n African Journal of Psychiatry - Children with bipolar parents : The South African Depression and Anxiety Group - patients as partners




Paul Tannenbaum* won't forget the scene. His mother's voice is too loud and shrill for his then small ears. She is arguing with his father over money again. She breaks the kitchen window by throwing a bowl through it. She is uncontrollably angry. He could not be more than eight years old and yet he is a bundle of nerves, suffering from chronic anxiety, although he can't understand those feelings yet. This is not the first time he has witnessed her utter destructiveness. He also knows that her anger will turn to depression, but that intensely happy times come around too. Her unsettling unpredictability and severe mood swings were finally given a name by a psychiatrist : Bipolar Mood Disorder.


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