That was me for a long time, too. I've known something was wrong since I was very small; unfortunately, when I was growing up nobody talked about mental illness, and the one time my parents took me to a child psychiatrist, he told them something they apparently didn't like because we never went back. I was having night terrors at the time, with recurrent mood swings, defiance, and intrusive thoughts (which we now know are strongly indicative of bipolar disorder in children). The funny thing is, right after this I remember hearing my mother use the term "manic-depressive" once when she didn't know I was right behind the door, and I wonder to this day if she was talking about me, because it stuck in my brain-pan for SOME reason.
Later in childhood I became morbidly fascinated with death, and sometimes wished that I'd just die so my hyper-critical parents would feel bad about the way they treated me. Then when I was 13 my grandmother passed away, and I became so depressed that they took me to several different doctors who tried me out on several different types of pills, which I now believe were antidepressants and other psych meds. Some made me sleepy; another made me really wired; still another made me nauseated. Eventually I pulled out of it, but of course I continued to struggle throughout the rest of my life until finally being diagnosed with bipolar last year.
But I've been blessed as well, with a wonderful husband, beautiful children and grandchildren, many good friends, and a career that has been both difficult and rewarding. I count myself as a very fortunate woman.