My 16 Year Old Nephew Just Lost His Battle with Bipolar

At my nephew’s viewing. Because of Covid, only 10 of us were allowed at his funeral.

My nephew, Christian.

“They found his body,” were the words my husband told me. I dropped to my knees screaming. Words cannot express the utter sadness I felt when I received the news that my nephew, Christian, died of bipolar by way of suicide. I believe it is important to say that he “died of bipolar” and not he “committed suicide” because that implies he did something that was in his control. Bipolar had taken over his mind. I know, because I have been in the suicidal mindset myself and by the grace of God I was able to receive the medication I needed to get me out of my bipolar depression. Unfortunately, my nephew was not as lucky.

I could go on and on about how incredible my nephew was; brilliant, handsome, athletic, kind, infectious smile. But the reality is none of that mattered in the end because he was sick. He needed help. Why is it so dang hard for those of us with mental illness to find and receive help? We always say, reach out for help, but when we do it seems like not much happens. It took me two years of suicidal ideation to finally get the medication I needed. My nephew reached out multiple times, he even stayed at a psychiatric hospital. Nothing was helping him. When coronavirus hit and social distancing had him quarantined in his home without social interaction it took his mental illness from not good to uncontrollable.

I miss him. I miss him so much.

Please check on your loved ones, especially during this time of the pandemic. There is more than just the pandemic of the coronavirus happening, so many are suffering with their mental health as a result.

If you are suffering from a mental illness, please, please, PLEASE continue to reach out for help. You will feel better, these tough times will pass, you just have to give us time to help you.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255 should you or a loved one need to talk. If you feel it is an emergency, please go to your nearest emergency room. Let them help you. Please.

I love you.

If you wish to donate to Christian’s GoFundMe here is his link.

16 thoughts on “My 16 Year Old Nephew Just Lost His Battle with Bipolar

  1. Your pain hurts so very, very much. I am so very sorry to hear this terribly sad news. ❤️🙏🏻❤️😢😢😢

  2. I am so so sorry for you & your family’s loss Mary. There are many painful and awful things in this world that are just inexplicable – the suffering from mental illness like bipolar included. I’m truly grieved by the loss of this wonderful boy with a big heart, who truly fought hard.

    I cannot wait till God wipes away every tear, and there is absolutely no more death, mourning, or pain. Until then, God mourns with you. I pray that He will bring a deep comfort in your heart and give you the strength and endurance to keep the faith and keep doing the good work you’ve been doing.

    1. Thank you so much for your remarkably kind words. I have seen God’s love, mercy, compassion, and comfort through all of this. I really appreciate you taking the time to write these words to me. God bless!!♥️♥️♥️ Hope you are well.💚

  3. My heart breaks for you and your family’s loss.

    I just came to your blog today after finding the story about you and your husband and I was shaken a bit to find this posted. After many years I’ve just finally received a bipolar diagnosis and have started taking lithium as a mood stabilizer. My wife and I are fighting to stay married despite the scar tissue of the past. Wanted to let you know I appreciate you and find particular hope in seeing that you and your husband were able to make it work somehow. I love my wife and two boys, but it is so hard, so hard and things are so raw between us. I also understand how dark suicidal thoughts can consume . . . it is only because I decided not to act on them and that I cared to much about how much I knew it would hurt those I cared about that kept me from going down the same path as your nephew during my darker days. Having seen the devastation that resulted when a coworker (who incidentally also had bipolar disorder) I think also helped solidify in my mind the importance of deciding not to act on those thoughts and waiting them out until they pass . . . also struggling long enough with the illness to have the knowledge that the blackness does pass if you wait . . . getting up the next morning can bring a better mood. Had I been Christian’s age, I don’t know how I would have endured what I now understand to be bipolar major depressive episodes. My illness has certainly given me an understanding of how someone can be that miserable to take their own life.

    But it doesn’t make the gut wrenching grief go away. I don’t know you at all, but I’m weeping for you and your family as I listened to your post about Christian. I’m so sorry for your loss and I’m sorry that my words are incapable of bringing any kind of real comfort. Just know that I too have this Bipolar stuff and it does suck so much and I appreciate the effort you are making to help people like me and Christian live as normal and fulfilling lives as possible. Sorry if I rambled on. Praying that the God of all comfort will bring comfort and peace to you and your family.

    Psalm 34:18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

    1. I just finished watching “Chemical Hearts”. Generally speaking, it’s about teens’ struggles, especially with grief. Perhaps this story is another tool in the toolbox for people like Christian?
      Condolences to your family.

  4. Mary, I am so sorry for your loss of your nephew. My heart aches for you and all.
    I pray God gives you peace, mercy and kindness through your pain. My heart just breaks as I’m going through the same thing with my 32 year old son.
    I know about this because my son is now in the hospital for being bipolar (manic), but now I believe he is now classified as schiozophrenic.
    Years and years of his episodes and as parents we don’t know what to do. He is now 32 and he’s never had a perfect mix (cocktail) and he won’t take his meds. I pray to God that some day I have my son back. When he’s good on a good day that’s amazing! Those days are getting to be less and less. He’s hard to understand and I think if you would only state on the meds you would have a better life. That gets old and hard to help him when he won’t help himself. We’ve seen him through this for years. We have two wonderful granddaughters that don’t get to see him and miss their Daddy. Long story I won’t go into.
    So I live on and pray that he only gets better, not just surviving, but talking to people about what he feels, whether it’s a therapist or us.
    Mental illness is very depressing and what you and your family have is so precious. I am
    happy for you, but at the same time sad for you in your loss of your nephew.
    My son has tried to take his life before, so I know your heart.
    May God give you strength in this. Sleep well Christian with the angels in heaven. Juanita

  5. Hi Mary,

    Please read my comment. My heart breaks for you and your family. My son is 13 with bipolar and has had instances of self harm and wanting to die. COVID made everything worse. Now with virtual school and barely any structure or social interactions, he isolates in his room all day. We can’t really be too harsh on him or parent him the way we want to in fear of him hurting himself.

    The kicker is, I just found out last Dec that I have BP1D. And how did I find out? Well YOU HELPED ME! One night I was in such despair and slight psychosis, uncontrollably crying and wanting to die. I have 2 kids, 11 and 13 and I would never but that feeling of wanting to but can’t is so horrible to bear. Anyway, after being out in my car all night crying my husband had to come to my rescue and jump my car. When I got home, I couldn’t face my family I sat in my car crying and just wondering what was wrong with me because it felt so beyond my control.

    AND THATS WHEN I FOUND YOUR VIDEO! I told my husband to come to my car and watch this video with me. After it was over I said to him, “That’s me right?! I think I’m Bipolar” we both decided that I needed to be brave like Mary and get treatment. I went into a residential but and did IOP. Now I’m still trying to find the right meds to help.

    I am so happy to have found your blog. But am saddened the first post I see is this.

    I worry all the time for my son. And then I kinda put myself on the back burner. I am trying to get family based services so we can get some help that way.

    You are right that getting help that is actually helpful is hard to find. Especially for kids. And now with this pandemic, it compounds the issue. I am so sorry for your loss Mary.

    But THANK YOU for helping me when I needed it the most.

    I am so scared to come out as bipolar and my husband may be slightly ashamed of it? Idk either way I hate living hiding this from everyone I know. I hate that my boss doesn’t know and fear I won’t be able to keep my well paying job and be the stable income my family needs. I could go on and on but I guess I should end this.

    Thanks again Mary. Looking forward to reading about how you are a mom with bipolar, ITS SO HARD!!!!!!!

    1. Nicole,
      I’m not a Mom with BP1, but I am a Dad, just diagnosed in August. I find most people more supportive than I think they will be when I open up to them, but do be judicious about who you tell. Some people just won’t understand. NAMI is an excellent support group if you haven’t plugged into them yet. Hang in there. My kids have trouble understanding my ups and downs, particularly when I struggle with BP anger and yell when I really wouldn’t before I was sick. Depakote is working better for me than Lithium . . . seems to make me less anxious also less wound up inside in general and less struggle with insomnia. The guess work for meds is super frustrating. Take care. I was encouraged by Mary’s youtube post with her husband about how they sustain their marriage through this illness. You should check that out if you haven’t. My wife and I are fighting to stay married and keep our family together. I ain’t going to lie . . . it is tough! Statistics are against bipolar marriages . . . but we haven’t given up yet so you hang in there too. I haven’t seen Mary post on here in awhile. I imagine she is likely still reeling with grief from the loss of her nephew. I think the pros may generally outweigh the cons about sharing some select individuals at work about your BP, perhaps a trusted supervisor or someone in HR. This is particularly true if you think you want to request accommodation such as avoiding shift work that might trigger a manic episode, etc. I’ve also learned a lot from watching the polar warrior and Dr. Tracy Marks also on youtube. Sorry if you already know all of this . . . wanted you to have someone respond to your heartfelt words on here and possibly provide you with some useful info that has helped me so far on my BP journey.
      God bless and cheers,

    1. Talk to me. I see your pain. Fight for your life. Your life is precious. Please go to the ER or psychiatric hospital. They can help.

    2. Steve, man I know this BP shot sucks and when it sucks you do feel like ending it sometimes. The only reason I’m here still is because I just decided not to and I didn’t want to hurt people I cared about. Please take action right now! Go to the ER. Call your Doctor. Call your pastor. Call a friend. Have someone watch you and keep you safe. Call 911 if you have to. Your life is precious. The bipolar lows do not last forever. As miserable as this is. You will go up or even better level out on the right meds. I’m praying for you right now!! Erick Please check in here so we know you are ok.

    3. Steve,

      My heart breaks for you because I’ve felt similar in the past, the hopelessness, hollowness and emptiness in my heart that was so crippling that life wasn’t worth it to continue.

      I don’t know your story but I do know that you have a Creator that cares deeply for you and cares about your pain and worn out heart. I’m praying for you and for His light to shine through during this dark time. I encourage you to reach out to Him in prayer, and be really honest with Him in how you feel and ask for His help and comfort. And I echo Mehri & Erick please get help, go to the ER, call someone you love and can trust, call the suicide hotline: 800-273-8255.

      Though I don’t know you, I care about you and don’t want you to end your life that was created with a purposes. Most of all I know Jesus loves and cares for you too.

  6. Kai and Erick, thank you for showing some much love here. Steve, we care. We all care and are praying. I just emailed you. Keep fighting. Much love to you all.

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