The 2018 Bipolar Disorder in Children Conference saved me from hours of worrying about my bipolar son’s future. You see, when John was eight years old, the doctor diagnosed him with bipolar disorder—a mental condition that I only heard about in the movies. I honestly told John’s doctor that I had no idea what to make out of his illness or how to deal with it. As a result, she said to me that I might find answers and other parents with bipolar kids at the said conference.
And I did manage to get both. The panelists welcomed questions from moms and dads whose children got diagnosed recently. I also came across support groups that wanted to offer aid in any way possible.
Beyond that, I learned about the three common symptoms of bipolar disorder. I am no expert in the matter, but allow me to explain them a little bit.
Once the child has a manic episode, they become hyperactive. They cannot stay in one place for more than a few minutes; no one can calm them. Furthermore, they always act without thinking about safety or rules. You may notice it in kids who keep on pushing the swing to go high, still eat even when they feel full, or can’t resist playing video games.
Bipolar kids can rarely control intense emotions like anger or annoyance. When it happens, it is as if someone has lit a fire without informing anyone first. Even the parents may not be able to appease them quickly.
Individuals with bipolar disorder tend to have a depressive episode, too. That’s when the brightness of their smiles gets replaced by the shadow of sadness or loneliness. No parents can predict when the child feels this way because the trigger is not always the same thing.
The silver lining that I also learned from the conference is that bipolar kids can lead a regular life. Moms and dads like use merely need to guide them in the right path and support their goals 100%.