Unraveling the family tree
For some families, bipolar disorder runs through the generations as invariably as freckles or cleft chins appear in other family trees. Even so, looking for your family’s source of bipolar disorder can be a little like searching for the headwaters of the Nile. You start backtracking through the generations and suddenly realize that the quirky behavior you once brushed aside as your grandmother’s eccentricity was really a signpost.
If only you had recognized her outlandishness or rage for what it was—the genetic source of your own bipolar disorder. You might have been more tolerant of her. Perhaps you wouldn’t have distanced yourself so much. At the very least, you might have asked some questions.
Unfortunately, many people never think to connect the dots in their family’s history of wellness until the day a family member is diagnosed with bipolar. Suddenly, it hits like a ton of bricks—everything falls into place. As one mother describes it, it wasn’t until her son was diagnosed that she recognized her own illness. “Oh my gosh, that’s what’s the matter with me!”
Source: bp Magazine