As I sit writing this, my 11-year-old son Anthony sits in a Residential Treatment Facility in hopes of learning how to deal with all the phases that bipolar brings. My son is one of the very few children diagnosed as having severe bipolar disorder along with OCD, ODD and a learning disability. He has seen as many therapists and doctors as double his age. I have had people say, “Well doesn’t his medication help?” or “Why aren’t his pills working?” To this I say my son has a disease just like any other disease; if he had cancer would you question why his chemotherapy isn’t working?

I implore all parents whose children have bipolar to keep well informed of this disease and keep yourselves abreast of all that is happening to your child. Search your local library, ask the psychiatrist for books that you may read, join a support group and most importantly, listen to your child. My son has told me “Mommy I don’t know why I’m crying; I want to stop but I just don’t know how,” “Mommy why was I born like this?” And the words that honestly rip my heart out, “Mommy please let me kill myself; I hate life.”

There is also the other side of this disease which is just as badùthe singing, dancing, clapping and being totally infallible in which sometimes I feel is even worse as this is the time when they can actually hurt themselves and not even realize the extent of what had happened. As a person once quoted ” I look forward to the day when my son can say to the world, yes I have a mental disorder; yes I’ve been admitted to a mental hospital; yes I’ve attempted suicide, and yet I have nothing to be sorry for.”

I implore all parents who believe their children are just going through a phase, or think its something they will get over to seek professional help before it’s too late. To my son I say, “I love you for all that you are and all that you will be. We will get through life together one day at a time.”