Teresa Karlson

from Cross Junction, VA

I didn't want to share as much as to say "Thank you" for the wonderful story that you told.  My husband and I just listened to "A Mind of Their Own" the other evening.  We both felt it was done very well.  It was wonderful to hear thoughts directly from kids with bipolar disorder. 

Our journey with bipolar disorder began, officially, nine years ago when our oldest son was diagnosed at the age of seven.  I chatted with Martha Hellender when CABF (Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation) was just an Internet support group made up of about 20 of us moms who were desperate to find someone else out there going through some of the same things we were.  There were no television or radio programs talking about childhood bipolar disorder, and one didn't dare speak about with friends, and often even families. 

It is through programs like yours that we have seen so many changes in the right directions in these nine years.  The stigma is getting smaller.  I look forward to a day when there is no stigma involved with the term bipolar disorder, when such a disorder is seen as any other medical disorder.  Life will be much easier for my two bipolar boys then. 

I am happy to say that our boys are doing well.  With more and more medications available to them, they have both found a "medication combo" that works.  They have been pretty stable for about two years now.  They have grown up knowing that they will have to take medication throughout their whole lives.  Hopefully, that will help them when they reach adulthood and can decide when and if they will take their medication.  In the meantime, it helps them to know that there are other kids out there willing to talk about their illness, and that each time someone talks about it, it helps someone else.

Thank you for sharing these three families' stories with us, and those around us.  Thank you for helping my boys have an easier future.

Looking back, what could have been done at the time to improve the situation? Treatment, medication, a different approach, or understanding from others around you?

More public acknowledgement of bipolar disorder

Back to listener stories

©2018 American Public Media