posts in Bipolar Disorder

4 Important Factors to Know When Helping Someone with Bipolar Disorder

The following is a guest post from Steve Johnson.

boy suffering with depression

As any parent of a child with bipolar disorder knows, things are rarely easy, but it’s important to recognize potential dangers that come along with it so you can prevent things from escalating out of control. Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that is characterized by extreme mood swings that are so severe they disrupt a person’s daily life. Nearly 3% of Americans are living with bipolar disorder, and symptoms include “alternating between periods of elevated mood (mania or hypomania) and periods of depression.”

People who have bipolar disorder feel so energetic and abnormally happy that they may make reckless decisions, while they may feel hopeless, overwhelmed, and extremely negative when they experience a depressive state.

If you are a parent of someone who battles bipolar disorder, there are a few important factors to know so that you can help him/her navigate life with this mood disorder more successfully.

How I'm Helping My Kids' Bipolar Disorder Naturally


"How are you treating their bipolar?" 

It's a question I'm asked quite a bit by parents of kids who have bipolar disorder. The reasons for asking vary. Usually it's one of the following:

  • They see my kids doing well and want to know how that's happening.
  • They want to choose something less harsh, but have no idea where to begin.
  • They use natural remedies or traditional medicine, but never knew it could help this.
  • They're just curious, having no idea about natural medicine at all.
I can only begin to answer this question. One post won't do it. A book perhaps, but not one single post.

Dear Mom of a Child Who Has Bipolar Disorder

dear mom  of a child who has bipolar disorder

Dear Mom of a Child with Bipolar Disorder,

I know you feel so alone in this world. No one could possibly understand what your life is like. 

No one knows you wake up every day with a question mark hanging in the air. When my child wakes up, what kind of mood will she be in? Will she be happy? Angry? Depressed? 

Most days are good, but you can't predict them. Even if things start well, it could change in a second, right? 

4 Reasons I Talk about Bipolar Disorder

4 Reasons I Talk about Bipolar Disorder

Recently, someone asked me to stop writing about bipolar disorder.

No, I'm not kidding. 

Someone asked me to stop. (Just a suggestion, you know.) So, I thought I'd take a few moments to explain why I not only write about it, but will continue to do so.

But first let's talk about...

Letter from a Daughter to Dad Who Died of Suicide

Letter to dad who died of suicide

My daughter wrote this letter months ago. 

She gave it to me to post here, but I was caught up in other things at the time. It's a letter to her father. Today (July 3, 2015) marks 5 years since he died, so i
t's appropriate that I post it today. She turns 17 tomorrow.

Be sure to read the extra note at the bottom. I snagged it from her Facebook status this morning.

World Bipolar Day: Vincent and the Doctor

We're celebrating World Bipolar Day with Vincent van Gogh and Doctor Who!

{This post may contain affiliate links.}

My mind has been on Vincent van Gogh for a few days. Anyone who knows my family well, knows we have a connection of sorts with Vincent van Gogh. So strong is that connection that w
hen our friends see or hear something about Mr. van Gogh, they immediately think of us and share it with me on Facebook.

Vincent and my family - We have a history.

Lorelai began watching the modern Doctor Who series in the winter of 2013. We were in our December of Darkness for that year, and it was something entertaining for her during those long nights. She was 10 years old.

Are People with Bipolar Disorder Always Manic or Depressed?

Are people with bipolar disorder always either really high or really low with no in between? Or is that a stereotype?
Are people with bipolar disorder always manic or depressed?

Today, I'm answering a question from a friend. If she's asking, I'll be a lot of people wonder: 

"Are people with bipolar disorder always either really high or really low with no in between? Or is that a stereotype?"

I've lived with and around quite a few people with bipolar disorder. Some don't even realize they have it, but most of them do. I've seen what it's like in adults and in children (there's a notable difference between the two), so I believe I can answer this accurately.

Bipolar Disorder: What Are Racing Thoughts?

Learn what the racing thoughts of bipolar disorder are. #raisingbipolar

Last week, I explained why I don't limit my daughter's Minecraft time. In that post, I mentioned a little about racing thoughts and now I want to explain what racing thoughts are. 

What Are Racing Thoughts?

Although I had tried many times to understand racing thoughts, it was only a year and a half ago that I finally figured it out. Alexis helped me to understand it a little better.

From the above post

"Racing thoughts are a lot of snippets of music, conversations and negative thoughts looping, one over the other, for hours on end. These racing thoughts aren't persistent in that they are not 'playing' 24/7, but when they are, the person feels as though they're going mad."

December of Darkness: Why I'm Dreading Winter (Bipolar Disorder Sleep Problems)

A mom describes the miserable winters when her daughter bipolar sleep patterns get worse. #kidswithbipolar #bipolardisorder

I am not looking forward to winter. In fact, I'm dreading it.

This is the first year I haven't looked forward to winter. I usually appreciate the change in time and weather. I look forward to fireplaces, bonfires, hot chocolate and all the other cozy things that come with the season.

Not this year. Not even a little. You see, for the last two winters, I haven't seen the light of day. 

Literally. And I hate it.

Why I Don't Limit My Daughter's Minecraft Time

Find out why a mom who has led her children through a screen-free lifestyle would choose not to limit time on Minecraft. #minecraft

It may surprise you to read this, but I don't set limits on my daughter's Minecraft time.

If you know me or have been reading this blog long enough, you know that I'm not big on screens. Each year, our family participates in Screen-Free Week and I've even written a series of posts called Screen-Free Family Activities.

We didn't have television in my home (no service anyway) for many years. My youngest two, who are now 16 and 11, didn't have T.V. until they were 14 and 9.

So why would a mom who has led a pretty Screen-Free lifestyle not set limits on Minecraft?

Why this Teen Girl Should Inspire You to Bust the Stigma of Mental Illness

Find out how this teenage girl showed her support of Mental Illness Awareness Week with her art at #BustTheStigma #SayItForward #MentalHealthAwarness

Alexis is a quiet 16-year-old girl. She keeps to herself and spends a lot of time drawing. She doesn't care for conflict, avoiding it at almost all costs. She always strives to be polite, respectful and to not hurt anyone's feelings. She can get along with most people with no problem.

She's a peaceable girl.

She's a Quiet Girl, but Speaks up When Necessary

On Monday, Alexis was telling me that someone she knows "doesn't believe in mental illness or at least she doesn't believe it's common."

I turned to her and said, "Uh, one in four. I just wrote a post about this today because it's Mental Illness Awareness Week. 1 out of 4 adults and 1 out of 5 children. 1 out of 17 of those has a serious mental illness like bipolar, schizophrenia or major depression. Not common? Quite the opposite."

We had a little discussion about all sorts of things. She's had several debates with friends about mental illnesses or even "disorders" that aren't mental illnesses, such as dyslexia and Asperger's. 

She's not afraid to tell it like it is. She doesn't hide from the conflict when it comes to helping others understand, or when she sees the need to bust the myths associated with a disorder.

She's bold when she has to be.

Why I Wouldn't Spend a Day with My Father Even if I Could

The following is a guest post by my 16-year-old daughter Alexis.

A teen girl explains why she wouldn't spend a day with her deceased father if she had a chance to do so. #bipolardisorder

"If you could spend just one day with a person from the past, present or future, who would it be?"

I've seen this post on Facebook. I've thought about it. 

I have a few people in mind but, as odd as this may sound, there is one person on that list that I actually wouldn't spend that day with.

My father.

Why I Cried When Robin Williams Died

Robin Williams' death has touched me quite deeply. This post is an attempt to explain a little about that and how bipolar disorder affects a person's thinking.

By Eva Rinaldi (Flickr: Robin Williams) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

People die every day. It's sad, but if we didn't know the person, it usually doesn't cause us personal sadness.

Still, some deaths of strangers affect us more deeply than others. If it was a child, for instance, or perhaps they died in a way that somehow hits home a little more. 

Wordless (almost) Wednesday: Little Bear Shares Her Moods with You

Two nights ago, Lorelai came to me with my phone, scrolling through some pictures. "Mommy, I took these to show people what it's like to be bipolar!"

Surprised, I asked, "You want to show people?" 
"Yes," she replied, excited about how well she depicted the moods.

I asked her if it she wanted it posted here on the homeschool blog. She replied, "Yes. It's fine for you to post it and it's OK if people know I have bipolar because it might help someone. I mean, we can't be the only family living with this, right?"

With that decided, Alexis made this collage. 

I'm very proud of this because

  • She's hoping to help others
  • It shows that she's actively using her cognitive abilities (we've been working on this lately)
We'll call this:The Cycle.

This 9-year-old little girl has created a photo collage depicting the mood cycle of bipolar disorder.
The Cycle
Never miss a post. Subscribe now!

Happy Homeschooling!

Confession of a Special Needs Mom

A homeschool mom confesses something to her readers: Her children have bipolar disorder.

Dear Readers,

I've held back from being totally open with you. 

When I began this blog almost 4 years ago, I was homeschooling two little girls. Two perfectly "normal" little girls. In my story of our homeschool journey, I mentioned that my son had suffered with A.D.H.D. and the problems in public school that led us to homeschooling nearly 14 years ago. Other than that one "special need," which I no longer was dealing with, I had no other "special needs" children.

At least I didn't think so.

Ending 2010 Where We Began: Van Gogh & Daddy

A homeschool mom shares the tragedy and beauty that brought Vincent van Gogh into the hearts of her children forever. #suicide #bipolardisorder

We are quickly approaching the end of 2010. This year was not kind to our family.  Many of you know this. 

Despite the tragedy of varying types, there were brighter days throughout the year. And so it is to our benefit to focus on those beautiful days and moments with which we are blessed. We cannot allow our personal tragedies to blind us to the beauty that surrounds us. Those moments and memories help us to overcome life's difficulties.  

And so I end this year with a positive attitude.

School Closed this Week

There will be no school in my home this week. And, other than the blog carnival, no blog posts either. My children have lost their father.

In Memory of Scotty Tomberlin II
Your absence is so painful; our hearts so broken.

Latest Instagrams

© The Heart of Michelle. Design by FCD.