The effects of bipolar disorder on a typical family can be incredibly devastating and trying if the disorder is not properly understood and being treated in the right way. It has only been in the past few decades the medical professionals have recognized certain psychological disorders and their symptoms.
Years ago things like a manic episode or a teenager mentioning suicide may have been seen by strict parents as the child simply acting out; something that could be fixed with the appropriate punishment. Quite often if the problems with the child became very severe the solution was to ship them off to a psychiatric clinic thinking that it would be the final solution. Thankfully, today more is known about psychological disorders but the effects of bipolar disorder can still cause problems within families.
Effects of Bipolar Disorder With an Afflicted Child
A child, teen or young adult experiencing the early warning signs of bipolar disorder may simply seem like a typical irrational, unruly and occasionally depressive teen. However, when it becomes apparent that a child has entered a manic episode that can only be described as clinical or they being discussing suicide the time has come to seek treatment. Very often, parents see something like a diagnosis of bipolar disorder as being their fault meaning that the effects of bipolar disorder can lead to a feeling of guilt among the parents. Other times, the parents will become angry with the child, failing to understand that they simply cannot help themselves. This frustration can lead to a rift between the child and the parents, making the effects of bipolar disorder on the family devastating.
When a Parent is Bipolar
A child that grows up with a bipolar mother or father may not understand the effects of bipolar disorder on the parent’s psyche. As they grow up they may come to resent their parent’s strange behavior and even find it embarrassing. Granted, it can be, especially during manic episodes when the parent tries too hard to interact with their child. However, it is the effects of bipolar disorder during a depressive phase that can be truly damaging. A bipolar mother in a depressive phase may neglect their child’s health and well-being as a result which causes problems not just with the relationship between the parent and the child but potentially with the child’s overall well-being.
Making it Work
The effects of bipolar disorder on a family can indeed be difficult to deal with. However, with proper treatment and a level of informed understanding on the part of those who have a family member with bipolar disorder these negative effects can be diminished and even completely avoided. Bipolar disorder can even help bring a family closer together since quite often one doesn’t realize how much they appreciate their loved one’s until something comes between them. Hard times, properly transverse, can indeed strengthen a relationship. It is up to the family however, to ensure that the effects of bipolar disorder on their household are minimized as much as possible.