Parents who have bipolar disorder face more increased challenges than those parents who do not have the disorder. As a parent they have to contend with their mood and behavior instability, impulsivity and anger problems, all of which lead to parenting difficulties.
The difficulties for bipolar parents are that dealing with their children often increases the stressors that are likely to contribute to their distress, destabilization, and a possible relapse of their bipolar disorder. Over time the behavior becomes cyclical.
Children of parents who have polar disorder have been found to be at an increased risk of behavioral and emotional disturbance, which compound emotional issues for both themselves and the parent(s) with bipolar disorder.
The University of Manchester’s School of Psychological Sciences is currently conducting a study of bipolar parents and the effectiveness of a positive parenting program called Triple P. The University has had success with the program previously in a study of depressed mothers. One of the main advantages of the Triple P program is that it is cost effective in delivering a quality parenting service to a geographically dispersed group.