Bipolar and Family Dysfunction

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Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 10/10/2007 12:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Younger sibling is BiPolar, and an older sibling schizophrenic. Anyone experience similar problems? Are you victim of the lifelong dysfunction this causes in a family?

Post Edited By Moderator (serafena) : 10/10/2007 2:54:24 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/10/2007 1:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Arthurmary:

Welcome to our neck of the woods! I see you've been in the Arthritis forums already, great! You already know the drill. Nice to have you.

I think many of us are very familiar with the severe dysfunction that mental illnesses can bring to a family. Bipolar in particular has been shown to have a genetic link, and I'm sure the same is true for others. In my case I'm the bp sibling though, so I can't comment. You'd have to ask my brother. :-) Anyone else?
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 150
   Posted 10/10/2007 2:45 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm the only child. But my dad was diagnosed w/ manic depression in his 20's. He also has really bad panic attacks and agoraphobia.
My family was pretty dysfunctional too, but my parents were alcoholics when I grew up. It's hard to say what was more dysfunctional the drinking by both parents or my dads anxiety/depression/panic etc.....
I think my grandpa (my dad's dad) also has some sort of anxiety, I remember he didn't like having a lot of company, he would always go to his room until everyone left. Not the family but other people.
My pdoc told me that it is genetic.


28 years old

Bipolar II, Panic Disorder, OCD

Seroquel and Klonopin as needed



Ellie 1
Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1291
   Posted 10/10/2007 4:53 PM (GMT -7)   
My mother was an undiagnosed classic BP 1.  My aunt is Bipolar as well.  My brother self medicated himself into a lethal drug overdose.  Probably 3 or 4 cousins are also bipolar.  It runs very heavily in my family.

Good judgement comes from experience and alot of that comes from bad judgement.
You just have to accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue. 

loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 10/10/2007 5:33 PM (GMT -7)   
A - My step brother, who I was raised with from the time I was 5, was diagnosed with various things starting at 13. His full dx was manic depressive, schizophrenic, schizoid - with the compounded issues of drug addictions and prescription drug misuse. I know that his illness took all precedence over our family of 6 children. It was the main issues my parents dealt with, and several of us in many ways felt the fallout from the neglect it caused – as there was ALWAYS an issue with him. I, as one of the kids in the middle, (I was #4, he was #3) became very independent and responsible. I tried to stay out of trouble, always make good choices, etc…as to not cause my parents any additional headaches. It also affected me with how much fighting my parents did about him, as my dad was the enabler, and my mother's instincts said to not do that. But, this was a child that my dad brought into the marriage, which he was adopted in his first marriage. My mother was divorced and she brought in two girls, he brought in 2 boys (he was a widower), and then they had two together. With my brothers issues in the mix, I grew up in a house of chaos. And while neither of my parents ever drank, I went as an adult to ACA for 3 years because of the level of dysfunctional family I lived in…and they say if you can relate to the description of the problem…you are welcome…so I went because I did. I knew my parents didn’t mean to ignore me, but in many ways, I did feel like there was not time for me. I know my older sister felt that way too, but she handled it by staying in her room a lot and reading. I went the creative route. My oldest brother also had severe problems emotionally because of dads enabling behaviors. I think that my older sister and I escaped some of it because mom mostly dealt with us, as we were from her first marriage, and dad dealt with the boys, because they came from his, in terms of who would win out on decisions pertaining to us. As you can see…pretty messed up. I know I ended up with a lot of therapy, and perhaps that is why I can handle things with my hubby being a milder BP, because the chaos it creates is familiar to me? LFW
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