Wednesday, May 25, 2011

419. All Children Are Bipolar

Bipolar (bi-pol’er) adj. definition:

"A mood disorder also called manic-depressive illness or manic-depression that characteristically involves cycles of depression and elation or mania.

"The mood deviations from high to low and back again are typically abrupt, dramatic, and rapid; but, they can also be gradual and slow, with intervals of seemingly normal moods. The symptoms of both the depressive and manic cycles can be severe, and often lead to impaired functioning.

"Both phases of the ailment are dangerous. Mania affects thinking, judgment, and social behavior in ways that may cause serious problems and embarrassment. For example, unwise financial decisions may be made when an individual is in a manic phase. Depression can also affect thinking, judgment, and social behavior in ways that may cause grave problems. For example, it elevates the risk of self-inflicted injuries, either intentional or accidental."

After reading the definition of bipolarism, I realized that not only are my children bipolar, but all children in the entire world are bipolar, too.

After doing further Internet research, I uncovered even more evidence to support my theory:

"Depression might be identified by:

• Sleeping much more than usual
• Being tired all the time but unable to sleep
• Having bouts of uncontrollable crying
• Becoming entirely uninterested in things you once enjoyed
• Becoming unable to make simple decisions
• Paying no attention to daily responsibilities

"Mania might include:

• Feeling like you can do anything, even something unsafe or illegal
• Needing very little sleep, yet never feeling tired
• Dressing flamboyantly, spending money extravagantly, living recklessly
• Indulging in high-risk behaviors
• Experiencing delusions
• Feeling filled with energy
• Causing embarrassment to self and others"

My children (and all the children in the world) clearly fit these clinical descriptions in all areas.

Children are over-tired yet won’t go to sleep. Then they pass out for twelve hours.  They have frequent bouts of uncontrollable crying (usually involving a stolen Pokemon card, or their favorite TV show being turned off at dinner time). They become uninterested in things they used to really enjoy, such as building towers out of blocks (“Blocks are for babies, Mom, you should give those away!”). They are unable to make a simple decision between orange juice or milk. They ignore their daily responsibilities by refusing to clear the table or put their dirty clothes in the hamper. Yep, all the classic signs of depression.

Next, I looked at the mania list.

Children feel like they can do anything, even unsafe things like climbing tall trees or six-foot brick walls (while they laugh at you when you beg them to get down). They wake up one hundred times a night, and miraculously do not seem tired (“MOMMY, I WANT TO PLAY DRUMS RIGHT NOW!”). They dress flamboyantly in red plaid shorts with an orange-striped shirt, and they make bad financial decisions by foolishly spending their entire allowance on a crate of Doritos and silly bands. They indulge in high-risk behaviors, such as trying to stand on top of two soccer balls stacked together without falling (“I saw this guy on TV do it, Mom!”).

They suffer from delusions (“I already did all my homework.”). They are filled with energy, even as they drain the energy from innocent bystanders (sweet people like parents and teachers and shop-keepers). They cause embarrassment as they knock over displays of cat food stacked precariously high at the local grocery store, or as they shriek loudly at Starbucks while the beleaguered parent simply tries to purchase her quadruple grande latte to get her through the day. Looks like mania is covered, too.

I never knew that I was signing on for this. Babies always looked cute in the diaper ads, and even messy toddlers looked appealing when I would catch glimpses of them at the airport or in Nordstrom’s. No one told me I would someday be living with two bipolar people under four feet tall, and not only that, I would cheerfully cater to their every bizarre whim.

What can I say? I’m a mom.



  1. My husband says that too! I always laugh, but now that you listed it out...hmm....LOL.

    My toddler thinks he doesn't need to sleep, and I dread 5:00pm everyday because he and his brother turn into wild banshees.

  2. Taylor--
    See? Once it is listed out in black and white, they surprisingly meet every single one of the criteria. Or not surprisingly. =O

    ps--and 5 PM is definitely the time a bottle of wine is being opened at my house

  3. oh goodness, this is so true. in some ways i can't wait for the Pie to grow up a little (sleeping better! playing and coloring on her own! eating without smearing food all over herself, me and the house!) but as the years go on, i imagine the bi-polar tendencies will come bubbling to the top. oy.

  4. You are too funny!!! I seriously laughed out loud at this one!

    You slay me!


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