Tuesday, July 22, 2003
I'm going to leave the last 2 posts - it effectively illustrates some of the strain and challenges a family faces when something like this comes up. It doesn't just affect the bipolar family member, the entire family changes, and everyone's lives are affected.
It has been a real challenge for me to accept this diagnosis of Kyle's bipolar, and understand the ramifications and challenges it poses for him. All my life, I have taken the stance that there is NOTHING that can't be accomplished through willpower and hard work. If it isn't happening, you just don't want it badly enough. There has been no room in my mind for the possibility that a chemical imbalance could make this attitude impossible. People say, "why don't you knock some sense into him" or "he just needs to get his act together" or "he needs the kind of structure the military offers" or something similar. I am realizing that he is not like most of us. That's not a bad thing, it's not a good thing, it's just the way it is. Things that most of us take for granted are not possible for Kyle. It's not that he isn't trying, or doesn't want it badly enough, or isn't disciplined enough to make it happen. His brain and personality will not allow it.
Are we doing the right thing trying to medicate this out? Would we be better off to help him realize the potential this brings him? Help him harness his personality? The mania - the sheer energy and pure creativity it brings could be a HUGE asset in the right situation, properly understood, worked with, and controlled. As a performer, artist, musician, writer, creative person, or anything else where unbridled creativity and energy would be welcomed he could be a huge success.
Just some thoughts for the day...