just went to see my first actual psychiatrist yesterday. I was going to a counseling service until last month. Not sure if you are familiar with how these work, but you have to see a therapist regularly, who then makes a referral to a doctor, who then prescribes medications based on the therapist's recommendation. After so many other disappointments (therapist not showing up to work for appt.), I was finally told that there was a waiting list 2 months long for the doctor, and the therapist said she was going to recommend that I be treated not for bipolar disorder, but for an adjustment disorder to moving to the area. I was so mad I got up and left and never went back. Anyways, I was so impressed with the doctor yesterday and feel that I am finally on the right track and will finally get the RIGHT medication. I have always been on either an anti-depressant or an anti-anxiety med. Neither worked, but no one listened and just switched me from one to another.
about 2 years ago, my oldest son began to change his personality, which we contributed as "growing pains", as children often do change as they are growing. Then, about 4 months ago I decided that we needed help, and that it wasn't just a "phase". I was scared to death that I had passed this horrible disorder on to my son. Unfortunately, I was right, and we found out that my 9 year old could "possibly" be bipolar. They weren't quick to label it as such, but once the medication completely turned him around, they said that he was, in fact, bipolar. They put him on Abilify, and so far, I have my wonderful child back. He's not sad or angry or mean anymore. Well, he experiences these still, but in a "normal" way, and not daily fluctuations.
Now that I have made this far too long, let me ask you this. I was diagnosed as Bipolar I yesterday. This is the first time I have ever been diagnosed specifically, and not just told I was Bipolar. I did some reading online, and I sort of understand the differences between I and II, but which is actually worse? Is it worse to be Bipolar I or Bipolar II? Also, does anyone know about Lamictal? That is what I have been taking for 2 days now.
Oh - also, just out of curiosity, does anyone know the actual statistics on the chances of this disorder passing to children from parents? I think I remember the doctor telling me that there is a 60% chance of each subsequent child of a bipolar parent having the same thing, but that can't be right. That seems too high a percentage. I have 2 girls in addition to my son, and I am so fearful that they have a chance of being diagnosed as well. I know how hard this is, especially on my children and husband, and I really don't want any more of my kids to have to deal with this as well.
Diagnosed Bipolar I 2008
Diagnosed IBS 2000