My mother is bipolar, and in the family we have known this as far as I can remember. However my dad has never done anything about it, and whenever I mention getting help for her he seems to agree but does not do it for some reasons. When she has episodes, they always end up being traumatic experiences for all of us and I don’t understand why he won’t get her the help she needs. I don’t think he realizes that it is a mental ILLNESS that requires medication.

I’m bipolar and have not gone to a doctor to be officially diagnosed or given medication. Earlier this year I had an episode of depression; I would be on the floor of my bathroom thinking horrible thoughts through the night, then some time near 2 am fall on my bed and sleep. 3 hours later I would have to wake up and go to school like a zombie. Sometimes I would get fits, and lock myself in my room the whole day once I’d come back from school, just sitting there drawing like a maniac, some pretty dark drawings. I still have the notebook with all of my drawings from that period and it’s painful to look at. I got out of it slowly, and it took a long time to recover by myself.

When I was in that period I never said a word to my family; I would simply not talk to them and I pretended, hard, to be happy in front of my friends at school. Now I go to school and my mood changes as though someone keeps flicking a switch randomly, but I put a happy face on and people believe me. To feel somewhat happy, I’m always trying to get myself in a mentally giddy state, so I can laugh and feel lighter. However my attention is never focused in exams and my grades have just been slipping further down.

I can’t tell my dad I’m bipolar – he’ll blow me off. My sister wouldn’t be able to do nothing. She’s in England anyway. My mom has her own problems, and she’s always needed help but she never gets it. She thinks she’s absolutely fine, and she downright scares me sometimes. Right now is not such a bad period for me, but I know that getting medication would stabilize my moods and focus my attention. Or would it? How do I know getting medication will turn me into more of a zombie. I don’t want to become dependant on medication. I just wanna live my life! And since I didn’t get help in my worst period ever, I don’t see why I should get it now.

The only thing that goes against this thought and knowing that some time, sooner or later, I’ll have an episode, either of depression or mania. But to tell you the truth, I don’t think I’ll get help. From whom would I get it anyways? It would be embarrassing to tell my teachers, my friends, not to mention my family. I don’t wanna be a freak. But I would like your opinion. Thank you for just reading this, if you do. I’ve never told anyone about this story of my life. Keep it all in.


  1. Hi, Celine–

    The reasons you give for not seeking help for yourself are probably some of the same reasons your father has for not seeking help for your mother. If you don’t seek help, you will probably end up repeating the same pattern that your parents have fallen into. If you seek help, you have some hope of breaking the cycle and feeling much better. In addition, you may set a good example for your parents… showing them that there is something they can do to improve their lives.

    As for your reluctance in coming across as a freak if you disclose your illness, you may be able to obtain help without disclosing your illness to others. Consider speaking with a counselor at your school. You may benefit from knowing about celebrities who have mental illness. Consider visiting No Kidding, Me Too!, Joe Pantoliano’s Web site dedicated to battling the stigma of mental illness.

    Keep in mind that mental illness IS a physical illness. The brain is a part of the body, and it sometimes needs medication, too.

  2. There are many mental illnesses – as evident by the size of the DSM IV. A number of them even share a few of the same traits. Also a person can suffer from more than one mental illness. This is why I urge you to go to a Dr. so that you can get an official diagnosis and medication/therapy to provide you with the help you need. Also, if your mother hasn’t been diagnosed I would not take it as a certainty that she is bipolar.

    I do not say this to upset you or discount what you are going through. But to get the proper care for your body and mind, a proper consultation is warranted. In addition, unfortunately it can take months or years (as was my case) for Drs to figure out exactly what illness a patient has and then figure out how to treat it.

  3. hi cassie,
    good day.. the good thing about you is that u know when u are depressed or supper up… u have what we called assessment.. but seeking help is never a bad thing and having medications is a better way to handle it. i was diagnosed with bipolar few months a go and right now im having medications and check up with my psychiatrist.. maybe ur dad was just hesistant about it because its not easy to accept it in the family.. however my family has been very supporting with me esp. my dad and he knows too well Bipolar because my mom had it before but she already passed away when i was young.. but above all this please do seek help esp. with a doctor.

  4. you should get evaluated by a professional and get the medicine you need. i am bipolar and if i dont take medicine i get into all kinds of trouble. they had to try me on 5 different medications before we found the right ones that work for me. good luck and GOD bless you.

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