There are inescapable truths about mental diseases. There are things that we can not get around today, although I have hope that answers and reality will one day allow us to see the correct picture. There are truths that can only be written in ink and may never be erased. One of those truths is that mental disease, bi-polar disorders, are considered by the “outside” world as dangerous, evil and destructive.
I have met people in my life who found out I was bi-polar and literally walked away from me and my friendship. I have had doctors find out that I have bi-polar and believed (and I mean completely) that I was making up my symptoms and didn’t deserve treatment. I have had people refuse to love me, refuse to help me, refuse to employ me and people who have refused to believe that I wouldn’t kill them.
It is the reality of the diseases. I have lost jobs over it. And there is nothing worse than someone with a mental disease believing sincerely that they don’t deserve to live. This asinine belief that mental diseases are evil is a fact of life, and one that you as a parent and your child will face. Don’t get me wrong, you will meet just as many people who are caring and compassionate, but they will not leave a trace of goodness once a person who can not understand this disease judges your child wrongly gets a hold of them.
There are actual myths about bi-polar. For instance, serial killers are not always bi-polar. Sorry, ladies and gentleman, just because someone is bi-polar does not mean that they are going to kill anyone. Some believe that bi-polar people are manipulative, or evil. Sorry this isn’t true either. I could go on, but you get the point.
So the next Bi-polar for Parents Truth is this:
- Compassion, understanding and ultimately love for your child is essential. They will not survive in a world of mental disease without the ability to hope that there is something good about them.
I completely understand that my parents, my friends, even my husband have no idea what being bi-polar is like. They have no concept of what is happening in my mind and therefore, in my body. They don’t see this world in the same way, and they don’t have to essentially hide everything they are in this world in order to survive. Those without mental diseases can not have the concept of peace, because they truly don’t know what the destruction of these diseases can cause.
I try in this blog to talk about my disease, to give insights into what I am going through so that others may feel better, or be able to understand better what bi-polar is. However, I also know, without a shadow of a doubt, that my journey with this disease is nothing like what others are going through. No two minds are alike; no two snowflakes are alike.
But what does this mean for parents; because while the truth is you may never truly understand your child or the disease they are experiencing, there are things that you can do.
First, without any hesitation make sure your child knows that they are loved…no matter what. You may have fears, you may have concerns, but your bi-polar child doesn’t need to know of them. It won’t help them, and in fact, can often make certain times much harder than they need to be. Please try to remember your child is diseased, but they are still human.
Compassion is the concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others. This does not include pity; this does not include your own sufferings or misfortunes and it sure as hell does not mean that you understand. Get it out of your head, you can’t understand. But what you can do is listen, live it with your child, and try hard to see your child. (Don’t look at your child, see your child).
The truth is like all children, all people, those with bi-polar deserve to be loved. They deserve hugs and places of comfort. They deserve to be special to their parents, and they deserve to know it. If your bi-polar child does not know they are loved, they will not survive. Think about it, figure it out and do it.
Love your child. They deserve it.