What is Bipolar?

According to the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundations' website, Bipolar disorder (also known as manic-depression) is a serious but treatable medical illness. It is a disorder of the brain marked by extreme changes in mood, energy, thinking and behavior.

Unlike adults whose cycles tend to be made on a predictable cycle of maybe a couple times a year, children tend to suffer from more rapid-cycling, maybe even multiple times with in the same day, and hypomania, showing signs of both mania and depression at the same time.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Future...a Thank You

This week, I saw the future in the eyes of Michael. At 11-years old, he has moved beyond himself into the world. A year ago, I would not have thought this possible. Now, I know anything is.

Thursday, with Michael's youth leadership group, we traveled to the state capitol to fight for mental health services state-wide. As we divided, Michael was the lone youth in our group. I watched him stand and talk about mental illness with two state senators. I watched him explain our shirts, Stigma, and mental illness. I got to take in no complaints in the ride or all of the walking.

It's hard to believe, why we were there and where we have come from. It's been a rough road with many bumps, bruises and scars along the way. We've both struggled and yet we thrive. We are in this together.
Loving people in Michael's life is what has made this possible. People who believe that he is somebody, not just a disorder that he was labeled with. The teachers that Michael sees at school every day, have made him want to live and strive to be his best. The friends of mine and his that always ask how life is going, remind him that others care. The adult role models that Michael has at church, remind him that he is someone. The workers that stand beside him and push him through the things he resists the most, have given him the backbone to which he can stand tall. The therapist that has been there through the good and the bad, the rock to which we cling, the knowledge to which we rely, and the roots to which we can grow.
To all who have been around, this week was dedicated to you and serves as a reminder to all parents of children with Bipolar: The hard times will not last forever. The light at the end of the tunnel, may come and go, but it's not a train. Love will endure.


  1. This is so positive and hopeful. Not only have you and Michael conquered the ups and downs of daily living, but you have incorporated such positive thinking into your outlook. How can Michael lose, with such a great mother?

  2. Nat, this is very positive and I see where you have done so much to help Michael overcome his problems. My eight year old son, TJ, is ADHD & ODD(Oppositional Defiant Disorder). We just found out about the ODD piece recently. What he is going thru though sure sounds similar to what Michael has been thru. I have always thought TJ might be a little bit of Bipolar. I will keep up with your blog and can use any suggestions you have for these things the kids are going thru. Thanks, Tim