I wish people could see the real person inside my daughter as I do. The mere fact that she cannot help her moods at times is very upsetting. I would do anything I can possibly do to help her cope through this maze called life!
My daughter's name is Christal Jaylene. She is 13 years old, with long, strawberry-blonde hair, big, liquid brown eyes fringed with incredibly-long red-gold lashes, freckles dancing across her nose and cheeks (and also up and down her arms and shoulders), and a playful smile ... that is, when she is happy. When she is sad or angry, her eyes blaze daggers, and her smile turns into an ugly, menacing frown.
My daughter is like any other thirteen-year-old: she loves to yak on the phone with her girlfriends, play games or go to www.facebook.com on the computer (there or www.youtube.com), hang out at the mall or at sporting events with her little firiends, read horror, zombie, or mystery books, check out the latest in fashion or celebrity gossip, and go to rock concerts. She is a very active girl.
On some days, however, it is all she can do to crawl out of bed, or else she has violent mood swings that completely alter her way of thinking. She does or says things that are totally uncharacteristic of even herself. Then poeple get angry or turn away from her, and then sometimes Christal wonders why she doesn't have any friends or the support she (and I) feel she needs.
Christal is a normal, well-rounded adolescent girl in every way, except one: she is manic-depressive (bi-polar). She can be very sweet and loving most days, yet on days where she is off her medications, she turns mean, extremely depressed, and at times violent, especially when she gets angry. Whenever she is like this, we have to take her to her psychologist; if it's really bad, we have her admitted to the mental hospital in our area where doctors who are trained in pediatric mental disorders can hopefully work with her and/or get her straightened around.
Christal claims that the medications turn her into a zombie ("zombo" as she calls it); she does not like how they make her feel; if she could, she would rather not take it, but she knows she has to in order to keep her bi-polar to a dull roar and to where she will be able to function in society. Without her medication is akin to living with a ticking time bomb: one never knows when she is going to snap and/or go off on you.
Bi-polar illness is such a scary condition because you neve know what kind of mood Christal will be in until she wakes up.
Christal is our only child. I wish we had another child, one that didn't have to carry such a heavy burden. It would make our lives so much easier! I wish we could take her bi-polar away; while I know this isn't possible, it would be a lot easier if people understood what her condition entailed and stop treating her (and us) like a pariah!