This post was one I had originally written and posted as a contributor for The Bipolar Parenting Project.
It would be that neither of my children developed Bipolar Disorder. However it is most likely definite at this point. My father’s mother was schizoaffective. My father is bipolar. I am bipolar along with two of my brothers. I truly believe my husband has bipolar also, just undiagnosed. When it comes to the genetic probability of having the bipolar gene, the odds are not in their favor. Honestly it kills me to think that my babies might suffer like I have and somedays still do.
Yes I know there is growing support and awareness but not enough for my liking. It isn’t even the stigma that really bothers me. I mean I am already trying to raise them that what people say doesn’t matter. I want my children to be normal. I know a lot people talk about how being normal is a relative term. But struggling to get out of bed because you feel like you can’t go on anymore is NOT normal. Blowing an entire paycheck on everything but bills because it makes you feel alive is NOT normal.
I don’t want them to have to try treatment after treatment until they find something that works. Feeling like a zombie from one kind of med while the other kind makes you whirl out of control. I don’t want that for them. I don’t want them to have to bounce from therapist to therapist until they find one they can trust. I want them to walk into a room and not feel like the whole room is judging you. I don’t want people to dismiss their feelings as just a mood swing.
I am not ashamed of my disorder. So please don’t mistake the point of this writing. I don’t want my children to have to live like I do, mood swing to mood swing. The uncertainty everyday morning brings. I don’t want them to have that helpless feeling. The feeling of knowing that you have all the love and support in the world, yet you feel so alone. You can’t help but feel like you are different. And even with all the progress, there is still too much of a stigma. Too much misunderstanding of what a person with a mood disorder is like for me to want my children to have to deal with.