the worst kind of pain for parents?

This article IN THE NYT about a family dealing with their 11 year old daughter's severe mental illness literally made me weep.

I kept thinking about my own baby girl, just that age, and how incredibly lucky we are.


Anonymous said...

People with mental illness are beautiful instruments that need fine-tuning.I hope and pray for a miracle cure for all of those afflicted.My husband has a brother that suffers from this and it is a horribly cruel disease.It's one of those things that you just don't know until you know...jcb

Laura Linger said...

Being an adult living with the challenges that bipolar disorder poses on a daily basis, allow me to say that I really feel for ANYONE who must contend with this dragon within. It spits fire and wrecks everything in its path, and it has no mercy.

I'm medicated properly now and I live a happy, healthy, productive life filled with love and peace. I am sad to tell you that, all the world over, I am the exception, not the rule.

I used to be quite suspicious of these young children who were given a bipolar diagnosis. My psychiatrist has told me about parents who drag their kids in to see him, demanding, "Snotleigh is bipolar, doctor!" Uh, you know, let the DOCTOR make the assessment. Shrink has said that "bipolar" is to this decade what "ADHD" was to the 90s. Some definitely have it...and some just have the diagnosis.

The sad thing is, these so-called "bipolar" children or "ADHD" children are ALL stuck on mindbending medications...proper diagnosis or not.

I'm not saying that there are not absolutely legitimate cases of childhood bipolar. I'm no expert, and it is evident that the psychiatric community has become more adept at diagnosis and treatment at younger and younger ages. Boy, that would have saved me 30 years of misery. Traditionally, bipolar does not make itself known until the patient is an adult. That's a tradition that was meant to be broken.

And for every "bipolar" child who is diagnosed and medicated without basis (and it does indeed happen)...well, it cheapens what the poor parents in this article contend with daily. It furthers the stereotype that mental illness is a crisis of character, not of chemistry. Hayley, me, anyone with a legitimate claim to mental illness, deserve better than that.

Anonymous said...

You make a very good point, Laura Linger.

Anonymous said...

this is very sad. but am I the only person who was concerned that this extremely preoccupied father works in the anesthesia field? it doesnt say if he is directly involved in the administration of anesthesia but if he is, my gosh, what if he killed someone because he was stressing about his daughter?
am I also the only one who wondered if perhaps a group home situation might be better for this girl than robbing the other child completely of her childhood and life? its one thing when one child has medical needs. its another when those needs are so consuming that the other child/children may as well not exist.