If my mom knew I was writing this she would say not to talk about this or even think about these things. But how can I not? If my worst fears came true would it be easier had I been prepared? I don't know. What do you think?
1. Suicide: One in five people with bipolar disorder will commit suicide. An even higher number for those who try but don't succeed. Bipolar disorder has a higher death rate than some forms of cancer.
2. Hospitalization: When it happens, if it happens, I will be heartbroken. I understand it's temporary. I understand it saves kids lives. I understand a child can get healthy faster. But it will still kill me a little bit inside to do it.
3. Schizophrenia: Taz's biological family is riddled with schizophrenia. It's not a death sentence but if you saw the recent episode of 20/20 with Jani and Becca, you know it's scary, and so so sad. Even Jani's dad would tell you it's a devastating disease. Is bipolar the lesser of two evils? Yup. At least in my mind.
4. Baby Chica: I have two fears for her. One, she will be traumatized from living with an older sibling with bipolar disorder. That she feels like she will always be secondary to his illness. And two, she will start to show signs of bipolar or schizophrenia. Because, see, Taz and Chica are half siblings, they have the same birth mother. Chica has a 50% chance of inheriting a mental illness. We are hoping she wins the genetic lottery and stays healthy. So far she is the most typical 1 year old I know. But, this is terrible to say, DH and I will always be watching and holding our breaths.
5. Substance Abuse: When Taz turns 18, I have no control over him or what he does. He can choose to take medication or not. He can choose to go to therapy or not. He can choose to go to the hospital or get help if he's feeling unsafe or not. He can choose to self-medicate with substances. I live in a city with a very high population of drug abusers and dealers. Many substance abusers have a mental illness, be it depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar, OCD, or schizophrenia. I see them all the time walking on the street talking to themselves. That's what I'm afraid either of my kids will become.
So I've been open and honest with you. What are your worst fears?