Suffering in Silence

Even though I have a blog that is dedicated to talking about mental illness , today I am going to talk about bipolar.

Catherine Zeta-Jones is on the cover of People Magazine this week and is sharing how she is battling bipolar 2 disorder. Anyone who knows anything about bipolar disorder knows that although there is treatment, bipolar is a horrible disorder to live with.

My article How to stop enabling your adult child was inspired by learning how to cope with my adult daughter's dual diagnosis. Being the parent of a bipolar child, adult or not, sucks. Plain and simple- it is a rollercoaster ride and as a parent, if you allow yourself to get sucked into the emotional ups and downs, you might even think that you yourself may be bipolar.

If you find yourself riding the waves of highs and lows along with your loved one who is bipolar, their dysfunction will become yours. Living with bipolar disorder doesn't mean that your life has to be full of chaos and emotional outbursts.

Education is the key to learning how to cope with bipolar disorder. As a parent of a bipolar child, I sometimes wish she had a different medical condition such as diabetes. To me, it seems simpler to deal with. I am sure that parents of diabetics have their own special and unique challenges. With a mood disorder, there are so many pre-conceived ideas about the hows and whys of it. Unless you live it, you cannot fully understand what it is like.

Drama Queen was also inspired by my dual diagnosis daughter. For me, writing helps to cope with my feelings. I can share what I have learned about mental illnesses and maybe even help another parent or loved one feel that there is hope.

We have ups and downs in our relationship but that is normal. My life is drama and laughter and bipolar only adds to both.

Like Catherine Zeta-Jones, I do not believe that anyone should suffer in silence. Whether you are diagnosed with bipolar or someone you love has bipolar, it is nothing to feel shame about. No one goes through life without some kind of challenge . My "message" today is to get everyone to stop and think before you judge what someone else may be living with. Try to educate yourself instead and feel compassion. We share this world together and understanding can make the ride smoother.

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