Growing up with a bipolar parent can be very difficult and hard. If you have a bipolar mother or father, there are a number of things you may have experienced growing up in your household. For many, this firsthand experience is their introduction to bipolar disorder and its potentially dire effects on the family structure.
One of these experiences with a bipolar parent includes witnessing his or her mood swings. As a child or young adult you may have not understood why your mother or father behaves the way they do. It is not uncommon to search for all the information on bipolar disorder to get a better grasp on what’s happening with you loved one. With more books on manic depression and the advent of the Internet and its wealth of information, you can now find out all you need to know to better understand your bipolar parent.
A bipolar parent may act out taking some of their depressed or manic behavior out on their spouse, you or your siblings. These moods are not to be taken personally. It is also best to not purposefully provoke a bipolar parent. A stable home life is key for a mother or father with bipolar disorder.
Some children of bipolar parents harbor some resentment toward the ill parent if they don’t take responsibility and take care of their mental health. Consider talking with a therapist if you feel as though you have some resentment toward the way your parent acts. Hopefully they are doing the best they can to remain stable in their moods. If not, have love and compassion for your parent and realize that they do have a mental illness they didn’t ask for.
One of the key concerns of children of a bipolar parent is if they will develop the disorder. And this is a possibility since bipolar disorder is thought to be largely genetic. Don’t live in fear of the disease though. If your bipolar mother or father takes care of themselves, follow their example if you do indeed also have bipolar disorder. If your bipolar parent doesn’t take care of themselves, vow that you’ll do a better job of taking care of yourself.
Future articles on the Bipolar Advice Guide will break down the various aspects that may arise in a household with a bipolar parent as well as how to cope and show support to your mother or father.
Here is a book suited for children with a bipolar parent: