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Bipolar Disorder/BIPOLAR 2 - ADULT DAUGHTER

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Question
My daughter is 23 y/o and has a beautiful baby girl who will be 2 in November. She was misdiagnosed with depression since the age of 9. At the age of 14, she ran away with a man twice her age and was a missing/runaway from the age of 14 - 16. At the age of 16, I had to put her in states custody (temporarily) to get her off the drugs he had her on and get her help. She was abusive and a danger to herself as well as the family. While in states custody, she was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 disorder. She was able to come out, eventually marry and was blessed with my beautiful grand-daughter. My mother passed away 1 year after she had the baby (back in September 2012) and since then, my daughter has never been the same. She left her husband and then regretted it when she couldn't go back to him after she had been with another man to make him mad. She is acting irrational again. She has alienated me out of her life and now has harassment charges pending on me. I have to go to court on August 8th to defend myself. I do not know what to do anymore. Everyone says I am making excuses for her actions. But I know what she is doing and why she is doing this. It's a pattern. Anytime my daughter is unhappy, she lashes out at others or talks about others to try and make herself look better. My son, my nieces, my step-children none of them want anything to do with her. She has alienated herself from so many people. Please help. Please tell me what to do. I feel like I am the one drowning and I just can't turn off my love for my child but I don't know how much longer I can go through this. Thank you!

Answer
There comes a time in every parent-child relationship when the relationship must change from the active parenting role that begins at birth. You are the parent of an adult child now, and I know from seeing my mother go through this with me that the process of separating is difficult, but the end result can be incredible - if anyone had asked me years ago, I would have told them I couldn't imagine my mother and I having the kind of relationship we have now, and that's despite our many differences in personality and views. It's not a matter of turning off the love for your child, because a parent will ALWAYS love their children no matter what they've done or how far down they've gotten themselves into whatever hole they've dug, and regardless of how far off the path in life they've gone. I'd advise you seek some counseling for yourself, and in time there will be an opportunity for you to begin to develop a relationship with your adult daughter - we eventually see how much we need our parents in our lives and how much we want them to be there.  

Bipolar Disorder

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Jennifer

Expertise

I am available to answer questions of a general nature about bipolar disorder, provide online resources that address bipolar disorder in a more in-depth manner and sources to serve as a starting point for those looking for substantial information on the illness from a healthcare professional approach. I am not a doctor or a psychiatrist, my background is based in personal experience and extensive reading in my own process of understanding my diagnosis. I can also take questions that deal with the social issues surrounding bipolar disorder such as relationships; coping for family, friends, and the patient; marriage, choosing to start a family and related. Answers to questions of a legal nature will provide general information but anyone with a serious legal problem should consult an attorney licensed to practice in their jurisdiction.

Experience

I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder type II in 2000; as a SSI beneficiary, have experience and knowledge of the limitations and processes involved with the program; I understand the moods, the feelings, the worries, the doubts, and a lot more that there's not enough room to express - from the personal experiences of being bipolar. I have first-hand experience with the challenges of returning to college following hospitalizations and various combinations of medications that were tried before my doctor and I finally arrived at the most effective medication program for my treatment. My family and I have learned so much about each other in the process of dealing with the highs and lows that followed my diagnosis. I've had relationships with someone who also is bipolar and someone that is not - romantic relationships are no easier on either side! I feel that many of the ideas and beliefs that people have regarding bipolar disorder and those who have the condition promote the continuation of social stigmas associated with mental illness in general, and after learning from others with bipolar disorder, hope to guide others who may be trying to navigate the government health care system,& share information on other possible means of obtaining assistance with the cost of medications and/or mental health services and limited financial assistance programs for meeting basic living expenses for qualified individuals, dealing with problems from or with family & loved ones, co-occurring substance abuse problems, medications and side-effects (and when it feels like nothing will work, or why it's not helping the situation to ask whether or not a patient has taken their 'meds' when they seem hostile or moody to those around them).

Education/Credentials
I have a B.A. in Liberal Arts and will earn my J.D. upon completion of the Spring 2011 term after which I will be preparing to take the multi-state bar exam.

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