I just saw your post of over a year ago, Daniel and, if you survive the ordeal of your life thusfar, you may come out the other side with a depth of understanding that can be achieved in other ways but suffering is certainly one of the ways. I won't give you my story in detail. But I will give you the introduction to its 40,000 words. You can google it on many places on the internet(RonPrice BPD). Here is installment#1. I wish you well, Daniel123-Ron
AN ACCOUNT OF MY BIPOLAR DISORDER
A 66 YEAR CONTEXT: October 1943 To October 2009
RON PRICE: George Town Tasmania Australia
(105 Pages: Font 14—40,000 words)
1. Preamble and Introduction:
1.1 At this stage in the evolution of this small book, what eight years ago started out as a brief essay, I could benefit from the assistance of one, Rob Cowley, affectionately known in publishing circles back in the seventies and early eighties as “the Boston slasher.” His editing is regarded in some circles as constructive and deeply sensitive. If he could amputate several dozen pages, several thousand words, of this exploration of my life experience of bipolar disorder(BPD) with minimal agony to my emotional equipment I’m sure readers would be the beneficiaries. But alas, I think Bob is dead. I did find an editor, a copy, proofreader and friend who does not slash and burn but leaves one's soul quite intact as he wades through my labyrinthine passagess, smooths it all out and excises undesirable elements. But this editor is in the late evening of his life and after editing several hundred pages of my writing he has tired of the exercise and so I am left on my own. Perhaps one day I may assume the role that Cowley exercised so well in life as the Boston slasher. But in the meantime and without my editor friend, I advise readers not to hold their breath waiting for me to do what is a necessary edit.
John Kenneth Galbraith, the famous economist, had some helpful comments for writers like myself. Galbraith’s first editor Henry Luce, the founder of Time Magazine, was an ace at helping a writer avoid excess. Galbraith saw this capacity to be succinct as a basic part of good writing. Galbraith also emphasized the music of the words and the need to go through many drafts. I've always admired Galbraith, a man helped me understand the mystery that is economics. He only recently passed away. I’ve followed his advice on the need to go through endless drafts. I’ve lost count of the changes, the additions, the subtractions, the deletions to this text, but I know I have not avoided excess or repetition among other writing weaknesses that readers will find in the following pages. In some ways I have found that the more drafts I do, the more I had to say. And excess, is one of the qualities of my life, if I may begin the confessional aspect of this work in a minor key.
And so I have Galbraith watching over my shoulder and his mentor, Henry Luce, as well. Galbraith spent his last years in a nursing home before he passed away in 2006 at the age of 98. Perhaps his spirit will live on in my writing as an expression of my appreciation for his work, if nothing else. His spirit is needed for there is much editing needed here and I do not have the energy and enthusiasm to take on the task. Spontaneity did begin to come into my work at perhaps my sixth or seventh draft of the fifth edition. Galbraith says that artificiality enters the text because of this. I think he is right; part of this artificiality is the same as that which one senses in life itself. Galbraith also observed with considerable accuracy, in discussing the role of a columnist, that such a literary man or woman is obliged by the nature of their trade to find significance three times a week in events of absolutely no consequence. I trust that the nature of my work here, a part of my memoir, a part I call my chaos narrative, will not result in my being obliged to find significance where there is none. I’m not optimistic though. Perhaps I should simply say “no comment” and accept the reality of the presence of the inevitable gassy emissions that are part of the world of memoirs.
1.2 This is a longitudinal, retrospective account going back to my conception in October 1943. Neurobiological, neuropsychiatric and affective disorders like BPD have diverse manifestations and symptomatology as well as a broad range of age of onset and specific symptoms. What follows is one person’s story, one person’s life experience. of BPD. It is my personal life-narrative with its diverse manifestations, its symptomology, of BPD. I make reference to a genetic predisposition, a genetic susceptibility, a factor in the pathogenesis, of/to BPD due to a family history, what is sometimes referred to as a family pedigree, of affective disorder in a first-degree relative, my mother(1904-1978). She had a mild case of what may very well have been BPD, at least I have come to think of her mood swings as falling into a significantly high place in what is sometimes called the BPD spectrum during her 75 year life. Her mood-swing disability or affective disorder, though, was never given the formal medical diagnosis manic-depressive(MD), a term which was replaced in 1980 by BPD.
1.2.1 All manifestations of BPD share uncertain etiologies, with opaque relationships between genes and environment. Some medical experts and theorists in the field of such studies posit latent changes in expression of specific genes initially primed at the developmental stage of life. Some studies and some experts emphasize that certain environmental agents epigenetically disturb gene regulation in a long-term manner, beginning at early developmental stages. But these disturbances, these perturbations as they sometimes call them, might not have pathological results until significantly later in life. In retrospect, as I look back from these middle years(65-75) of late adulthood, the years 60 to 80 as some developmental psychologists call these years of the lifespan, these perturbations and pathological results were clearly manifested at the age of 18. I could easily theorize an earlier onset on the basis of behavioural perturbations manifested in early childhood and into adolescence.
1.3 The new diagnostic term, BPD, is now found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-III). DSM-III had 300 disorders twice as many as DSM-II. DSM-II--and now DSM-IV--is considered a “bible” by specialists and others in the professions and is considered by many as a scientific instrument of enormous power. It did away with the term maniac and with a one-size-fits-all classification system. About half of all patients with BPD have one parent who also has some form of mood disorder. There is then, or so it seems to me, a clinical significance in my mother’s mood disorder in the explanation of the origins and diagnosis of my own BPD.
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