My first experiences with mental health conditions are the reasons that I co-founded The Youth Mental Health Project. I believe that by changing the way we talk about and how we act with regard to our children’s mental health, we can create better outcomes for ourselves, our children, and future generations. That is why the International Bipolar...
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September 19, 2017
By Wendy Ward, Executive Director, The Youth Mental Health Project
August 21, 2017
By: Michelle Vasiliu
In 2015, my first picture book, My Happy Sad Mummy, was published.My Happy Sad Mummy is a Picture Book for 3-8 year olds. It is a story that portrays the emotional response of a young girl living with a mother who has bipolar disorder.The book allows families the opportunity to engage in conversations about this illness in a sensitive and age...
April 5, 2017
“My son needs help. He has bipolar disorder. Bipolar! How can a seven year old child have bipolar?”I, a Remedial Educator, was sitting with a parent who had recently relocated from Canada to Hyderabad, India. A pediatric psychiatrist had diagnosed her son as having bipolar. She was advised that her son needed remedial teaching to enhance...
March 15, 2017
In retrospect, during my daughter’s battle with mental illness, I wasted a lot of energy worrying about things I couldn’t control. When I learned about a framework called Three Concentric Circles at work, I realized this was a powerful approach I could use to improve my effectiveness in my personal life as well as at work. The concept is to...
October 31, 2016
Being a parent and having a bipolar diagnosis is hard. Before I was diagnosed with bipolar, my world revolved around parenting. As a stay at home mom, that was my job. I would have to say I was a really good parent at that time. My son was my pride and joy. He always came first and I enjoyed spending as much time with him as possible. But...
October 18, 2016
There has been no greater motivation for my recovery than fatherhood. Alone, I could go for long stretches of mood dysregulation. Even married, I was afforded the opportunity to sleep excessively and spend large amounts of time devoted to my self-care. Such privileges were no longer my reality once my oldest son was born in 2012. Suddenly,...
October 14, 2016
Have you ever been out shopping and witnessed a child have one of those nuclear meltdown kind of tantrums? The parent is obviously embarrassed and frustrated and they must take action. They can reprimand the child, they can snatch them up by the arm and hurry away or in some cases they can even just ignore it. There are probably a hundred...
August 23, 2016
I was sitting in my psychiatrist’s office recently in a large, oversized chair staring at the slightly crooked pictures on the wall. A boat. A beach. African figures. I could hear the ticking of the clock as I scanned the piles of books and patient records underneath, looking at anything but her face. Tick. Tick. Tick. I knew what she was going to...
August 18, 2016
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...
August 18, 2016
For parents taking care of a child who has autism, life is an everyday challenge. Sometimes, it's good. Other times, not so much. But what if you're a single parent? What if you're a single parent who has bipolar disorder? What would it be like then? With my son and me, I'd say the answer is … interesting.Having bipolar disorder presents me with...
June 23, 2016
A good support system can mean the difference between living a possibly comfortable life and suffering alone without help. We who suffer know that support is important, but so many people just don't have access to acceptable support or even a partial support situation. It is such a shame to see people who don't even have familial support, let...
In December 2012, after a tragic school shooting in Newtown, I thought I was the only mother in America who asked myself, “What if that’s my son someday?” It turns out I was far from alone. Every single day since I shared my family’s struggle in a blog post, “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother,” nearly three years ago, at least one parent has reached out to...