twitter facebook stumble upon rss

Parenting with Bipolar Disorder

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This

Elizabeth Lindell: I am a mom with bipolar disorder -- and my daughter has bipolar disorder, too.

parenting with bipolar disorder

When Ayelet Waldman speaks of parenting with bipolar disorder this week on "The Takeaway,"I am left with no doubt that she is a healthy mom who makes mistakes (as we all do). I believe that that is what we should strive to be, instead of concerning ourselves with who is a "good mom" and who is a "bad mom." All any of us needs to be is a healthy mom.

Waldman wrote a book entitled "Bad Mother" after the media labeled her one for saying that she was more in love with her husband than she was with her children. In my opinion, that is a healthy statement that promotes a healthy family climate. I applaud her for having the bravery to say that out loud.

Parenting with bipolar disorder can be a challenge. Ayelet told Time: "Because of my bipolar disorder, I tend to these mixed states, which are depressed but loud and agitated. So I can be terribly irritable. I go to cognitive behavioral therapy in order not to yell at my children." But she then concedes that everyone yells at their children.

Ayelet tells "The Takeaway" that her kids can go to her husband, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon, and say, "Mommy's being mean" or "Mommy's being crazy" or "Mommy's in a terrible mood." Chabon tells "The Takeaway" that Ayelet is good about being forthcoming and forthright, and acknowledging afterward and apologizing.

I have bipolar disorder, too, and there was probably a point in my journey where I would have thought that being present, feeling free to discuss emotion and apologizing when you're wrong was enough when it came to parenting with this illness. That's when I had a psychiatrist. Now, I also have a family therapist who has made me realize that yelling of any kind -- whether it's directed at a child or is simply done around them -- has a serious impact on how they both live in and view the world.

Yes, the apology is reassuring; feeling like you can talk to Mom about what happened is comforting ... but nothing can erase the wild sound of Mom's voice or the look in her eyes while she was verbally purging. The right thing to do is the last thing a bipolar person wants to do in a manic or mixed state (i.e., disengage, don't indulge and isolate yourself until the wave passes).

There is a level of control with bipolar disorder, especially when a person is medicated. My daughter also has bipolar disorder, and when she's been manic, she has thrown things. But she doesn't break her television. She doesn't throw her Nintendo Wii. She throws things like her American Girl doll clothes that she hasn't played with since she was 7, because she doesn't want the things she cares about to be damaged.

Bipolar parents need to exercise the same control. We can't damage the things we care about most.


next: Is a Computer in a Teen Boy's Room a Bad Idea?
25 comments so far | Post a comment now
Callista July 7, 2010, 6:46 AM

I’m a mom with Bipolar as well. Saying someone with Bipolar needs to exercise more control is fine and dandy but if that person is really manic, it’ just not going to happen.

You said you have Bipolar too but there are many different kinds. I don’t get so manic that I buy tons of stuff and do other reckless things. However I know others do and they can’t really do anything about it.

cheapviagra6640 August 30, 2010, 7:07 AM

cheap order prescription viagra cheapest viagra on line cheap viagra uk

Mental Health October 3, 2010, 6:57 PM

Naseau and diarrhea are the only visible effects I have seen from anti-depression medications(SSRI).

diazepam December 1, 2010, 2:50 PM

I’m not such an expert when it comes to this. Useful read, appreciate your posting this.

Nail Polish Designs For Kids December 15, 2010, 2:12 AM

Skill without imagination is craftsmanship and gives us many useful objects such as wickerwork picnic baskets. Imagination without skill gives us modern art.

Jason Oglesby December 28, 2010, 4:57 PM

Greet work there. signed up to your rss feed!

Giełda Transportowa January 13, 2011, 3:55 AM

I wanna read more your articles!

usuwanie znamion białystok  January 13, 2011, 8:50 AM

This is a brilliant initiative. Thanks a bunch for sharing!

Kitchen Window Treatments January 15, 2011, 7:16 PM

Hey, I have been comeing here to your site for weeks now and I always find a gem in your posts. Thanks for the share. Thank You For This Post, put it in my bookmarks. Thanks once more for sharing this up. I unquestionably liked every bit of it.

Sklep Lego  January 20, 2011, 4:36 PM

This is really interesting.

osprzęt elektroinstalacyjny January 21, 2011, 4:51 AM

Thank you for your article.

lampy łazienkowe sufitowe January 21, 2011, 4:00 PM

I found your post very interesting.

2011 mobile home floor plans January 31, 2011, 10:38 AM

There are only two ways of telling the complete truth—anonymously and posthumously.

dark hair with highlights photo February 17, 2011, 8:47 AM

There are only two ways of telling the complete truth—anonymously and posthumously.

famous short funny quotes March 7, 2011, 11:52 PM

Your first appearance, he said to me, is the gauge by which you will be measured; try to manage that you may go beyond yourself in after times, but beware of ever doing less.

funny high school life sayings March 8, 2011, 1:39 AM

Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.

room dividers and screens March 8, 2011, 12:59 PM

You know that children are growing up when they start asking questions that have answers.

kasa w internecie March 14, 2011, 7:16 AM

I’m pretty sure this article is the best.

airsoft team names and logos March 28, 2011, 6:20 AM

Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.

ekspertyzy kryminalistyczne April 9, 2011, 7:41 AM

It is truely interesting post, but I do not see everything completely clear, especially for someone not involved in that topic. Anyway very interesting to me.


Leave a reply:



(not displayed)

     




Avoid clicking "Post" more than once
Back to top >>
advertisement