Being a teen is rough. That’s the understatement of the century. Add having bipolar disorder on top of that and life just gets that much harder. I didn’t get diagnosed until I was 22, (I’m 28 now) but the signs were starting to show when I was in high school. It was so painful at times, it breaks my heart looking back on it.
First, let me say something to the parents that may have a teen with the disorder. Your child is going through something very scary right now. It’s important to be their rock and sense of support while you find out all the answers that they need. Your heart may be breaking and that’s understandable, but try to stay as strong as you can for them. Attend therapy with them and go with them to find out what medications work best. Remember, listen to how they feel. They’re probably very scared right now.
Now, let me talk to the teens. You’re going to be OK. Let me repeat that, you’re going to be OK! Life just threw you an unfair curveball, but you can get through this. Do your research on the medications and their side effects and find the right therapist. Don’t try to rush recovery, either. If you have to put life plans on hold for a bit, that’s OK. Focus on getting better. You’ll get back on track with your future goals when the time is right.
It personally took me a few years to get things on track. I had to sort through the problems bit by bit. Was it frustrating? Yes! Was it worth it? Without a doubt! I eventually got back on track and started finding what I was passionate about and keeping myself busy, doing things that I cared about. Above all else, I have God, my husband and Mom to support me.
Please remember that you’re not obligated to tell all your peers about this. If you want to just keep this between you, your family and medical professionals, that’s your right. You can tell other people when you feel ready to. Don’t feel pressured to tell this person and that person because you “have” to. This is about YOUR recovery.
Having this disorder isn’t right or fair, but you’ll get through this. You may just be an inspiration to others struggling with this disorder or one similar. You and your doctors will give you the tools that you need to deal with this. It is possible to live a wonderful life with bipolar disorder. Once again, you’ll be OK!