People Don’t know what Bipolar is
Bipolar Disorder, also known as manic-depression, is when your moods swing quite rapidly from high-energy (manic) periods to low-energy (depression) periods.
People tend to use the label bipolar when someone is moody or odd. It has caused myself and my daughter all sorts of levels of frustration.
It isn’t schizophrenia or multiple personality disorder, though some people have been diagnosed with more than one of these diseases.
This is not only a difficult thing to address when making friends with other moms, but also for my daughter when she tries to explain it to her classmates. Either way it can cause feelings of isolation.
Each day is Unpredictable
Some days and weeks are fine, especially when my medicine is working correctly. But some days, I can’t even crawl out of bed, let alone muster up the energy to want to take care of my daughter.
Yet on my manic days, we’ll drop everything, including school, and go do somewhere exciting. (I know my daughter loves these manic days, but they can be just as detrimental to her as my depressed days.)
Hospital stays will scare children
Hospital stays are a normal part of managing Bipolar. When my medicine stops working, for whatever reason, I will often end up in the hospital while the doctors help me get readjusted or find a new medicine to try.
When my daughter was really young, she didn’t really know where I was, just that she got to spend fun quality time with her dad.
As she got older and started to realize that I was being admitted to the hospital, she thought I was dying. (Sometimes it was close to true, as I was struggling with suicidal thoughts.)
These trips to the hospital terrified her and caused her panic anytime I said I needed to go the doctor, even when it was just a regular check-up, because she was sure they were going to put me in the hospital again.
You constantly wonder if you’ve passed it on to your kids.
If my daughter shows random swings of emotions, I instantly start to wonder if she inherited Bipolar from me like I did from my mom.
I don’t think I will ever stop having that fear.
These are just a few of the things I’ve learned from parenting with Bipolar.
If you struggle with Bipolar or have a parent with Bipolar what are some things you’ve learned?