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5 Things That Make My Bipolar Son Happy

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My bipolar son is a happy kid. He is loving, kindhearted, compassionate and good. After many of Sam’s manic episodes, he expresses how bad it felt or how he really did not mean to say or do the things he did.  We know he means it.

• What is Bipolar disorder?

As much as possible, we try to expose Sam to the things that bring him joy and contentment in order to potentially limit the amount of stress and anxiety he experiences.

Here are the top five things that bring my son the most happiness:

1. Sports

This kid can tell you just about anything you want to know about any NBA or NFL player. He has been throwing, kicking and shooting all kinds of balls since he was 2. Nothing brings him more joy than participating in sports!

2. Supportive Adults

Sam’s teachers, therapists, daycare providers and doctors have been lifesavers for him and our family. All have gone above and beyond to show him they care. I often say Sam is the most intuitive person I know. He can read someone very well and knows right away if that person is “on his side.” He is lucky to have an entire sideline of supporters!

3. Friends

This one is tricky because peer relationships are hard for Sam. He has never had that one really good friend and tends to bop around from person to person. It is hard for him to productively articulate when he is done with an activity or playing altogether. At any rate, soccer teammates, neighbors and school buddies are so important to him.

4. Family

Sam has a loving and supportive family beyond our immediate one. His grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and even their friends have all adjusted their lives and expectations to support Sam. He may not know it now, but his family has moved mountains to show him unconditional love.

5. School/Learning

Sam loves to learn and has always felt comfortable at school. The structure of the day and the ability to take in information make him feel in control and productive.

While I can’t control my son’s brain, I can control his exposure to things, activities and people who love and care about him.

What do you do to help your child function at their best and keep your family moving on track as smoothly as possible?

Follow this journey at

Editor’s note: This story has been published with permission from the author’s son.

Getty image by matimix

Originally published: January 20, 2018
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