My mother once told me that I went through a "personality change" at three years old. I had been a very active, outgoing, even domineering child; suddenly I became dreamy, slow-moving and introspective.

I continued to cycle back and forth during my life, at times leading the neighborhood in starting a science club or inventing wargames, at other times "wandering about with my head in the clouds." My mother was extremely frustrated with me. so were most adults. "You can do so much when you try!"

But I was always trying. I had no idea why sometimes everything I did worked, and sometimes I couldn't think for the life of me.

Wild Horses

I had a strawberry mare with birthmarks,
a pitch-black horse with a temper,
wise white stallions, bright-eyed palominos
blue winged unicorns with silver hooves.
Sometimes they ran in daylight.
All my friends could see them.
We pranced and played.
But whenever the fog rolled in they ran away.
Friends and horses both left me alone
in the cave where I stayed lost
two steps from the door.
It was always the palomino who came back first,
sun leading me out to run the green meadows again.
Palomino with the white mane, coat glowing gold
over her night-dark skin.

Family History

Bipolar Child


Happy Hypomania

Emotional Olympics

The Geographical Cure





Who the Hell Am I?

It Does Get Better

Everyone has ups and downs, and even more of them during childhood. Not every child who is active one day and dreamy the next is bipolar. On the other hand, the assumption that onset of bipolar disorder can never occur in early childhood may be leaving other children in the frustrated torment I experienced. Don't rule it out. If your child seems to be "performing erratically," "not living up to his potential" or "sabotaging herself," insist your doctor evaluate for any possible physical reason, including mood disorder.
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© Anitra L. Freeman 22 July 2001