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The Power of Love: The Bipolar Teen & The Single Mom

This article is a reminder of The Power of Love. Even if you don’t know what to do to help your child with severe mental illness, love and kindness are paramount, even when she is lashing out or finds it hard to believe that you can love her. Sometimes all you can do is love your child until the bad days pass.

Following is an article I wrote in July of 2017. It was a very difficult time. My daughter was 16, and fully in the throes of adolescence and bipolar disorder. During that time, virtually all of her drawings were about her dual mental state: in the below drawing it was a light and a dark angel.

It was a desperate time, but we made it through and today she is flourishing at age 21. I want you to know that it’s worth the agony . . .

JULY 17, 2017


“Right now, at this very moment, my daughter is struggling. She is beautiful, talented, smart, creative, dynamic, and bipolar. She has struggled with thoughts of suicide and severe depression since age 6. At times, it has all but destroyed our lives. I sit here, watching her frustration grow, feeling her anger at not being "normal." She cries out, "I don't understand what is wrong with me! I just want it to stop. I want to feel better. I am so sick of feeling like this!"

“My arms encircle her, assuring her that this will pass, that she needs to be patient and still needs time to recover from her recent bout in the hospital. I wish I could do more. I wish I could take this burden on myself and release her from the torment of her emotional prison.

“But I know -- I have to believe -- that this will pass. We just have to get through it.

“My reason for starting this blog was a therapeutic one, but also to let other parents with bipolar children know that they are not alone. Hopefully, they will gain some insight, wisdom, and hope from my experiences.

“So many do not understand what bipolar means, what the daily struggle is. You can't just take a pill and be better; you can only do your best to manage it. It is a chronic, incurable illness due to a chemical imbalance in the brain. A person with bipolar disorder cannot simply "get over it." It impairs brain function, making it, at times, difficult to think, to reason, to learn, and to be happy. Truly, one cannot understand it until one has lived with it. It is heart-wrenching, exasperating, exhausting and humbling.

“This illness is part of my beautiful, talented, creative daughter – an is also one that makes her uniquely who she is: a sensitive, caring, introspective, and empathetic human being. Being the parent of a bipolar child is extremely difficult. But I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.”

Colored Pencil Drawing by Jane / Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.


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