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Rated: 18+ · Article · Emotional · #1724112
mental illness is genetic as well as environmental
                                                                  Poster Family For Mental Illness

    My family could be the poster family for genetic metal illness. I have a situation that gives me a unique perspective and proves my theory.

    There are four of us in my family that are afflicted with various forms of mental illness. I am a diagnosed and long treated Bipolar. My father was never treated for any kind of mental illness. He was clearly a man with demons though that he treated himself with alcohol. My sister has been treated for much of her life for mind numbing depression which she treated for many years with antidepressants and alcohol. She is now a recovering alcoholic. My half brother is a severe alcoholic and it has only been recently that he casually dropped that he too is taking antidepressants. Here’s the twist. My father is his father. I have a step-sister who shares the same mother my brother has and she never shared any of the dysfunction that we have.

    To say the least we are a dysfunctional family. The mental illness has been so prevalent that each of us became an island unto ourselves. This literally prevented us from helping each other. We have never even had an honest conversation about our mental illness.

    My father died taking his dictatorial and sadistic tendencies to the grave having never even let on that he even knew he may have made our disorders far worse than they would have been if the genetic traits were all we had had to deal with as we grew up.

    My sister was in her late teens and early twenties when she made the first of many attempts at suicide. Each time my father chose to ignore her and send my stepmother to the hospital as a proxy. The last time she attempted suicide, I went to the hospital. She and I were in our thirties and the nigh beforet we had talked about our mother for the first time since she had died thirty years before.

    I quickly realized that we probably would never be able to share much of any of the personal horrors we had grown up with because of my sisters suicide attempt that night

  .      I was fifteen the first time I tried to kill myself, I was twenty-two years old when I came very close to achieving it. Twelve years later I would have the diagnosis as Bipolar I             

        My brother has chosen a slower death by alcolhol and drug abuse.                                                                        .      .

        We could provide a wealth of information to researchers of mental health and genetics but first you would have to get us all to agree that we are mentally ill.

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