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Curious - Dr G
melly2210 posted:
I was wondering if there has been any studies linking tragic events to bipolar? There's the obvious PTSD side, but in that one lengthy post, I did pick up a theme of past abuses, rapes to domestic violence. Just made me think.

Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops... at all.  ~Emily Dickinson
Joseph F Goldberg, MD responded:
Dear melly,

It is thought that in people with a biological vulnerablity to bipolar disorder, certain environmental factors may precipitate that predisposition. Those factors can include sleep deprivation, crossing time zones, antidepressant use, drugs/alcohol, and potential life stresses. A theory called "kindling" posits that life stresses play a decreasingly important role in precipitating mood episodes over time, but may be especially important early on in the course of illness, especially for depressions. Tragic events per se have not been identified as differing in importance from other types of life stresses, according to this theory. It is important to remember that most people who endure life stresses, or violence/abuse, or loss, do not develop bipolar disorder or major depression; the events don't "cause" bipolar disorder, but they may precipitate it in people who have the susceptibility to the illness to begin with.

- Dr. G.
hereinmyhead replied to Joseph F Goldberg, MD's response:
Dr. G, didn't you write something on the "kindling" effect at one time? I think I remember Hope pointing me to a page with that information quite awhile back. (is that link still available?)

In my case, it appears that more than one factor could have triggered my bipolar disorder. According to what I've either read or been told, here are a few things I might mention:

1 - family history of bipolar, ADD and ADHD, schizophrenia, PTSD and alcoholism.
2 - I've had 2 head injuries, one that involved a concussion almost exactly the year before what's been determined as my first episode of mania.
3 - personally traumatic events

So it makes sense to me for any one (or all) of the "possible" factors to be true.

melly2210 responded:
Thanks to you both.

Dr. G - I understand the cause is a genetic disposition. Heck, most everything that is wrong with me can be traced back through the family tree. Generations back. I was just reading and thinking about everything that ails me, not in a bad way, and wondering about their "basket-like" effect. When one gets bad, the others seem to follow suit. A domino effect, so to speak.
Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops... at all. ~Emily Dickinson
melly2210 replied to hereinmyhead's response:

Thanks...I'll go back later and hunt for that posting. Or Google

1) There is a family history, although undiagnosed but clear as day directly from my mom's side. Alcoholism there. My dad's side is more wrought with cancer and heart disease and lots of PTSD issues.

2) My head injuries have been minor concussions from playing sports and such when I was young. I was a regular ole monkey and it was nothing for me to fall and bump my head or have my bell wrung in sports.

3) The personal traumatic events that have occurred in my life can usually dwarf those of someone twice my age...

Thanks for making me feel not so alone in this!
Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops... at all. ~Emily Dickinson
hope7951 replied to melly2210's response:
Melly, one of the important things to remember isthat you decide what to make of the circumstances of your life. I have mental illness complete with 5 suicides on both side of the family, was hit on the head with a base ball bat when I was 6 and had several years of depression, frustration, doing things I didn't understand and being self-destructive.

The best day of my life was when they gave this a name, and treatment. Ans yes like most people I balked and tested out whether I was really sick.

I was ... but since 1982 have taken my meds, did therapy and every day think about my diet, exercise, water, sleep, stress and balance. Once you find you med combo, the past is the past. It does not drive your future, you do that. Most people overcome this illness and all the things that life throws at us. It may not seem like it at the time, but you can and will overcome this and become whatever you believe yourself able to achieve. It is those people who deny problems or live in their delusions that plant themselves firmly in the mental health ghetto.

You have a spark. I hear it in your writing. You are prespective and have the ability and drive to overcome. We overcome much more then we don't. You are not alone.
You become what you think about...
hope7951 replied to hope7951's response:
I made an exchange which just has resources to help people move toward bipolar wellness. You might enjoy some of the tips there:
You become what you think about...

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