Avatar universal

Do you think you were born with bipolar disorder?

We know that bipolar is a chemical imbalance in our brain, most likely inherited, but time and time again, I hear people say, "I wasn't bipolar as a child.".....  I feel pretty certain that I was as far as I can remember.

There are triggers that cause our episodes - given.  

Do you think YOU were born with bipolar disorder or it developed?  

29 Responses
803299 tn?1243135053
Absolutely!  When I look back at my childhood I see the same behavior patterns that eventually led me to a pdoc to find out what was wrong with me.  Back then I did not know why I acted like I did and my condition was untreated.  Take care
Avatar universal
Looking back - a resounding yes!  I never acted the same as the other kids, always pushing the boundaries, always prone to black moods and then ridiculous highs, risk taking, bursts of creativity, easily bored,.............  I could go on!  Right from a very young age.
Avatar universal
I don't know for sure if I was or not because I suffered from hallucinations at a young age but had very few emotions save for anger and hatred.  Otherwise there was just nothing there.  I know the exact moment the mood swings started however.
889557 tn?1260150805
i dont realy now.... wheni was younger i had no clue. when i became a teen i relized something was very wrong. but i could never put my finger on it. mabey i was and just didnt understand or reconize any difference??

750716 tn?1263734643
We were Genetically predisposed to Bipolar from birth.  How or when the disorder appears is different for everyone.  Often it's triggered by stressful life events.

I wasn't diagnosed till age 39, but looking back on my childhood I definitely had signs and symptoms from a very early age.  I was a melancolic child and always felt 'different' to my friends.  As a teenager I was often depressed, angry and panicked about virtually everything.  In a way I wish I'd got some help back then, but hindsight is a wonderful thing.  


Avatar universal
Oh yeah, I was born BP as were, and are, many of my relatives. I believe I had a predisposition for GAD and my situation just sent me over the edge. I just worry about the types and doses of the meds that they are giving young children now. As much as I probably would have benefitted from some sort of medication, I am appalled at what some really young kids are on.
Avatar universal
I'm pretty sure I've been bipolar all my life.  I've had sleeping problems since birth, I was always inconsistent with grades because sometimes I was really on and other times I couldn't focus and I was overly sensitive.  I was very well behaved (lots of comments about being a sweet and thoughtful child) but was really fidgety, easily bored, distractible.  I didn't have a problem with anger until later in life though.  I think my BP just got worse with time.  

212753 tn?1275073111
I was born bi polar. People said I was high stung or moody. Between my hysterectomy and my thyroid problems it just got worse.
Love Venora
Avatar universal
Yes.  I remember sitting in the closet or the tree and just me or my sister with me or our next door neighbor.  I remember in first grade, taking over the class and getting in trouble for it. Second grade I followed the teacher everywhere, I was her shadow. I was not liked by other girls very much all through school and I used to think I must really be ugly, then I grew up and now realize though I thought that all my life it was not.
I look for the generational thing, I can see it though never diagnosed.  My mom was on bed rest the entire time she was pregnant with me and had her veins stripped and wrapped and her dr gave her something to keep her gaining no weight.  She says it was horrible when they took her off cold turkey but she does not remember what it was.
You opened a hornets nest cowgirlnerd, one we can finally talk about.
603015 tn?1329862973
Ive only just been diagnosed at 37 so I have spent many many hours looking back on my past ( thats the memories I can remember ), I new I was a fruit loop, a bit blonde and was the first to mock myself, I just thought everyone else was weird, I was the normal one. I had the classic traumers in childhood that the docs love to associate with these mental illnesses, I guess I can remember when my behaviours changed and I would say it was around 9, although previous to that I did show some anxiety issues. The answer I would love answered is what if you provide a very loving stable home and when issues arrise you are given the help and support, what then when dispite all of that you still suffer great pain and still develope Bipolar ! why ! I say it must be mostly biological and that stressors can aggrivate it.....
242912 tn?1402543492
Yes, I believe I was born this way!  I have always felt odd, like something was wrong with me.  I remember in kindergarten, I had no idea how to make friends.  Up until the last 5yrs or so, I have watched other peoples behavior my entire life trying to figure out how to fit in...how to behave right...like for real.  I can fake it, I always have, but it's exhausting.  

I have been reading the posts here lately, especially today and over and over I am seeing my own behavior, thoughts and/or situations described by other people and the thought that keeps coming to mind is "umm...you mean, that's not normal?"

I too, have had sleeping problems since birth and now, other than a twilight sleep, haven't slept for 8days.  Should stop posting because I will look at what I've written tomorrow and be sorry because I will feel completely different.  I could also easily feel completely different in just a minute.

505907 tn?1258369340
All Bipolar people are born this way. It may not show up until puberty or even later but that's partially because you're too busy to notice your symptoms until they progress - often dramatically really showing because of some emergency in your life. You can't catch it - it's in your blood.
883607 tn?1241847511
This is an interesting survey!
I now know that I developed my symptoms in the late teens.

"You can never be absolutely certain" would be my additional point here.
Genetics and biology definitely have a strong influence in the onset of BP, but this is not the whole story.
There have been some scientific arguments that stress can be a factor in causing the onset of BP as well.
The scientists just don't exactly know yet.
Avatar universal
I really think my daughter was born this way... I just think it decide to become active and she become severely symptomatic once puberty started but she also had some trauma as a child(molestation) that I can attribute to some of her other symptoms...

Some research says that your predisposed to the disorder and stress or rocky childhood can cause it to become active... I don't know for sure what the issue is with her if she was born this way and it just happen to become active or if she became bipolar due to the trauma...

She has ALWAYS been a little odd...from the time she was born so I really think she was born with the disorder it just took the trauma and puberty to set it off...
505907 tn?1258369340
There have been some scientific arguments that stress can be a factor in causing the onset of BP as well.

Onset - that means you already had it but it hadn't showed up yet.
242912 tn?1402543492
I believe the stress of being molested until I was 11 is what activated it too the fullest...
883607 tn?1241847511
"Onset" is the first appearance of the signs (or symptoms) of an illness OR the beginning of an illness.
505907 tn?1258369340
You're right. I was writing without thinking. I meant the onset of symptoms which I think is all we are talking about. After all, why wouldn't there be larger population of BPs in third world countries or among victims of torture if it were true that tragedies brought on this disorder on their own?
539549 tn?1315981662
I think I was born with BP I was fussy as a baby and as a toddler I was extremely hyper and had poor social skills...even as a preteen I had lots difficulty focusing in school...
my mood swings started happening once I hit junior high It must have been the stress involving peer pressure and hitting puberty....
Avatar universal
I am absolutely certain that I was born with it.  There are so many similarities in the comments I read here and in that regard - we can take comfort in numbers.  I have always felt, "not right" and MAN, in my early teenage (I guess puberty) times, I was completely out of control - it progressed off an on through the years.  FINALLY diagnosed at last year.   I can even remember having hallucinations as early as 5 - my oldest sister was crawling toward me playing like a tiger or something and she transformed into a devil and was chasing me.  I ran all the way to the barn to find my mother (keep in mind my "devil" sister was running behind me - so that freaked me out!).  It is still talked about to this day!  

Truly, I believe that my BP was inherited from my father - and I believe that is a strong reason my mother has strayed away from me after my diagnosis.  She just doesn't want to see it in me (they had a very strained relationship up to his death - he was never stable in this life).  Sad, but true.

My Mom also believes that my "issues" are caused in part by me drowning at 4 or 5 (I can't remember).  I actually drowned and was brought back.    She says the lack of oxygen messed up my brain (nice comments from a Mom, huh!) and makes me get depressed....

An interesting question about the stable loving household issue - I wonder if that support is something that could lessen the severity?  I do truly believe it's genetic, but I wonder if the support of a stable household limits the effects?


691509 tn?1251614354
yes indeed!  only recognizable in retrospect but the sensitivity, emotional lability, differentness, delusions of grandeur, self-hatred, other family members including son and mother...........and I was not diagnozed until my 55th birthday after a prolonged depressioon caused by family trajedy and personal stress.  A "breakdown" you could say.

Also, my pdoc told me so.
Avatar universal
I commented in a different post about nightmares and night terrors, this will be a double but it applies here also. I have read a few excerpts out of the book The Bipolar Child, I know it's controversial but I wondered if my childhood was symptomatic. But when I was young around 4 or 5 I had night terrors, which is a symptom, my night terrors were awful, every night, no one slept, my siblings thought I was posessed. By the time those were gone, I started having nightmares, which were were even worse for me because I remember them and they were recurring. Horrible morbid dreams about things happening to my family, another symptom for bp kids morbid thoughts and dreams, and dreams of natural disasters, bomb and missile filled skies. I remember being terrified to sleep, and on atleast one occasion after waking from a nightmare my parents were in my room and I remember seeing little seethrough men running around in a circle in my hallway. I may have still been in a dream state...who knows, I still remember, I can still remember what they looked like to this day, they were very jolly scary little fellows. My siblings still thought I was posessed, I didn't know any better at that age, I thought maybe I was too. What kind of little girl would have those kind of thoughts about her family, see things and etc. That is my earliest memory of something being different than my siblings and others that I knew.

I have always had a preoccupation with the number 4. Never knew why. My mother told me I had a high fever when I was 4 where the hair in the back of my head fell out. Maybe that was a trauma? Maybe that was why it started at a young age?

I don't know, what kind of therapy am I supposed to have to work through all of this stuff? The therapist I have know is just talking to me about stressors I have right now, I'm bored w/ it, I don't even want to go, we just talk about my step-daughter the whole time. Shes a family therapist, what other kind of therapy can I go to work through my BP stuff?
574118 tn?1305135284
People always think they are different than others, because they watch them from the outside, how they appear or behave only, but can't tell what is in their inside. They conclude from what they see, that they don't suffer like we do bipolar ones.

Again everybody has a "mental" problem. People are supertitious (my father), paranoid thinking that others mistreat them, jealous, greedy to the extreme, feeling unsafe. All these words exist in the dictionary therefore natural.

What i call mental is someone who can't differentiate between right or wrong. But someone who struggles with his own handicap is not mentally ill. He is only disabled.

Bipolarity like in other illnesses whether kidney, heart, etc... strikes you suddenly. One is predisposed i.e. not immuned enough from withstanding stress like others, so the brain has a self mechanism of defense. The latter can be depression, or mania or an alternation between both. Call it perfectionism, resentment. Once this happens you are CLINICALLY BP. Because everybody can tolerate stress somehow but not like us. Usually BP are honest people, true with themselves, sensitive so they succomb to their own straightforwardness.

Once the brain develops this depression/mania cycle it's finished it's like an insulator which becomes a conductor, like they teach us in electromagnetic theory under a high surge/voltage. From there on you need something to lessen these fluctuations.

It's bad but if you think of the others and consider that everybody's problem is the end of the world to him then you will be contented and carry on with your life. After all we don't live forever, you try to maximize your happiness subject to these limitations called constraints in mathematics.

Everybody (believe me) has constraints. Non BP commit suicide (Onasis daughter) nobody is perfectly happy. Happiness is beside being a state of your own mind occurs at a limited periods.

Enjoy your life as much as you can. Think little about your illness. The more you forget about it the more it will forget you.

have a nice day
Avatar universal
I agree that we shouldn't focus unneccesarily on our illness, but there lies an underlying need to understand it.  To feel as if, somehow, we aren't completely to blame for our "issues" created by the aftermath of our episodes.   A need to know what "normal" is and how other Non-BP people feel - to know if the irrational thoughts run through every human, or just us.  To know that maybe with understanding our illness, we can overcome some of the obstacles facing us everyday.  

Myself, I try to not live in self-pity, but do want to understand it.   I have a friend that died from suicide and I don't believe he was BP, but he was OCD - without a doubt and struggled with depression.  I know it's a factor for any human to not want to live here anymore - but I know from my experience that it can be an all to comfortable feeling with us BP's.  Hopefully, understanding, meds, and therapy will keep me from attempting again.  

We just have to hope that we all get stable enough to be comfortable within ourself and live life to it's fullest - whatever that might be.

Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Bipolar Disorder Community

Top Mood Disorders Answerers
Avatar universal
Arlington, VA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
15 signs that it’s more than just the blues
Discover the common symptoms of and treatment options for depression.
We've got five strategies to foster happiness in your everyday life.
Don’t let the winter chill send your smile into deep hibernation. Try these 10 mood-boosting tips to get your happy back
For people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), the COVID-19 pandemic can be particularly challenging.
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.