October 3, 2006



My son committed suicide 3 years ago. At the time, his death came completely out of the blue. On both sides of my husband's and my family there are cases of severe depression and other psychotic disorder. Knowing that there is the possibility of an inherited or genetic cause for my son's death is not going to completely ease our anguish, but it might at least provide some kind of reason for why it happened.

Posted by: Jane Sparks at October 3, 2006 1:37 PM

hi ,
my name is debbie and i have a 14 year old daughter who was hosptialized twice for depression. i am not sure if she is bi- polar . her mood swings are out of this world. i just inrolled her back into cousling to see if they can help her at all. i love you very much and want nothing but the best for her . so i am reaching out to other moms who can help me understand more about this.please write to me if you have any information that can help.

Posted by: debbie at October 6, 2006 6:24 AM

My attempt here is to offer some comfort and insight, if possible. I'm not a mother, per se, so I can only speak from my experience as one involved in the lives of mothers and many children. As a young adult currently under the labels Bipolar, OCD, ADHD, PMDD, Paranoid thought processes, maybe PTSD,and some others I just can't keep track of, I know personally the pain the individual suffers daily trying to balance ones' own emotional stability and that of all they love. And trying to live in a ever increasing faster and faster world. I suffer daily about thoughts of sucidie- of ending my internal, mostly mental pain, agony, dispair, hopelessness, worthlessness, and all other negative, degfeating thoughts I can imagine- just pleading for a break, rest, reprieve,et. al. ways to excape my mental constant and chronic 24-7 never ending cycle and branching on one thought to the next including the off shoots of all of it. Pure, innocent rest is all I long for inside my heart, battle with my need to never cause pain, suffering, sorrow, and sadness to those I love around me.
It I can pass one thing along from a personal and real point of view, knowing closely the pain others have suffered and ended their lives as a result is this:
Family, friends, loved ones, colleagues, strangers walking by with sympthy, those involved in someones life in someway, allowing your hearts to open once more, this "choice" one takes to end their lives here and now HAS NOTHING to do with something anyone could do or fix or change is their loved ones past that could have changed what is too some the souls course. I don't ever encourage such asks by anyone, no matter their suffering or pain... but I understand deeply the longing in oneself to free their burdens in this world, their reality, seeking a eternal rest, seeking a unknown weight off their shoulders, a way those of us left behind can't conprehend at most, to end a soul reaching pain, sorrow, sadness, despir, and in a lot of ways quiet those voices inside that have one second guess every move, question their own purpose in these human bodies, and seek another path beyond our physical earth to achieve their deserved peace, comfort, security, hope, and visions of futures- in whatever form you believe in.
We should help those that are in pain to the end of the limits possible to humans, try all means available, but in the end our best "service" is empathy at sometimes individuals make hard for us decisions, but we don't know how their soul has healed on the other side-maybe their peace out there/up there-whatver- is the one thing earth, human bodies and lifes could not provide here and now- but our end goal- whether as "humans" or "spirits", should always be eternal Peace of soul, mind, "body", spirit, and whatever consciousness goes to that other side. I hope, dream, invision, a time when my own soul and spirit, and mind meet as one force envloping a restful, balance, intrinsic peace between mind, soul, and body- one which I don't believe this life will ever meet. And I wish anyone who reads this a deep and profound love for human life, a never ending love for my little nephews whose spirit will someday spread through the world, healing and insipiring millions just by their purest of hearts and souls- blessed are those boys-gifted beyond my wildest hopes. I live daily for their future...it's a struggle, daily.
Love in living, and love in death- as one pain starts another ends- but the pain those of us "left" behind feel is a loss of our loved one, our sadness does disapate, heals in a way, we begin to cope for our loss and start remembering our wonderful memories. And deep down in our deepest parts of our hearts, we know that our suffering and sorrow is something we are strong enough to work through- those we lost had no strength for the self, to begin healing, and start a process down a road that we could not and at times cannot comprehend. One heart aches, crys, morons, and another takes a peaceful, light, and painfree rest of contemporary reality- but their spirits do rejoin us in so many other ways- healing the wounds of others fighting still, healing sick children by holding them during the lonely times of constant medical lives- and ultimately those lost today, come back to us healed in many ways, void of human contrains, open to see their magic come alive in simple acts of random beauty- truest, purest, honest, and from the core of love- they never leave me or you, or us- they only change in the form in which their souls are free from so many contraints that inhibited their vital and profound voice that speaks to humanity in the most subtle ways. That sunset over the distant ocean view is more that scientific reductions, a purely sun riched day with friends and beaches and fresh water and laughder from the gut are all inspired, created, and influenced by those external of a human form, but still full of a souls energy, breathing life into the simplest moments of pure unfalterd, untouched, and undeconstructed, unbroken down or un- analyzied out of self experiences of pure ellation of your heart, your soul, your mind, your body, and your environment- all at once- a natural and ultimate moment of almost sereal, divine experiences of life that come from the truest and most honest piece of you- whether your heart, your brain, or your intution. What floats through you every being is probably reducable to chemical reactions- but is much more than a reductionist position- it is what makes us human- those moments when that invisible hand reaches out to you and you latch on and you know you're never alone really- that loved one is always a part of you, or me, or anyone who needs them, our human needs for them, for her, for him, for my son, my daughter,my mother, my father, my partner, my soulmate, et.al. is only a physical, instant need. But if we still very still and quiet we can hear them breathing next to us. They are holding us as we sleep, they are walking withus at night watching us we walk a dark street alone late, and most of all they are their wiping away our tears we shed for our lost of their temporal body, loosing sight of a new form of their essence, their warthm, their love, their care, and their never ending committment to be apart of us- in so many forms and forces. They love you and all those around them more than they loved themselves in this world...but love does not end with a "death" of the physical person, it ends with the loss of whats inside aching to reach out, but afraid to be exposed...if there was painless way for all, those that do through with ending would choose that path, choose a path of least resistance for everyone, that if possible caused no one anymore pain, suffering, sorrow, regret, aching, and unanswerd questions- at the cost of all material weatlh, some spiritual wealth, and maybe some even giving up all wealth of self soul and heart at the purest core- all to ease the remaining pain, unanswered questions, the nagging why, what could..., how, what could I have done...
I love the quote that goes smothing like this
"If you love something, truly, set it be. If it was meant to be it will come back to be- truly and fully."

Posted by: Sarah.E.Smith at May 9, 2007 6:12 AM

Debbie- I can hear your heart pouring out- a true Mothers love seeking an answer to her daughters struggles- wanting to fix whatever you can.
As a young Adult who has Bipolar disorder, among others, I can assure you first there is no one, simple, nor definitive answer. I struggle daily to balance by mental state with the world around me. It may be a subtle struggle for your daughter and it may be a rough road for a while until the balance comes in.
First- get ever medical test you can- blood work, allegery tests(not just the typicals- food, dyes, food products/ingredients- a lot of studies show BIPL DISODER can be traced to some food/food ingredient products)-all possible- MRIs-some show clearly distnict differientations for BP and not BP, get a non-psychiatrist to do a least a non- invasivie OMBGYN examination- for possible- it could be as simple of tracking menstrual cycles and changes in mood, emotions, energy, eating habits, dramatic changes in social interactions, sleep patterns, etc,looking for possible Premenstrual dysthoric disorder- which is not PMS- this impacts ones life greatly- extremes can be irractic mood swings, irraitablity, loss of interests, inability to move of the couch or bed for days, physical and emotions fluctuations that impact a daily life to the point of being unable to "snap out" and do what needs to be done- I my self have lost jobs, friendships, and future opprotunities because I was so emotionally distrot, unable to function for days pre and post bleeding.
Sometimes depression in young women is a total frustration with their changin bodies, overwhelming messages to look like this, act like that, conform like this. Added their bodies are changing, in serious ways- which to me have been understudied. Her mood swings could be the word I hate to use which is angst- which do effect girls five times that of boys- frustrated by societal expectations of what feminity is, what a real gurl looks like, pressure to conform to rigid standards, their own growing bodies both physical and emotional and true to the core is a total lack of real, positive, healthy, informative, and safe outlets and forums for young girls to be involved in that validate their experiences, acknowledge the reallness of what they are going through, and can offer alternative ways to negotiate the awkward waters of adolecents in today's world. She should know she's not alone in how she feels on the whole and that her personal experience is just as valid as anyother voice speaking up.
While 14 is by medical standards young-ish to fully diagnosis Biploar disorder, don't keep it on the back burner- in few years it may be a better fit for her in her life- especially as she grows more into herself- away from that angst I knew too well. For now talk open with her about how she feels depression impacts and effects her life and hear what solutions she might have to working through it. or with it. Give her some general resources informative in nature that talk about all this mental variation in the world, help her come to understand on her own way and time how depression and its syptoms impact her life, ways it could be different, and what low formal low committment and LOW PRESSURE things you and she could do together that work from an internal, physicological foundation to boost energy, self esteem, confidence, and show how simple skills and activities can help someone get the ball rolling towards feeling better- which is a cycle no pill can come close too.
Education about all of this can be a joint effort and some alone work. Maybe starting with very low-key non invasive psycho-theraphy could help- on her terms is key- and it might mean you wait outside those sessions for a while- for her to build trust and confidence and safety- without editing herself to protect her mom. Picking that person could take time- she may want a female or a male- she may want someone who don't know from joe blow, she may want complete confidentially for a while to build her own sense of self, place, control, and empowerment.
This process is hard, long, at times painful, frustrating, and random. Patience is key, love is essential, respect is a must, and crying is just going to happen good/bad doesn't matter, let your tears and hers flow- thats true healing.
And remember you are her #1 ally, support, the one who will always be there for her, being her mom in whatever way she needs- whether to cry on your shoulder or to over react to the wrong juice in the fridge! You on your own may want to get some one-on-one time- learning how to approach someone with mental variation that at times is extra-senisitive and others quick to snap- you too have to learn about the in and outs- but always know that at age 14 whatever "label" applies now could change by 24; the Medication game alone could drive you both batty at times, for it's just not a fine science to isolate the good brain processes and the descrutive ones- this is too a long process- something I'm still working through after 3 1/2yrs and I'm still not done figuring out the "perfect" match. And as a side note, thinking back to my years as a adolecent, I loved having a safety net always there for me, knowing my parents would always be there for me- but at the same time I had some "nasty" phases of frustrated, angry, bitter, lost, feelings without words, and random snappy-ness I couldn't name until years into college-and I'd get more worked up with "overbearing" parents asking that or is or what about...when really they just wanted to be a part of my life cuz they loved and cared about me and were genuninely interested- this I didn't realize for years, until I too got a little older and actually missed someone caring so honestly.
You don't need to try and be her best friend, nor her "Im your mother and I say so" just be- open, willing to talk, as non-judgmental as motherly possible, an advocate, a support, a safety net, and someone who can admit they don't have all the answers but you'll try your damnist to find them. Key is keep at the least the feelings of balance and control on what happens and goes on as motherly-daughterly possible...challenge #3! Start with some basic on-line info- then oh look there are x # of providers in this area, would you like to talk with someone whose objective and confidential and for you only? Its safe and private and it's at your pase, you can set up how it works- I just give you a number and a ride! Encouragement is a lot better than conhersion, or implied force...maybe even if you started your own process she would see a positive role model actively to work on herself without embarrassment or shame or fear or anxiety, or any other" "irrational" perceptions exist. There are no couchs, no legal pads of aloof writing psychs humming responses that are ultimately vague and totally open for any interpretation. Most settings are chill, modern, a lot of younger professionals with contemporary knowledge of the hip and cool.
As this long story draws short- key with you that A. this is in know way your fault or your doing or a some lacking in you; this is her brain chemistry, wiring, and reality- she could grow up to in some brilliant field of work, changing the world forever, but just someone who needs to take a "vitamin" in the morning! B. At 14 this process could be a two steps forward one step back process; with ups and downs, "dry" periods, "chaotic" periods, "level" periods, "erratic" periods...but if she is intune with her body, her internal cycles she may stride through some tough times...but she could also choose to stop all treatments, stop meds that have worked, stop couseling, choose "erratic" or "impulisve" choices, fly off here or there, manage her money poorly, date erratically, etc. BUT that behavior as scary as it sounds for your 14yr old now, could be typical teenage and young adult behaviors- in college we'd do a lot on a wimm, strange to those whose lives have been fairly similar for 30yrs but at 20-22 it's fun to jump in a car and take a road trip to a concert in the next state, even if you have 20 bucks and a paper due at the end of the week! Young people don't develop the frontal loop completely until their mid-twenties so impulsive behavior could be "growing pains"
With on going open dialogue from now until shes raising her own and even after, you'll be prepared more than you know and she will feel that safety in you and be able to talk with you about what is her reality. Keep asking for all others advice and experience- this education is the gold of this struggle. Good luck and keep the faith-

Posted by: Sarah.E.Smith at May 9, 2007 7:37 AM

I am starting to wonder and question if my fiance has a mood disorder, in specific if he has bi-polar. He won't admit to this. I tell him of the hurt he sometimes causes me and ask him to get help, but he just says that he can fix it. I know he needs help, but I do I get him to realize this?

Posted by: Jamie at October 11, 2007 11:10 AM

Ji Jamie, I understand the difficult situation you are in. Your can see the situation clearly but your fiance can't. I assume both of you are greatly in love with each other so my advice would be to talk (not pressue) him and make him realise the potential damage his problem is causing to your relationship. It would be great if you can get hold of someone with ADHD who has successfully cope with the disorder to talk to your fiance.

Posted by: CS Tan at March 14, 2008 6:42 PM

My son Kevin completed suicide due to bipolar..I am now seeing a grieving counselor.. He had been having problems for a long time that I didnt know about. He was in AirForce, Special Forces, for 5 years, served in Desert Storm and was a survivor, until Bipolar got hold of him... After he had been diagnosed and got him on medicine, the medicine didint work... He said it messed with his mind, that his mind wasnt right and Thanksgiving 2007 he shot himself....left us a note,and said he was sorry..God forgave him because he didnt know what he was doing... He was my only child, and I miss him so much... but I have researched "Bipolar" and they need help...sometimes I feel like I dont know my purpose here in life anymore, but then maybe I could help by speaking to groups on Bipolar.. I love him and I am not angry at him...I wish I could have done more, but Im now satisfied with myself that I did all I could do..When Bipolar took control of him, he was not himself.. his actions,words,moods,careers,nothing was him... he even looked at his id and asked me who that was.. he didnt know that person... he was not my Kevin... another person living in his body..I told him just to get better, that everything would be alright, but the medicine he was taken took him from a Bipolar Mania, to a depressed and confused person..
Please if you have anyone with symptoms of Bipolar, the internet has a lot of information.... research it,, maybe you can save your son.. I couldnt...

Posted by: jcarol at June 22, 2008 4:14 AM

You should make your storys a little shoter ans it should be more in to it so people won't give up that qutie if they are pojects or something for work, but the infor was very writen...

Posted by: Angelis at November 24, 2008 8:40 AM

I am by no means a professional, but I have been dinegosad with Bipolar 2. So anything I say on here is just my opinion and suggestion. If you haven’t talked to your counselor about actually having Bipolar 2 instead of depression, then bring it up. The most important thing I have learned is that it’s important to talk and open up about how you’re feeling. If you have already talked about it, talk about it some more. Ask your counselor why she dinegosad you with depression, why she thinks that you don’t have Bipolar 1 or 2. Unfortunately though there is a manual to help professionals with a diagnosis, different counselors/psychiatrists/psychologists will sometimes diagnose the same person with different things; it’s not an exact science. Depending on your age that might be the reason why she’s hesitant to diagnose you with Bipolar 2. Years ago lots of children were being dinegosad with Bipolar only to realize as they got older that the diagnosis was incorrect, nowadays people tend to be more hesitant with diagnosing people under 18 with Bipolar. I was dinegosad with depression when I was 10 and started taking medicine that treats Bipolar when I was 14, however I wasn’t dinegosad with Bipolar 2 until a couple of months before my 18th birthday.

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