Bipolar Home Truths

I found out some home truths last night that have really shocked me.

Apparently my nana used to drink heavily. My gramps had to tell my mum’s youngest sister that she was not to let my nana know that he had the key to where they kept the drink. Nana got quite angry with my auntie when she wouldn’t say where the key was.

She once left the house after an argument with my Grampa and vanished. It turned out later on that she had gone to a local seaside town for the day. She hadn’t bothered explaining it to her children. She’d been so angry with my gramps for renovating the house that she’d just left and gone off.

One time, my gramps pulled two of my aunties aside and told them, in his matter of fact way that this year he might well not be at home at Christmas but he might be staying in a flat. He had upset my nana and he was to blame, but that was just how it was and they were not to worry.

Also in the list of things my family had kept secret is the fact that we have had far more problems to deal with than I have always believed. I used to think that my grandparents just used to bicker, but now I know that they would have blazing rows. My nana has clearly had mental health problems for a long while before she got Alzheimer’s, and nobody thought to mention it.

I’m shocked. My mum didn’t know about any of this either, apart from a few things. This explains so much about why I am the way I am.

I suspect bipolar disorder runs in my family. I think my nana possibly may have had it. Her actions were not normal ones for the situation, and alcoholism and bipolar are strongly linked. Not only that, but I am seeing mania and psychosis in some of her actions. The running off to the seaside town episode smacks of the disordered chains of thought that pop up in bipolar sufferers. “Hey, if I go to the seaside, when I come back everything will be how it was before my husband ruined it.”

All of this makes me certain that the disorder runs in the family.

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6 comments on “Bipolar Home Truths

  1. blahpolar says:

    It’s pretty much guaranteed that there’s bipolar in our families. One side of mine denies it … but there were those 2 suicides and that alcoholic … *rolls eyes*

    • Yeah, I think that sort of denial is a generational thing. My family has always maintained that we have no history of mental health problems even though two aunties have been hospitalised for anorexia and a nervous breakdown respectively. The anorexic was hospitalised multiple times! Finding all this out about my nana has really opened my eyes. Even though I have never officially been diagnosed, two separate mental health professionals have both said they strongly suspect I have bipolar. It fits with how my life has panned out, it makes sense to me. The next step I to try and get my family to see what I can see. X

      • blahpolar says:

        Maybe if we said neurotoxic (for bipolar) they’d stop pissing themselves quite so much … buuuut probably not. Give them a copy of bipolar for dummies or something. Lots of documentaries on youtube too (link to those on a page of my blog).

      • Haha! Thank you very much, I will try finding those documentaries and showing them to my parents 😊 x

  2. DotF says:

    We are a part of the first generation that is saying it is okay, even healthy, to talk about these difficult things. For our parents & grandparents it was shameful and not to be discussed. After a stay in the local hospital I learned that my mother had attempted suicide at the age of 19. My grandparents never offered her counseling and for over 30 years not a word was spoken about this tragic incident. Let’s keep talking about it so this doesn’t become a story we re-live with our own grandchildren.

    • God, these things creep out of the woodwork at the strangest times.I’m sorry you found out about this so late, but at least we both found out at all. I will never be silent. Thank you for sharing your story with me xx

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