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how does bipolar disorder affect parenting/marriage?

I am a single mother of a 3 month old whose father is bipolar and possibly borderline schizophrenic. He and I are currently separated (living 12 hours apart) He is seeing a couple doctors and really wants to work things out and get back together. His family also wants for this to happen.
I only want what is best for my daughter.
Does anyone have experience with this disease? If I do decide to raise her on my own, how do I explain to him that his bipolar disorder could possibly have a negative effect on our child?

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Asked by Kylies_mommy72 at 4:42 PM on May. 20, 2009 in Relationships

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Answers (10)
  • Well, before making any decision about being with him, i would make sure that he is getting the help he needs for his conditions. Of course as humans we can't help getting these things but we can control them with medical attention. I don't have any experience being in a relationship with someone like that but i do know if he's not being treated, it could be very dangerous. If he doesn't get the help he needs, i wouldn't get back with him, and just explain that he must get ahold of his condition before returning into the family situation. Just my opinion... good luck

    Answer by princessj05 at 4:50 PM on May. 20, 2009

  • I agree with ex was bipolar and he would quit his meds when he was feeling fine. Then 6 months later he bought a $200 ficus tree (like in the mall) for his "man room" aka the garage. We needed the money for electric, but he was always about impulses. he had other problems with alcohol on top of the bipolar but it was so hard. he would be great for a long while and take our dd crawdad fishing and go t the park. ten 2 days later she would jump on the bed begging him to wake up and he would stare through her like she didn't exist and stay in bed for days!!

    Answer by ria7 at 4:53 PM on May. 20, 2009

  • My brother is bi polar, and restless with relationship issues all the time. He doesn't have any children but desperately wants to find the "one" and have kids someday. He has euphoric highs, where it is almost like being on a drug, when he is like that, he is the best, most wonderful individual you would ever want to know, but then comes the manic lows. He becomes severely depressed, irrational, frantic, and damn near out of his mind. He is just bi polar mind you, he doesn't have schizophrenia, which is a whole different thing. I think that if you were just dealing with the bi polar disorder you might be able to work things out. You would have to be tolerant and patient, and extremely forgiving. That is best case scenario. With schizophrenia, and I have known several, they are paranoid, and can even make up scenarios that individuals are out to get them or kill them. i,e. family members, neighbors, children.

    Answer by 2-1CavWife at 4:54 PM on May. 20, 2009

  • If it were me, I do not think I would be able to subject my children to that kind of irregularity in their lives. Not to say they can't have a relationship with their father, but they need constant support and love, and something that I don't think someone with those particular medical conditions can give. That is just my opinion. You need to do what is the best thing for you and your children, regardless of what anyone says on here. We don't have to live your life or raise your kids. I wish you all the best in your decision.

    Answer by 2-1CavWife at 4:56 PM on May. 20, 2009

  • He is level Three Bi-polar and Cycles polly what-8-12 times a day Im guessing?
    I am an expert on the issue if you would like to talk PM me-
    I will say this though-
    The effects that will cause the most hard is- Spending,Keeping a job, and getting to angry with crying baby-
    Medication is a must- if he misses even ONE day, he could be messed up for weeks

    Answer by judith_visco at 4:59 PM on May. 20, 2009

  • My father is bi-polar and for a little while it was a pretty hard thing to witness as a child but once my father started taking his meds the way he was suppost to and continued with counseling he has been a very positive person and an important person in my life. I'm 24 now and he is still bipolar but hasn't had any problems, the meds have him balanced and I would hate to not have a relationship with him.
    Do some research and maybe speak with a counselor (sp?) but in my opinion I don't think it's fair to your child to keep her from her dad because he has a disease - especially if he is willing to make things right with it.

    Answer by feelgoodinc at 5:02 PM on May. 20, 2009

  • Ohhh. I don't mean to be callous but I'm afraid, I'd just let this go. Explain down the road to your child but the highs and lows and the constant staying on meds (which they often dislike) and everthing everyone has mentioned, I'm not sure love is enough. Of course he needs treatment and if you love him, consider it but if it's just for your daughter, I wouldn't do it. I have a best friend in your shoes and they have suffered repeatedly since her husband's diagnosis, right after the wed. I know she is sorry she stayed.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:06 PM on May. 20, 2009

  • I'm actually a bi-polar mom (with some anxiety and OCD thrown in for good measure) and I do take offense to a couple of posters stating that just b/c you have those illnesses you can't be a good parent. I'm a fantastic mom (and not JMO, lots of peoples!)

    It boils down to a few key things...If he is severe enough to need meds. Some people function w/o them using behavior modification therapy. But he he gets on meds, he may need time to balance out and find the right combination of meds. The same meds don't always work for everyone. If you can BOTH commit to treating the illnesses. He can't just do it on his own. He will need your support and help and understanding about his thought processes. Communication is key!


    Answer by ozarkgirl3 at 5:44 PM on May. 20, 2009

  • Also, with his diagnosis, you also need to realize that your daughter could have inherited the same illness. Usually they don't show up until the teen years, but it might be benefical to have him around to help her cope if she has the same problems.

    Its a very hard diagnosis to understand and it affects people differently. I suggest working with him and his doctors to help you better understand what he is going through and that there will not be a Quick Fix. Its definitly an everyday process.

    My DH was very open to understanding my process and he knows my 'quirks', he can tell when I'm cycling, he can talk me through either side of the cycle and recognizes when I need a break from the kids. This allows him and I to work together to thrive as a happy family.

    My kids are well behaved, healthy, and intelligent. I hold down a professional career and I'm actually the one in control of the finances. Its all about teamwork

    Answer by ozarkgirl3 at 5:49 PM on May. 20, 2009

  • "you also need to realize that your daughter could have inherited the same illness."

    I was going to say the same thing. Even if you don't work things out with him, there may be a day when your daughter needs him because she may have it also. Don't eliminate him because of his illness and don't be a fool to think everything is caused by his illness either. There are many people that use their "illness label" as a crutch.


    Answer by legalmommy101 at 6:51 PM on May. 20, 2009

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