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The Guilt I Felt When My Daughter Was Diagnosed With Bipolar

I have bipolar disorder, anxiety, PTSD and OCD. It’s not easy living with me sometimes, especially if I forget to take my meds. I also have a history of drug and alcohol abuse. I am 41 years old, and I have spent most of the first 40 years stretching my body and mind to their limits. I have put myself in quite a few disastrous situations. I have stared death in the face many times but the Lord has always stepped in and kept me safe.

The bible says the sins of a father will pass down to the son. I have always felt like the things in my girls’ lives are in some ways my fault. Logically, I know most things in their lives are not my fault. I didn’t know when I had them that I had not one, but a few mental illnesses. That came about 18 months after my youngest was born.

By the time my oldest girl (Bug) was in second grade, she started having issues. I immediately got her in to seeing a child psychologist who recommended a psychiatrist. I was hoping they would be able to help her with the problems she was having. I prayed she wouldn’t be tied down to meds. However, what is meant to happen will happen. By the time my little girl was 8 years old, she was admitted into the hospital because of a suicide attempt. It was almost exactly two years later that she became very sick. She couldn’t eat anything and she wasn’t getting very much fluids either. We spent a lot of time at the children’s hospital because she would get so dehydrated. Because she was so sick, she wasn’t taking her meds regularly. She began to spiral out of control. Around Christmas when she was 10 years old, she was re-admitted to the hospital under suicide watch.

When she came home, she brought a few more diagnoses with her. She went in with bipolar disorder. When she got discharged, she was dealing not only with bipolar, but bipolar with psychosis, ADHD, anxiety and oppositional defiant disorder. My daughter has always been like a Mini-Me, we look a lot alike, we have the same allergies and most of the same health issues. I used to say she was a watered down version of me. However, as she has gotten older she has surpassed anything I‘ve ever been through. It’s like everything that I have dealt with she has to deal with, only with amplified results. I found out early in my own diagnosis that most of these mental disorders are hereditary. I try not to think about it very often, but in a twisted kind of way it is my fault she is suffering so much. I pray often for guidance to be able to do the right thing for both my girls. I know my past has come back to haunt me in many ways, but that’s no reason for my girls to have to deal with the repercussions. I pray that each of them find peace in their lives. 

Read the rest of Angel’s blogs for IBPF here, and check out her personal blog here.

Comments

I understand your feelings. My daughter, now 11, has been diagnosed bipolar. Il live with depression and ADHD.

There is hope! I promise. Both of my kids have bipolar disorder. Strong family history on both sides. They were diagnosed early, have taken meds for many years and are doing incredibly well. The older one is now very high functioning. She excels in school, does theater and political advocacy and is excited about college in a year. The younger one struggled with school refusal and has been in a therapeutic school for years. We had a harder time getting his meds right, but he is thriving now. He will probably attend our local high school. He has learned wonderful coping skills and finally seems to feel good about himself. Try to take care of yourself, and allow yourself to have hope. As a survivor, I think of people in your shoes every day and try to send good will your way. I'd bring you a lasagna if I could!

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