What I Wish I Knew About Raising a Child With Mental Health Challenges

Last Updated: 6 Sep 2018

As a parent looking back to the years of raising a child/teen with either bipolar, ADHD or anxiety, the following tips would’ve been helpful to know:

raising a child with bipolar

That education is essential

Many parents looking back wish they had been more informed to the minutiae and particular symptoms of their child’s mental health challenges. Instead of just looking at a handout from the health care practitioner, it pays to learn everything and anything possible about the symptoms, current treatments etc. There are so many books, online sources and groups to educate oneself nowadays.

That it’s important to speak up

While trusting in the professionals is wise, there are times when it’s vital parents speak up, either to their child’s school or psychiatrist. No one knows a child better than his parent, so if there is something that is off, it’s necessary to insist someone listens. There will be many times when you will have to intervene and advocate on behalf of your child.

That self-care is critical!

Look after yourself! Easy to say, but it truly is essential to follow this important piece of advice. Sleep is at the top of the list (which should apply to the entire family), because without sleep, no one is any good to anyone else. Also, surround yourself with positive good friends who really understand and accept you. And, as one parent advises: “Keep as much of your own life and dreams as you can and don’t let [what you’re dealing with] take over your life.”

That a support group is valuable

Remembering you’re not alone is extremely important. Consider the value of being connected on social media with anything and everything to do with your child’s mental health challenges. You can learn so much. Sometimes being able to share your story with others who are going through the same thing is very cathartic. Says one parent: “Utilizing a community of care and resources is a key factor in how I survived the ups and downs of caring for my son.”



  1. my step daughter is bi polar her father is a PHD and has difficulty admitting there is again thing wrong. she is destroying our lives. i dont know what to do anymore? she is continously getting one job after another …when she gets the knew job no matter what it is she will be runnning the company in weeks then the crash within 6 weeks she quits …and the cycle begins…..honestly this constant cycle leaves me saying why am i here……he has no time anymore for us just his daughter im tired need help

  2. Our daughter has bipolar disorder this is our first year to realise how hard to take good care this kind of illness.everyday our heart and mind focus on her in the morning looking in to her eyes if she in good condition or in the mood and asking do you sleep well. We bond in cooking,reading dictionary,listening to the radio and take nap after that eat snack and talk how’s she feel right now.that’s our routine everyday. In one week we go out shopping.

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