ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Parenting with Bipolar Disorder

Updated on March 23, 2012

This hub is written to answer the question: "Isn't it selfish to want to have children, when you're diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder?"

As a parent with bipolar disorder, I can understand both sides of this issue. With one daughter grown and living independently and two adolescent sons, it is true that my children may have been through their share of trials with my occasional hospitalizations and episodes of depression. Even though parenting with bipolar disorder has its challenges, it also has its rewards.

I am truly blessed to have three wonderful children. My older son is active in sports. My younger son is very friendly and outgoing. My daughter lives independently while saving money to attend college.

I chose to homeschool my daughter for most of her school years. She ended up being a National Merit Scholarship finalist. Both of my sons do very well in their school. I would say that children of a bipolar parent do not necessarily have any academic problems due to the illness. Of course, there could be a problem if the bipolar parent is ill and not taking the children to school.

There is one effect that might be attributed to bipolar disorder. I found it very difficult to hold down a job for an extended period of time. During my highs, I would work two or even three jobs. During the depression, I'd struggle to be productive at all. Eventually, I was approved for SSI, but my children and I lived in poverty most of the time. We were the working class poor. Perhaps as a result of that, my children are incredibly grateful for all the small things. If I make something for dinner that my younger son likes, he will thank me. My children thank everyone for any little kindness.

As far as whether or not bipolar disorder is hereditary, yes, it can be. But having a parent with bipolar disorder does not mean that all of the children will have bipolar disorder. I have two siblings, but I am the only one who has bipolar disorder. Clinical depression runs in my family, which increases the risk of bipolar disorder.

At this time, none of my children show any signs of bipolar disorder. I would like to think that if they were to develop the disorder, at least they know that I understand how they feel and can help them navigate the illness.

One thing my children do have is a healthy dose of creativity. As is common with people who have bipolar disorder, I am creative. I am an artist, writer, and a poet. My children always have been encouraged to explore their creativity. I love the days when I paint on my easel next to my sons as they paint.

The household with a bipolar parent isn't so different from any other household. Of course, there are the occasional problems as any family faces. But, it's not like the bipolar parent is always in crisis. I took my sons to football practice like any other parent. My children and I did housekeeping chores like everyone else. At this very moment, my sons are enjoying a Friday night by playing their video games.

So, yes, parenting with bipolar disorder can be difficult. My children have seen me depressed. My youngest son knows that if I am hospitalized, he should bring me a sketchbook and pencils. These things are unique to families with bipolar disorder parents. But beyond the occasional hiccup in the management of my disorder, we are an American family.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 

      6 years ago from Escondido, CA

      Awesome hub. Thank you for sharing openly.

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 

      6 years ago from Finland

      I like this hub. You are very honest, Sheila. There are parents with different diseases or disorders in many families, and I'm sure that isn't only negative for the children.

    • Escobana profile image

      Escobana 

      6 years ago from Valencia

      Great answer to my question! It's good to read a positive story about raising children, when you're Bipolar.

      I hope you don't mind me linking your Hub to mine: Thank God, I don't have children! We all have our own personal story and our own personal reasons for wanting to have children or not, when you're Bipolar.

      I didn't have the guts to be honest but I have no regrets at all. A sterilization at the age of 30 seems very drastic but it was the only option to me.

      I hope you'll link my Hub to yours as well and I wonder what your views are on my decision. I'm truly happy to receive such a sincere answer to my question!

      Voted up, shared and away!

    • profile image

      lisa.bom 

      6 years ago

      I am also bipolar. My husband and I have raised three children. We did have our problems but we dealt with them. They are all in their twenties and living happy lives with families of their own. Thanks for bring this topic out in the open.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)