Another Bipolar Mother

The hits here have spiked recently, coinciding with the news that Newt Gingrich’s mother has bipolar. For anyone looking for that story, it appeared in ‘The Daily Beast’ at http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/12/22/newt-gingrich-s-bipolar-mother-kit-gingrich-and-his-difficult-childhood.html.

According to the article, not only was his mother bipolar, but his mother divorced his father when he was less than a year old.  He found out about his natural father when he was 15, and confronted him in a traumatic fashion.  His adopted father was tyrannical, distant, and cold.

There are questions about whether Newt Gingrich inherited bipolar from his mother.  He certainly seems to have some signs that might point in that direction – affairs (plural), excessive energy & motivation, grandiose thoughts, risk taking.  But those could also be the result of the environment he was brought up in.

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~ by namegoeshere on January 1, 2012.

8 Responses to “Another Bipolar Mother”

  1. Reading your blog has helped me in more ways than one. My mother is bipolar. As a child we had a very rocky and hard relationship. When I was 17 I moved about three hours away from her our relationship improved. I am now 23 and married, recently my husband and I fell on hard times and were forced to move in with my mother since he has no close family or else we would have been on the streets… having to deal with all the same things as I did when I was a child is tasking, emotionally draining and I find myself spiraling back into depression. Are there any support groups I can join to help myself? My mother refuses to take medication or to get help, its a continuous battle for me to keep my head above water.

  2. my daughter has been diagnoised as bipolor she has three young children i can see the damage she is doing to them.when she is depressed she neglects them when she is manic she does crazy things with them.HELP! what should I do

  3. I just found and started reading your blog. My mother is bipolar and has narcissistic personality disorder. I am 47 and have lived with this all my life. My father passed about 20 yrs. ago and my older brother has not seen or spoken to my mom in at least 10 yrs. That leaves me to deal with her. I have a husband and two children. I desperately needed a life line. Thank you for sharing your story.

  4. I was searching for support when I came upon this site. I am a 44 year old woman with a father who has been bipolar his whole life. I grew up with it and it still continues to affect me to this day. Every few years my father decides he doesnt need his medications and becomes manic. The destructive path that causes is so draining to our family. My wonderful mother has endured a horrible marriage to him of 45 years. As I write this now, he is in a manic state once again. This time he was in a car crash, thankfully it wasnt his fault. However situationally it was. If he wasnt manic he wouldnt have been where he was. He walked away from a rollover accident and was out a few hours later doing god knows what. Trying to bring him to earth through lithium adjustments and new meds is very difficult. While also enduring a lifetime of mental abuse by him. Some stories I have read on here very similiar to mine. I have a wonderful husband and children who have seen too much. I am now starting to reach that point of enough is enough. I think I need to let go of him and protect my mother and my own family. I’m at the point that time after time it sends me into my own anxiety and depression, so I must protect myself now. He is my dad, but really how much can a person take. Am I wrong for feeling this way? I just feel so lost.

  5. Sometimes I bounce between believing my mother has Bipolar or Borderline personality disorder, or maybe both I don’t know. What I do know is that I realized early on that she was CRAZY and unfortunately adapted (which I later used therapy to heal and remove from myself) her *quirks* if you will. I was emotionally rocky with relationships and explosive and violent when engaging in my mothers antics (you mentioned absorbing it through the environment rather than it being passed on genetically, and it’s true, I was taught how to be bipolar in some ways, but not genuinely bipolar by nature.)

    At the age of 21 I started to distance myself and eventually asked/told her to leave me alone permanently. As you can imagine she didn’t go down easily, but she doesn’t know my number or any other contact info, so it’s hard for her to harass me anymore. This has been the best decision of my life. I am so much calmer and every day feels like I’m closer to healing and removing her emotional claws from my mind and heart.

    Your blog has been so interesting to read because I see so much of my mom in your mothers actions. You seem to have the same response as my sister and I though; an almost muted emotionless, more factual than emotional way of portraying it to the world. I wonder if that’s how most children of people like “that” cope with it?

    Anyway,

    Thanks for sharing all of this and having the balls to “out” her by posting her crazy to the world. I wish I would have saved what my mom has said to me so I could do the same.

  6. I too am so grateful for coming across this blog. I really feel a sense of understanding when I read all these comments. My mother is in her late sixties and was only diagnosed with manic depression in the past 4 years but the docs think it dates back to her postpartum when she gave birth to my older sister. Reflecting through my life, her manic behaviour is fairly obvious especially as my sister had her first manic episode in her early 20s. I am a middle child, the true appeaser/negotiator, my older sister is bipolar and my younger brother has a depressive illness as well. I have spent a good deal of time in the past 10 years taking care of my family. My father is a martyr and still is with my mom after 47 yrs of marriage, however his health is failing slowly. I have been a 911 service for my family for the past 5 yrs…and the hardest part has been that whenever my mother has a chance she tells others (specifically my siblings) how I am a liar, am a cleptomaniac and that I have a serious mental illness. Being human, and so exhausted by the mental and physical stress of my family…it is so hard to just say “she is not well” and let her manipulative actions “roll off my back” especially as I am the only child that does anything …..I am trying to set boundaries to contain my own pain, and more recently for the sake of my own health and marriage but it is so hard. I have a good counsellor now but am open to any ideas of how to deal with having a basic relationship with my parents especially for the sake of my dad….and keeping my sanity in the meanwhile.

  7. i am a bipolar mother who lost her daughter to a mva in 1989. i am now 20 years older i have grown an matured and i can look back and see how i cheated my daughter out of the mother she deserved. she is not here to tell her. she woukd forgive me because she loved me in spite of my mental health. i lived through her, she was the only good thing i ever had. what can i do? i hurt so bad. i hurt many people in my life because i was acting out my pain. today i don’t think about who hurt me i think about the people i hurt. i am so sorry . nancy a bipolar mother.

  8. I also am a bipolar mother but I want to share my story to let people know that bipolar illness does not have to destroy a family. I am 50 years old and had my first depressive episode when I was 11. Back then, very little was known or discussed about bipolar illness. Thankfully it only lasted about 3 months. I was fairly normal throughout the rest of school and managed to graduate college. I did not experience another major depressive episode until after the birth of my first child in 1986. Back then post-partum depression was not really widely known and my doctor had no clue how to treat it other than tranquilizers. After about 6 weeks, it finally went away. Then after my second daughter was born, I had another episode and was finally treated with psychiatric medication and I recovered. With my last child I did not have it and I believe this was due to breastfeeding and the natural calming and anti-depressive properties of prolactin. I was a very attentive and loving mother for several years when my kids were young but in 1996 in my mid 30’s, the illness finally hit me permanently and I required continued anti depressants and psychiatric care. After many years of being treated with Prozac, in 2002 it stopped working and my psychiatrist put me on Celexa which put me into such a severe manic episode, I almost destroyed my entire family. I suddenly decided to leave my husband and family and run away to Texas. Since I lived in Illinois and moved out of state during a divorce proceeding, I lost custody temporarily to my husband. This episode landed me in the psych ward of a major hospital in late December of 2003 for attempted suicide. The aftermath of everything I had done (something I would have never even dreamt of doing normally) was as if a tornado had ripped through the fabric of my family and hurt my 3 children very deeply as well as my husband, parents and other extended family. My parents took my children and husband in the day I left. My husband was so distraught he could not function at work nor take care of the kids (11,14, and 16 at the time) There is much more that happened than what I can describe here. I returned to Illinois in early 2004 after being started on a mood stabilizer, Depakote. I spent the next 5 years in the fog of a major depression that doctor after doctor was unable to successfully treat. I remember few details of that time period other than I laid on the couch all day watching TV , crying and wrapped tightly in a blanket . I could barely manage to even bathe and did not even bother with make up. I do not know how my house was cleaned, who prepared meals or what. I missed my older 2 daughters growing up into young women. They both left home at 18. My son was home though and saw everything first hand. I was in and out of out patient treatment, tried multiple cocktails of medications that did not work and was told the only choice left I had was electro-convulsive therapy. By some miracle ( i believe was God) my psychiatrist at the time told me about a new mood stabilizer, Lamictal and was started on it. I immediately began feeling the fog of depression finally begin to lift and after about a year was functioning normally-more normal than I had ever been. I also had to face the reality of what my illness had done to the relationships with my children. They were angry, distant, frightened and total strangers to me at the time. Through many years of conscious effort on my part plus God, our relationships have been fully restored. I am a grandmother of 2 boys and have another granddaughter in July. I have been stable since 2009. My marriage has been restored. My family still suffers from the financial loss from my manic episode (husband not able to work, losing his job of then 15 years, him being in an almost fatal car accident plus many other hardships) but my family has survived. The key is for the bipolar individual to choose to get better and to do everything in their power to do so. Then family members need to get counseling, inform themselves about the illness, and lastly, seek help from God. This has been a long and difficult road repairing what I can and letting go of what I have lost. Bipolar is a lifelong physiological disorder of the brain. The patient does not choose the illness and the reality that they perceive is entirely different and convoluted from normal perception. They live in what best can be described as an ongoing hellish nightmare they cannot awaken themselves from without seeking help and family support.

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