This Is What It’s Like to Mom With Bipolar Disorder

Mariah Carey recently revealed that she is battling bipolar II disorder, saying she will not let it define or control her. One mom who shares her diagnosis explains what it’s like to parent with bipolar disorder—some days are much harder than others.

Mariah Carey and Kids on Premiere Carpet

“Why are you crying,” my daughter asks—and for good reason. The sun is shining. The birds are chirping, and Jack Skellington is dancing across our TV.

He is singing songs about Christmas and Halloween.

Of course, I answer in the only way I know how: “I don’t know, baby. I don’t know.” Because I don’t. Not really. The tears caught me—as they often do—unaware and off guard. But deep down, I do know: I am cycling again.

I am slipping into another depressive episode.

You see, I am one of 5.7 million Americans who struggle with an illness (a mental illness) known as bipolar disorder, and while most days are good, some days are dark.

They are filled with manic highs and paralyzing lows, and today is one of “those days.”

I am drowning in the darkness, swallowed by sadness, solemness, moroseness, anguish, and despair.

Of course, it is on these days—my depressive days—that I find it hardest to parent. Thinking hurts. Breathing hurts. Being hurts, and parenting? It is a task I am not up to. I can barely care for myself, let alone another. So, on these days, I plop my daughter—my beautiful baby girl—in front of the television and let Sofia The First (and company) take the place of me while I sleep on the couch. While I cry on the couch. While I do everything I can to hold it together, on the couch. And then, when my husband gets home, I abandon all pretense and head to bed, where I sleep for hours.This Is What It’s Like to Mom With Bipolar Disorder


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