Could a Concussion Have Caused My Bipolar Disorder?
I wasn't always like this. At one time in my life, I was the happy-go-lucky kind. I saw the good in everything and everyone. Everything had a silver lining. I was not this shell of a person I have become. I was always walking around with a smile on my face, and I rarely felt depressed and hardly ever felt anxious. I had friends, an awesome boyfriend, who I later married, and a great job with awesome coworkers that were more like my second family than just my peers. I woke up every morning with a purpose and most of all I laughed! I had a great life! One that anyone would be happy with. I loved to read, go for walks, go out for drinks with my friends and boyfriend, go to movies, and loved to cook. It was a passion of mine.
Somewhere along the way, I lost my ability to enjoy any of these things. I have become the total opposite of the person I once was. The doctors claimed that high stress could trigger the bipolar disorder and that could be the reason I didn't have any of the characteristics of the disorder until later in life. I could never really quite pinpoint a time when it happened because it all seemed so gradual. I didn't even notice the changes in me. Then today, I read a fantastic article on here about TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and how it can change a one's personality. All of a sudden, it hit me like a brick! Back in my happier days while going into work, it was a particularly nasty day, snow and sleet covered the parking lot and made the floors wet as fellow employees tracked it in with them. I was running late and rushing through the building. I opened the heavy wooden door and slid on a slick patch of tile and fell hard cracking my head open on the door. I sat on the floor dazed and confused not able to move or even comprehend what happened. Blood started pouring down my face and a horrified coworker ran and called 911. I can remember feeling like I was going to faint and had a horrible time answering the paramedic's questions. My head hurt like it never had before and they took me to the hospital for a cat scan and 12 stitches. They said that I sustained a severe concussion and sent me home. I lay in bed for 4 days unable to move. My head pounded and I was just so tired and felt like I was pinned down to the bed. The ringing in my ears was terribly irritating and I could barely focus on anything. Even when I returned to work on day 5, I still felt terrible and very confused. My thoughts were cloudy and I had a really hard time concentrating. Thinking back now, I remember a friend of mine that was also a coworker mentioned to me that I didn't seem myself lately—that I hardly smiled anymore and that I seemed to be short tempered lately. I hadn't noticed, and so I dismissed it. Now looking back, I can't help but think that my bipolar disorder started after the fall. This new discovery does not change anything. It is what it is—but I finally have answers to questions that have been bothering me for years. Now, I wonder how many other sufferers out there might have experienced a similar incident and if it caused their bipolar to bloom as mine has. I know there is no way back to my true self, but at least knowing why it happened brings me peace.