Writings from the Mother of Bipolar Bandit Part 1 How having a mentally ill child affects the family.

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Let me first say that no one in  either my husband’s or my family had ever shared information about  having a history of mental illness. At the time my daughter starting having difficulty, the stigma was still very negative and something kept secret for all concerned.

This made it harder and cost us valuable time in obtaining a proper diagnosis and treatment of our beautiful, talented, very intelligent daughter.

The heartaches she has endured and triumphed over are numerous.

The heartaches for the rest of the family in different stages of life were difficult as well. 

Many families do not survive. The incidence of divorce is high as is the incidence of alienation of one or more family members.

A strong faith helped our family on many occasions. Sharing with others  helped lighten the load. Prayers of others ,often saw me through darkest of times for our family.

I need to interject here that some people I had thought of as good friends disappointed me and others that I had thought of more as acquaintances stepped up and brought meals, invited me out for lunch, put me and my family on prayer chains. I am sharing this because it might be helpful if you are new to having someone you love diagnosed  with a mental illness.

One never knows where help strength and courage or encouragement might come from. I have learned that there is nothing to gain by hiding it. If you do, no one knows. And no one can step forward and offer something you might desperately need.  

I have learned after many years in the  health field and self educating myself that the best approach is to

expect good behavior,and the ability to succeed from your loved one with  a mental illness. 

I often told my daughter that her diagnosis is an EXPLANATION of her behaviors- not an EXCUSE.

 I firmly believe a child or an adult tries to do what is expected of them. So, if we allow or accept  bad behavior with no consequences or say  that a child will not be able to get through college than that is probably what we will get.

 If on the other hand we encourage them by saying yes you can and when they have a set back inform them it is okay, because everyone has setbacks not just those diagnosed with a mental illness. It is okay to make a mistake . It is not okay to pretend it is someone else ‘s fault or to give up and not keep trying. 

My daughter asked me to write something for her blog – I hope this is okay for first time. 

Gods blessings to all struggling to make sense out of mental illness and to your loved ones. 

Sue, Michelle’s mom Michelle has bipolar disorder and is willing to share her struggles in hopes that others will be helped by them. Follow her on Facebook Twitter Pinterest

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About Michelle Clark Bipolar Bandit

I am a strong advocate for the mentally ill and have been since I was first approached by a lawyer in a psychiatric facility as a teenager. He wanted me to help him fight how the mentally ill are mistreated. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 17 after a full blown manic episode. Before that, I suffered from debilitating depression for 4 years. My goals are to help others by sharing my story and providing tips to deal with mania and depression. I often write blogs related to advocating for people like myself. I want to encourage, inspire, and educate those with #bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses and also include inspirational #quotes. I founded the group Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses and the page Mental Health Advocates United and have several social media sites that are related to bipolar disorder and/or advocacy. If you are an advocate or would like to be, I hope you join our FB group: Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses
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3 Responses to Writings from the Mother of Bipolar Bandit Part 1 How having a mentally ill child affects the family.

  1. A perfect mother in disguise of GOD:)What else could a daughter ask for?Stay blessed.

  2. theothersid3 says:

    Diagnosis – explanation, not excuse. I like that a lot. I appreciate you opening up on your fine first post.

  3. hczzz says:

    Great post Mom! I hope we will see more.

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