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Parent’s view

Posted Oct 01 2005 12:00am

In a column written anonymously for the Ashville Citizen-Times (NC, US), the father of a 12-year old child with bipolar disorder provided a glimpse into the life of his family. It is an account that clearly captures the anguish of the situation.

How to convey what life is like with nerves constantly frayed? When your child’s moan causes every muscle in your body to tighten, because that moan might grow into a growl, and that growl into a rage that might last an hour or more?

How to convey what life is like when your child holds knives to his throat or tries to jump from your car, when he destroys things that are most precious to him, when he attacks you and his siblings, when he does everything in his power to provoke you and then sobs uncontrollably when the episode has passed?

The father also notes myriad other concerns (e.g., financial consequences) and discounts typical misunderstandings of emotional and behavioral disorders (e.g., they are caused by lack of discipline). It’s a little off the topic of this blog—not about education— but worth the time to read.

Link to the column. (Note that there paper’s editor explains the exception to her paper’s rules about publishing anonymous columns in an accompanying column and that there is accompanying editorial about failures in North Carolina’s system of mental health care.

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