Originally Posted by BelovedK
I'm BP and a ~very~ good parent and high functioning as long as i take care of myself...awareness is the key.
I am also BP and I don't know if I would call myself a "very" good
parent, but I believe I am a good parent, and a healthy person. I
am learning everyday how to be the best parent I can be.
I choose to look at my BP as a blessing, rather than a curse. I think
differently than others, my emotions are sometimes stronger than
some. I haven't always been happy, BUT I like who I am. So I
choose to love all of me, and not just parts.
I agree with belovedK about awareness. You have to learn to
listen to your body. I also had to learn to stop reacting so quickly,
both good and bad reactions. I know what helps me be the best
I can, eating well, getting a full nights sleep, listening to my mind,
spirit and body.
I don't know (only from my own experience with the mental health
of my family) if I can agree that BP can be passed on just from being
raised by a BP parent. It's genetics, it's chemicals, you can't catch it.
My Mother has mental illness, multiple personalities brought on my
childhood trauma, and I don't see her actions as contributing to my
own mental illness. Actually watching my Mother as I grew up is what
helped me become a better person. Made me want to try harder,
be stronger, and has made me a better Mother to my dd.
All three of my siblings have mental illness, all four of us different
diagnoses. From the same family, same parents, healthy Dad
(although his Mother was given shock treatments threw most of the
1940's). My oldest brother is the one who has had the hardest time
in life. He is also the most intelligent of us four by far.
I think what is most important with being a parent with any mental
illness is acknowledgment of your mental illness. My dd already
knows Mama has good days and bad days (just like all parents).
I try my best to be as open and honest with dd on a 5 year old
level. I am a very silly, active, weird parent. My dd knows she is
loved, she is well taken care of, and very bright. So I must be doing
I believe that if the parent with mental illness can't acknowledge their
illness, then it becomes the job of the other parent. Talk to your child
about how people are different. Talk to them about illness both mental
and physical. Make sure they know that they can come to you and talk
to you about these issues.
If the parent with mental illness is doing harm to your child then by all
means you have to protect them. But if that parent who may or may
not choose to reconise their problem is a good parent I don't see why
the child would need protection. Abuse is abuse, doesn't matter the
reason behind it.
Now my own dd doesn't know this much yet. On my good days
we are active. We play, run, spend most days outside. On bad days
(which don't happen very often) I choose to do more quiet activities
with her. Painting, doing crafts, maybe cooking.
I have been asked in the past if I am scared that dd will find herself
with mental issues in her future. Truth is no, not really. We are all
given a path in life, and who better to parent one with mental illness
than somebody who has gone threw it and come threw in the end
happier and more in touch with them self.
Dd is VERY spirited, and has already learned breathing to help her
calm down. Plus other skills I learned in therapy. I wish to raise her
with the skills to help her be the best she can be. To use what others
might deem as faults as her strengths. To channel her spirit in the most
useful ways, not squash it down.
I hope my post makes sense, I think I went off track. If not just
blame it on the bipolar disorder. :LOL