#99: The influence of family dynamics

marriage parenting recovery Feb 18, 2021
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Do you ever catch yourself blaming a member of your family, or the general family culture you were brought up in as a reason for your shortcomings and limitations? Does it seem like you’ve been dealt a disadvantage that others could never fully comprehend?

Having a mental health diagnosis like bipolar disorder tends to be an isolated experience until you get into therapy. Up until that point, it’s mostly about you and your symptoms and what YOU can do to prevent future episodes from spiraling out of control. Clinically, there is virtually no attention paid to your home environment or what you’ve gone through in your pre-adult life until you start to search for answers.

Fortunately for us, life is full of new beginnings. And old grievances can be forgiven. Matt joins Mike on today’s episode of The Bipolar Now Podcast to encourage us that a better life can be built. Even with the challenges and pressures of family. Don’t miss it!


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  • Bipolar disorder is a complex mental illness, and researchers are continually discovering new genetic markers for predispositions for diagnosis, though this is not entirely a matter of your genes. But oftentimes there is a family link, such as a parent or a grandparent having symptoms.


  • Parents are often blamed for the lack of stability in the home when a child grows into adulthood and has to face a bipolar diagnosis. But blaming others is neither healthy or productive when treating this chronic illness. 


  • True recovery with bipolar disorder begins when you “own” your diagnosis and take major strides in learning how to manage it properly. Life doesn’t need to be limited to whatever wounds you received as a child. Continually making mental health your number one priority sets you on a new and exciting path!


Lifer Discussion Guide

Use the questions in today’s Lifer Guide to assist you over any hurdles you may have to clear as you address your mental health. These are special conversations!

“Lifers” are people who have unwavering faithfulness. This assures you that they’ll stick by you through all the highs and lows that are normal for a life with mental health challenges. If you haven’t nominated a lifelong family member or friend as part of your non-medical support team, what are you waiting for? :-)


The Questions

1) On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your childhood in terms of turbulence and instability? / 10 would be complete chaos and instability.

2) What about your home life would you want to change if you had to go back and live your childhood all over again?

3) Do you hold your parents responsible for who you are today? / How much of that is actually holding you back?

4) What are your family plans and dreams for the future?


Join the Tribe!

Once you’ve had a chance to talk or journal about these things you might have a question from this episode. If so, make sure you head on over to The Bipolar Now Podcast Group on Facebook! There’s quite a few people over there who are also taking a new step in their mental health. And we’d love for you to share your story with us when you’re ready. So don’t miss out!