is it my fault my daughter is bipolar?

Caroline - posted on 01/27/2012 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 13 and is bipolar, and I feel so guilty that somehow this is my fault.

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Kate CP - posted on 01/27/2012

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Also to add to Krista's statement, many who suffer from bi-polar disorder will attempt to self medicate with drugs and alcohol. This is why getting her into therapy NOW is important. The sooner she gets positive coping mechanisms for her ups and downs the better.

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Julie - posted on 08/28/2014

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Both genetic and environmental factors can play a role in Bipolar Disorder. Typically many genes are involved. Environmental factors include long term stress and a history of childhood abuse.[1] It is divided into bipolar I disorder: if there is at least one manic episode and bipolar II disorder: if there are at least one hypomanic episode and one major depressive episode. In those with less severe symptoms of a prolonged duration the condition cyclothymic disorder may be present. If due to drugs or medical problems it is classified separately. [2] Other conditions that may present in a similar manner include: drug misuse, personality disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and schizophrenia as well as a number of medical conditions.[1] -Wikipedia
**Feeling guilty and or responsible for your daughters disorder is a normal reaction, but it doesn't benefit the situation. The best way for me to rid myself of guilt as a parent is to educate myself first, and them second on the situation as best I can. Read, research, seek, explore, visit and become an active part of their lives and others who may share similar experiences. rid yourself of guilt to be strong for this precious child. Focus on the present and build a happy, healthy, safe environment :)

Jo Ellen - posted on 08/28/2014

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My daughter is bipolar as well and I struggle with guilt everyday. I wonder if something I did or didn't do caused this horrible illness. She is a beautiful, intelligent young lady and I hate what this is doing to her.

Kate CP - posted on 01/27/2012

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Being diagnosed at 13 as bi-polar is hard. I was diagnosed at that age. The best thing to do is get her into therapy and try REALLY HARD to keep her off of medications. Medications for bi-polar disorder were never meant for developing brains (children). She needs coping mechanisms and some one to talk to.



It's not your fault in the sense that it's nothing you did. It's hereditary. I have it, my mother has it, her mother has it, all my aunts have it...and some day my daughter will have it, too. When that day comes I will do everything I can to get her the help she needs and support her.



Read everything. Get as much literature on the disorder as you can and study everything that discusses teens and bi-polar disorder. Your best weapon against this disease is knowledge.

Krista - posted on 01/27/2012

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No, it's not your fault. Researchers still aren't 100% positive about the causes of bipolar disorder, but they're fairly sure that it's mostly due to genetic factors, which can sometimes be triggered by external factors (stress, alcohol or drug use). It has to basically already be there in the brain in order for it to be triggered, though, and there's absolutely nothing that you did that contributed to that.



My sister is bipolar, and I am not, and we were both raised the same. But we have a family history of mental illness, and she just drew the unlucky card. A diagnosis of bipolar disorder doesn't mean that her life is ruined. But it's key to find a really good psychiatrist now, and to try to keep her as stable as possible. You will also want to have a serious talk with her about drugs and alcohol -- they can severely worsen her condition, so it's best that she abstain from them.



Good luck! I'm not going to lie -- you've got a challenging road ahead of you, but it's not an impossible one. Just make sure you're there for her, and that you stay involved in her treatment and that you monitor her closely.

Kaitlin - posted on 01/27/2012

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Bipolar is a MEDICAL condition. This chemical imbalance is not your fault. Now that you know, the two of you (or better yet, your whole family) can work together on ways of handling it, with medication, with behavior modification, with new ways expressing and dealing with all that comes with it. Perhaps you feel guilty for how you handled her behavior int he past, not knowing it was a medical condition? Guessing here. You can't change the past, but you can move forward and deal the situation together.

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