Lisa Ricard Claro – Author

Romance is good for your heart!

Battling Bipolar Disorder: Invisible Foe

Posted on Nov 4, 2015 by Lisa Ricard Claro   21 Comments | Posted in The Naked Truth

Once in a while the Universe does us a great favor and brings people into our lives who are destined to be lifelong friends. I’ve been the fortunate recipient of that kind of serendipity a number of times, one of the most recent being my friendship with fellow romance author, Casey Hagen.

Casey and I met through social media, and due to a stroke of good timing and luck found ourselves roomies at the RWA conference in New York this past July. She’s a young whippersnapper compared to me, but being paired with this old bagger didn’t appear to bother Casey or slow her down, and we had a terrific time together. The woman is a force of nature, and I’m privileged to know her. She’s on a mission to drag me kicking and screaming into the world of modern day book marketing. But that’s for another post.

Our down time during the conference was spent mostly jawing about writing and the publishing biz, but we did find time for girl talk, and that included chat about our hubbies and kids. Like most mothers, Casey is proud of all her children, and I learned a little something about each of her offspring as we shared anecdotes and laughed together. And then she shared more detailed information about her teenaged daughter, Bronwyn.

Bronwyn is a beautiful 16-year-old who battles with bipolar disorder and the depressive symptoms that accompany it. As Casey confided in me, my own heart swelled and wept for her, for Bronwyn, and for their family unit. Being a teenager in this day and age is struggle enough without compounding the experience with something as insidious as bipolar disorder. This isn’t a broken leg that will disrupt the family routine for six weeks and then heal. This is a mental health issue that will require constant surveillance and awareness. But Bronwyn is blessed with a supportive family and a fierce lioness of a mother who will guide her to adulthood with an appropriate balance of love, discipline, and care. Bronwyn will face challenges, but she will never face them alone.

A few days ago, Casey asked me to look over a blog post she intended to publish on her website. I’ve been honored to do some editing work on her novels and was pleased to review this piece for her. As a mother, it brought me to tears. But more than that, it increased my respect for her and her daughter. Bronwyn, on the cusp of adulthood, is dealing with more internal struggle daily than most of us face in a lifetime. She is coping, fighting, working to get through one day at a time, constantly at war with an invisible foe. She is strong, so much stronger than she knows.

Please link over to Casey’s post here:

I encourage you to read this and to share. Perhaps it will land in front of someone who faces a similar struggle and who will benefit from it. An added bonus is a poem written by Bronwyn about her struggle. It should be read by adults and school guidance counselors everywhere. The girl does not consider herself a writer. She may have to rethink that position, because I believe the Universe might have other ideas.

Thanks for visiting. See you Friday for Observations from the Tub.


P.S. Link here to read about Project Semicolon:  For those unaware, the semicolon is the point in a sentence where the author might place a period to end the sentence but chooses a semicolon to continue instead. This is a powerful symbol for those stating that the sentence represents their life, and the semicolon is their commitment to continuing their own lives and story.

Romance is good for your heart! To purchase your copy of Love Built to Last in eBook or Print, go to AmazonBarnes & NobleBlack Opal BooksKobo, or AllRomance.

21 Responses to "Battling Bipolar Disorder: Invisible Foe"

  1. Comment by Linda O'Connell
    November 4, 2015 at 8:07 am  

    Thank you for bringing this to us.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 4, 2015 at 5:25 pm  

      A misunderstood issue, for certain. Until meeting Casey, I had no clue what this disorder truly entails.

  2. Comment by Rob
    November 4, 2015 at 8:49 am  

    I’m sending good thoughts their way. Bronywn will be a great poet; great poets have something to say.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 4, 2015 at 5:27 pm  

      Yes. Bronwyn has a strong voice. I’m glad she’s using it.

  3. Comment by Cathy C. Hall
    November 4, 2015 at 9:04 am  

    I know it’s hard to believe but Bronwyn is one of the lucky ones, with a family who loves and supports her with a fierceness (and resources!). So many suffer with mental health issues on their own, the invisible ones indeed.

    Thanks for sharing, Lisa.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 4, 2015 at 5:28 pm  

      So very true, Cathy. Many of our homeless folks suffer from various mental health issues, and so many of them could be helped if they had a good support system. Bronwyn is lucky to have such a supportive family.

  4. Comment by Claudia
    November 4, 2015 at 10:07 am  

    Such a tough, tough disorder. We think life floats merrily along for others, but really we all struggle with something…if only we could realize others’ boats rock as well. Thanks for taking a step in our knowing more about bipolar lives.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 4, 2015 at 5:29 pm  

      You’re so right, Claudia. Everyone has struggles, many of them unseen.

  5. Comment by Debra Mayhew
    November 4, 2015 at 12:07 pm  

    I have a friend who is bi-polar and have seen firsthand how difficult a struggle this is for everyone involved. I don’t know how a person could cope without a support group. I agree with Cathy, it sounds like Bronwyn is surrounded by others who love and support her. Blessings to you for sharing this, and for Casey and her family for continuing to bring awareness to something so many battle daily.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 4, 2015 at 5:30 pm  

      Thanks for your comment, Deb. 🙂

  6. Comment by Pat
    November 4, 2015 at 4:39 pm  

    Such a tough disorder to handle. It’s so frustrating that appropriate treatment can only be found through trial and error. That’s not what we expect from the medical world. My prayers are with this family.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 4, 2015 at 5:31 pm  

      Mine, too. May they find the right combination soon!

  7. Comment by Casey Hagen
    November 4, 2015 at 5:29 pm  

    I’m honored to be your friend, Lisa. Thank you for this post, it’s beautiful! Thank you all for your well wishes, thoughts, and prayers!

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 4, 2015 at 5:34 pm  

      Ditto, my friend. And I was happy to do it and share the link to your soul-baring post. I hope your post and Bronwyn’s poem go viral.

  8. Comment by Sioux
    November 4, 2015 at 11:29 pm  

    Lisa–I suggested to Casey that she convince Bronwyn to collaborate with her mother on a book. An honest book on what it’s like to suffer from biopolar is much needed. Thanks so much for the post and the link.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 6, 2015 at 7:53 am  

      Great idea, Sioux. I hope they run with it.

  9. Comment by Donna Volkenannt
    November 5, 2015 at 3:22 pm  

    This is such an inspiring post, Lisa. You are such a good friend, and Casey is a wonderful mother. Sending warm wishes her way.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 6, 2015 at 7:54 am  

      Thanks, Donna. 🙂

  10. Comment by Theresa Sanders
    November 5, 2015 at 6:30 pm  

    Lisa, thank you so much for sharing Casey and Bronwyn’s story. I wept all the way through this post. I know you know I have twin daughters — one of whom tried to commit suicide in her senior year of high school. Casey’s description of the terrifying nights, counting pills, the call from school, the terrible midday drive to the ER (she was taken by ambulance from school to the hospital), the trial and error process of finding the right dose of meds — all brought it back to me. But the point I want to make is that today my girl has a great job, a loving husband, and a beautiful new baby girl. It is survivable. Thank you again for this truly important post. Awareness is absolutely key.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 6, 2015 at 7:55 am  

      Thanks for your open comment, Teri. This is truly an important—and often misunderstood—subject. I hope Casey’s post will reach a lot of people.

  11. Comment by ButtonsMom2003
    November 10, 2015 at 11:20 pm  

    Mental health disorders are still greatly misunderstood and mostly not talked about. Casey and her daughter are brave for being so open about her struggle. Thanks for another great post.

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