Rose Megan Holme, my only child (pictured) was stillborn. Her mother, who has no other children, is still with me.
It's said that the first five years of upbringing are vital in forming core personality. Conversely, in schizophrenia nature rather than nurture dominates (see the familial risks table). I think genes play a lesser role in bipolar disorder and stress alone can trigger it. The bipolar page of the NHS website highlights both culprits.
Mood disorders generally have a better prognosis than schizophrenia. The latter I was labelled with originally at 24. After three more descriptions bipolar (1) disorder apparently suits best.
This illness is the classic "manic depression" originally described by Emil Kraepelin many years ago indeed. Like schizophrenia, the name itself is not great because the tabloid press love a sensational headline. I was once told that schizophrenia is a label that some doctors do not like to apply if they can avoid it. That's a different issue altogether.
Incidentally, these two conditions: manic depression and schizophrenia, i.e. the psychosis, were once the only psychiatric illnesses that were recognised. The list is currently growing and creating a degree of controversy.
My own childhood from eight onwards was unusual, and categorically damaging for anybody, regardless of their culture.
James was my mother's father, an alcoholic who died prematurely of a liver disease. I've no memory of him, and him aside, I see no genetic links for mental illnesses in my wider family.
There is a theory that alcoholism can skip a generation, and I wonder if the disease is mood related, but basically I think I had a triggerable predisposition for psychosis, with little genetic bias.