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"Each of us must come to care about everyone else's children. We must recognize that the well being of our own children is intimately linked to the well being of all other people's children. After all, when one of our children needs life-saving surgery, someone else's child will perform it. When one of our children is harmed by violence, someone else's child will commit it. The good life for our own children can be secured only if it is also secured for all other people's children. But to work for the well being of all children is not just a practical matter-- it is also right!" - Lilian G. Katz, Phd.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Dear Bipolar Disorder,

So today, I run across this: | Ransom Notes Campaign: "'Ransom Notes' may be shocking to some, but so are the statistics: suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people ages 15 to 24, and serious emotional problems affect one out of 10 young people, most of whom do not get help. The strong response to this campaign is evidence that our approach is working. We acknowledge the challenges faced by individuals with these disorders and their families. We hope to both generate a national dialogue that will end the stigma surrounding childhood psychiatric disorders and advance the science, giving children the help they need and deserve. We want this campaign to be a wake up call. Please join the dialogue."

It is a wake up call. It made me angry, and think. There is not a note for Bipolar, but here is Depression's:

We have taken your son. We have imprisoned him in a maze of darkness with no hope of ever getting out. Do nothing and see what happens.
- Depression
There are notes for ADHD, Asperger Syndrome, Autism, Bulimia, and OCD as well.

Anger point 1,
There is more to a child with emotional disabilities than their disability.
Anger point 2,
As Chris put it, "Tacky and overly negative".
Anger point 3,
Very gendered

This is a very ill-conceived campaign that reduces children to their diagnosis and conveys no hope for their situation, as well as not acknowledging there are positive experiences in the journeys children take as well.

My response to the non-existent Bipolar Disorder with Psychosis ransom note.

Dear Bipolar Disorder,

While I admit at times you scare me, wear me out, and I frequently want to 'make you go away', you are an inherent part of my son. Therefore, I also accept you. I do have to advise you, however, that you are not holding my son hostage with no hope. In fact, similar to his asthma, renal, and gastric disorders, you are just something that is dealt with on our way to our real goal: living life to the fullest. There is darkness and light in life, and you are present for both.
However, I am not responsible for releasing him, instead I, and the many others who are there, are only responsible for giving him the tools he needs to conquer those areas that limit him. I will help him through the challenging parts, but what he learns negotiating the maze will help him navigate the rest of his life. He is not doing this journey alone and he is not doing it without hope.
So, on behalf of our family, STFU.
That is all.
- Krista Long
h/t to MOM-NOS for the heads up.