Saturday, March 20, 2010

My Worst Fears

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?


  1. Fear: That my brother will try to kill himself again. He does not have bipolar disorder. But it will always be in the back of my mind. Forever.

  2. I have been wanting to write about this very thing, I agree that most people would respond with "Oh, don't think about that!" But the reality is that we have to. My son still doesn't have a diagnosis other than "mood disorder", but one of my greatest fears is suicide, and prison. They both seem like a possibility.

    - MamaBear

  3. I had posted a comment earlier, but its gone. Anyways, I have to say I'm a bit jealous of your knowledge. I know absolutely nothing about the biological background of my children. So, everything is a question. Blessing or curse to have the knowledge? I think either way, the unknown is always hard. I always worry when my son has one of his "fits". Is it normal 6 year old behavior, is it post orphanage, or is it????? The unknown--can be an ugly thing.

  4. J, I have read the Holland poem, but I wasn't aware there was a book. I'll have to look that one up. I think we are in the same boat. Aren't sure what to say and aren't sure of the future of our children. Makes it harder. Even "down's syndrome" would be easier to explain... God hasn't made it easy for us, no doubt. But, He didn't really have it easy himself I guess... In years we'll be pros, right? =)

  5. J you might want to look into the studies done on using Niacin supplements for Schizophrenia prevention. it would be worth investigating with Taz's family history.

  6. My worst fears? That someone will hurt my daughters or try to kidnap them.

  7. I think it is the best thing in the world that you talk about this. Bipolar disorder does not need to be a family secret, it needs to out in the open for everyone involved. Is it easier if you are prepared for some things? Yes..but it doesn't make it any easier when you do have to hospitalize your child. Heartbreaking.....YES, but the results out weigh the heartbreak.

  8. That all 3 of my children will have BP. My husband has it and is the bio dad to 2 of my kids. They are dx adhd for now, and my adopted daughter is 6, she was just dx.