Parenting A Bipolar Child

What parents of bipolar children can do to help their bipolar child and themselves.

Help Your Bipolar Child Lead A Rewarding Life

Parenting a child with bipolar disorder presents its own unique challenges. Family and friends may have attributed your child's difficult behavior to stubbornness or other personality flaws. They may disagree with your parenting skills, however, it is important to recognize and accept bipolar disorder for what it is - just another medical condition. If your child had epilepsy, no one would blame you or your child, right?

Educating yourself about bipolar disorder is important when your child is diagnosed with this disorder. You will need all that knowledge you can absorb in order to crop with what is laying ahead of you. Online support groups can provide a wealth of information. Offline support groups will also give you the opportunity to speak to other parents dealing with the same issues.

It is important to take good care of yourself when parenting a bipolar child. Eating healthy, getting proper rest, and doing things for yourself can help you cope with the stress of the demands of parenting a child with special needs. On top of that, eating a balanced diet could also help regulate your child's mood and gives the nutrition required by a growing child.

Exercise can help your child burn off excess energy. This is especially beneficial if you recognize the signs of an impending mania or rage. Keeping a regular schedule, especially for sleep, can also help you manage bipolar symptoms.

Feel free to ask the doctor any questions you may have. You are your child's advocate. You should understand the disorder and the symptoms that your child is experiencing. The communication with your child's doctor is a two-way street. Who better than you can tell the doctor whether or not the treatment is working? Some parents find it helpful to keep a log or calendar to note your child's symptoms. If you feel like your child's doctor does not understand the severity of your child's episodes, you might want to videotape the rage episodes.

Therapy is an essential tool when learning how to manage bipolar disorder. Therapy teaches your child how to recognize warning signs of the illness and cope with their emotions. Family therapy can be helpful to the bipolar child and the whole family as each individual must learn about the disorder. Bipolar disorder inevitably affects everyone in the family.

It is important that you get your bipolar child the treatment that they need. The sooner bipolar disorder is treated, the better. If left untreated, it can only get worse. A majority of adolescents with untreated bipolar disorder end up abusing alcohol or drugs. Bipolar disorder is highly treatable. Finally, there is no reason to believe that your child will not be able to go on to lead a productive life.

About the author: Moses Wright is the founder of Manic Depression Net, which is no longer online.

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2008, November 1). Parenting A Bipolar Child, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 20 from

Last Updated: August 19, 2019

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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