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i've always known my exhusband would be dx with something someday, and recently he was. paranoid schizophrenia. i told my 7yo ds that daddy is sick, just like someone who has the flu is sick, but he can take medicine to get better. i also mentioned that it wasnt his body that is sick, but rather it is his thoughts. sometimes his thoughts dont work right and he needs extra help to remember what really happened. we know several children who wear AFOs (leg braces) and i've told my son that its like so and so who needs help to walk properly...daddy needs help to think properly.
probably in the next yr or so i will tell him more. right now this is all he needed to understand why his father is no longer employed. when he asks for more info i will give it, as age-appropriately as i can manage.
FWIW, exdh tells him nothing, as he is still indenial.
I don't know what you're dealing with, but this site/book/researcher is supposed to be good for dealing with bipolar issues. There's also an organization geared specifically to children whose parents have bipolar disorder, but I will have to look it up. I can't remember the name right now.
As for what we've told my children, it's basically that I have a disease that affects my brain. I take medication to help, and I go to the doctor to talk about my problems. Sometimes Mom needs extra sleep or is easily upset, and that's because I'm sick.
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