Kids and Bi Polar

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pepperina30
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 7/15/2005 8:55 AM (GMT -7)   
I have two kids a 2 and 8 year old.  I am curious to hear others that have children and how they have adapeted to being parents.  How do you forgive yourself?
 
Pepper

kittycat27
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 438
   Posted 7/15/2005 9:59 PM (GMT -7)   

Not quite sure what you mean  by  forgive yourself. Ever since I had my daughter, who is 3, she has helped me survive with my BP. She does it without even knowing. I love her to death, that's why I don't harm myself, although I felt like it the other day. I think she has blessed me in more ways than one. I had a terrrible addiction to alcohol before I had her, now it is different I see the importance in life. Explain more of what you mean and maybe I can help!

                             Nickie


gallyndur
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 8/8/2005 2:31 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm probably not who you were targeting with your question, but I'd like to respond anyway, being the child of a bipolar parent (and being bipolar myself).
 
My dad hadn't been diagnosed as bipolar when he married my mom and had my sister and me, but he knew that he had problems. He had tried to get help as a teenager, but his father was unresponsive to his pleas for help. After I was born, my dad finally "cracked up" and was in and out the hospital all the time. When he wasn't in the hospital, he still wasn't well, was often suicidal, and was draining my mom, needing her to be a mother to him as well as to my sister and me. For a while my mom thought that if she loved him enough, she could fix him. But she eventually realized that she couldn't and that the best thing she could do for us was to get us out of an environment where all of her attention was having to go to my dad and where she was always afraid we might come home to find him in the corner dead. So they separated when I was four.
 
My mom tried to make sure that we stayed in touch with our dad, but that we only saw him when he was doing well. Still, my sister and I saw a lot that made us grow up fast and that made me resent my dad for a while. I remember sitting in the car in the parking lot of Wal-Mart when i was eight and having my dad explain to me the difference between homicide and suicide and telling me that he was sometimes suicidal. And when I was just out of eighth grade, my sister and I spent a weekend with him when he was extremely manic, unbeknownst to any of us when my mom dropped us off. It was very scary seeing my dad in that light, not really knowing what was going on his head or what he was doing.
 
My dad was notoriously bad about sticking to his medicine regimen and every year or so would decide that he knew more about being bipolar than his doctors and therefore knew better what meds he needed and would adjust his dosages without consulting anyone. And every time he did this, he'd wind up in the hospital, never learning from his mistakes the year prior.
 
My advice to you, as a bipolar parent, then, is, most importantly, always take your meds as they are prescribed and don't even think about adjusting them without consulting your doctor. Stability is very important for your kids, so you need to be very aware of your moods and how you're doing overall. Listen to people, especially those close to you, when they tell you that you're acting differently or that your moods seem to be slipping or that anything is out of the ordinary for you. And talk to your doctor/psychiatrist/whoever very early on. Adjustments in treatment are a normal part of life. We all go through it. But it's a lot easier to normalize things if we start getting help as soon as we notice things slipping rather than waiting until things have spiralled out of control.
 
Secondly, be honest with your children about being bipolar, but be thoughtful about how much you reveal to them and at what age. And be careful that you don't unload your burden on them. They're children. They don't need to carry the weight of knowing the depths of depression and suicide.
 
Also, realize that bipolar is genetic. There is a good chance that one or both of your children will inherit it. My mom knew this, but she was convinced that if she provided a good enough environment for us, she could beat nature. It is still important to create a very nurturing and supportive environment for your kids and to develop close relationships with them. But always be aware that there is a good chance they will have problems with mental illness. Be open about this possibility and encourage them to talk to you if they start to experience any symptoms. And, of course, be attentive yourself. (But at the same time, don't push mental illness on them. They might not develop anything.) Also, don't discount their feelings because they're young or write them off as typical teen angst. My sister was diagnosed as depressive when she was a teenager and, at 25, still struggles with it. I was hospitalized just after I turned 12 and diagnosed as bipolar.
 
Lastly, don't give up hope. Yes, you will face a lot struggles--managing your own bipolar, holding together your family even when things are really rough for you, raising your children with the possibility of them developing bipolar, and probably a few feelings of guilt thrown in. But it's all ok. That's life. We all get through it. And hopefully we all see that we're all doing the best that we can and are able to come to forgive each other for our shortcomings.
 
I hope my experiences have been in some way helpful or insightful. If not, my sincerest apologies for rattling on and on...

sheryl=jk
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 4083
   Posted 8/8/2005 2:59 PM (GMT -7)   
i dont think you are rattling, I think that was very sound advice. I too come form a family of mental illnesses, including schizophenia, mainc deppression, obesity, anxiety, and so on, and have experienced much of what you described of learning what homicde and suicde was at a very early age. My brother was hospitlized at 12, my mother was in and out of mental hospitals from the time I was 11 til a month ago when she passed away. How my sister and I have soemhow made it out relatively sane is a miracle, we have our issues, and anxiety and depresion and such, but mange to make it through, however my kids are the ones that have inherited the brunt of the mental illenesses, which brings me here and anywhere I can find helpful information. I hope the person who started this thread was able to use your advise and experience to help with them and their children, thanks for the good advice.....
***Take Care.....Sheryl***
 
SERENITY PRAYER: "GOD GRANT ME THE SERENITY TO ACCEPT THE THINGS I CANNOT CHANGE; COURAGE TO CHANGE THE THINGS I CAN; AND THE WISDOM TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE........


fear_of_dreaming
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 8/9/2005 9:58 AM (GMT -7)   
I too come from a family with mental illness..My dad who was schizophrenic, my mother who has some sort of personality disorder (I suspect narcissistic personality disorder according to what I've read), she isn't diagnozed so I cant be sure, various other members dealing with depression and anxiety. I've tried to be honest with my daughter regarding all of this, so that she understands why her Grandma treats her so badly, or why her Granddad committed suicide. It's really tough for kids to hear about all of this and process it. I often worry that a burden has been placed on her that is unfair. But I also feel that it is part of her family history, and she needs to know to a certain extent what has happened. I hope that Im doing the right thing in discussing it with her. I try to show her that I have overcome alot of it, finished school and am happy with my life, so that she knows she can do it too.

kittycat27
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 438
   Posted 8/9/2005 12:16 PM (GMT -7)   
 I think your doing the right thing. Sorry if you can't follow either, I really am all over the place today. I seriously am in rapid cycling, to the sky back down, over here.... you get what I am saying I hope. Anyways, you might not , cause I think your not BP, anyways ... OMG I am all over. confused okAY, HERE'S WHAT i DO, MY DAUGHTER LOOKS AT ME STRANGE, WHEN i GET LIKE THIS, i KNOW SHE SENSES , sorry I hit the caps... senses something, I tell her that mommy isn't feeling well today, do you know what she does? She goes to the kitchen and yells, mommy can you come herre( everytime), I do. She says did you take those, pointing high up, to my pills. I said yeah baby I did, she says, maybe you need to call daddy. I almost want to break down and cry that my 3 year old has to console her mom , what a pity. Sometimes she even says do you wanna go see your doctor, and he can give me a sucker for helping you. So you see I think if you don't say anything they might think you are mean, or you don't love them and s*** just be plain confused. She knows I am not always like I am now, but she don't like it, cause i don't function well and play with her alot. We do like " movie " day when mommy is sick. I also am in school , so I am making it I guess, my ultimate goal beyond school , even beyond happiness anymore, is just feling one emotion all day, achieving that would be nice, and making sure my daughter is the happiest child in the world!!!!  Fear of dreaming sorry so long and dreadfully boring, I forgot, do you have BP, or a loved one, either way, it doesn't matter, I just forgot. Excuse me , I am not well today

fear_of_dreaming
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 8/9/2005 1:51 PM (GMT -7)   
my boyfriend/fiancee with whom Ive broken up today is BP. So I have an understanding of what you are going through even though I havent gone through it myself.

I found out today that he has been sneaking around and seeing a 19 year old blonde girl named Abby. I'm heartbroken, have been shaking and crying for most of the day...but I have to accept that after all the soul searching I have done, reading about bipolar disorder, trying to understand and help him through substance abuse etc, it just was not meant to be.

I understand that you dont feel well today, and hope that you are able to get whatever help that you need.

kittycat27
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 438
   Posted 8/9/2005 5:13 PM (GMT -7)   
 Sorry fear of dreaming , I don't even know what to say. D***, blondes! mad Although , I am one. Hun, I am sorry i have no words at this time. Please feel free to post as needed!
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