I also was 21 when I was diagnosed as bipolar. Memory loss long term from my childhood is another one for me. I can only remember snippets. I get lots of pain now. I too forget what i am saying while speaking as well at times. Depression of course comes with the bipolar disorder. I have to constantly read positive books to stay out of a funk. But I am ALIVE! and I still LOVE LIFE.
I would say life has been a bit more difficult than others from the long term effects. It's made me have to change my profession from being an hardworking outside electrician, which I loved, to working from home.
This is a great site and glad I came across it. Glad to see WE are NOT ALONE!
We survived for a purpose in this life.