On Friday morning, I had a 20-minute follow-up interview for a bipolar genetic study I and my family members participated in several years ago. I'd tried to recruit as many bipolar people as I could for the study which included taking a blood sample. With the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2000 it was thought that many conditions - including bipolar disorder - would easily divulge their genetic secrets.
Not so, as the NIMH researchers learned. The National Institute of Mental Health, residing in Bethesda, MD, is the largest scientific organization in the world dedicated to mental health research.
Sara Richardson called to make an appt. for a follow-up phone call. I was more than happy to tell her the surprising news that I no longer have bipolar disorder. In turn, she surprised me by saying, "We're hearing more and more stories like yours. It seems that when people have been on lithium, some of them fully recover."
So, the Lithium Connection. I did tell her the high price I've paid - a sort of devil's bargain - I unwittingly made. "We'll give you back your mental health," said the magus, "but in return you give us your kidneys."
I'm not sure however that I totally credit lithium for my recovery. Some of my recovery, I believe, was my ability to take on tough challenges with feigned self-confidence, an airtight inner confidence in myself undoubtedly drummed in by my father plus my success early in life as a smart verbal popular individual, traits which vanished as a teenager.
Remember the importance of Early Experiences.
I tried to give my own 2 children the best early experiences I could. They turned out so well I can only think that I did a good job.