|Ryan's parents were not able to save him because of the state of medical science. If a child is not feeling well, a parent wants to know three things:
If Ryan had had cancer or diabetes, he would have had empirical tests and treatment protocols derived from years of research and reams of clinical studies. He would have had cure rates and survival statistics. If, however, the diagnosis for a child is Bipolar Disorder:
- What is wrong?
- What can be done?
- What are the odds of success?
- There is no empirical test to prove it;
- There is no known cure - only the possibility of remission from medications which can have powerful side effects;
- The future is not measured by the rate of success, but by the incidence of tragic outcomes - often greater than 20%.
Today, there is no magic pill or revolutionary treatment or cure rate because the field of early-onset Bipolar Disorder has been left behind.
We must demand better than what currently exists and we must stimulate the creation of new and improved treatments and therapies. We cannot wait for the government to do the heavy lifting. We must foster research aimed at overcoming this terrible disorder. We must change the public perception of Bipolar Disorder and erase the stigma that exists. And, we must promote understanding throughout the family and the community. Early-onset Bipolar Disorder is an insidious illness that shapes the personalities of those affected by it and changes the dynamics of their family structure. In all likelihood, someone in your family or the family of your friends or the family of someone at work has experienced the hard reality of living with and raising a bipolar child or adolescent. It is time to face this problem head on and find solutions by fostering innovation, research and discovery. It is time to create a climate where greater progress can be achieved.
Although no one can bring Ryan back, the Foundation hopes that millions will be able to see a brighter day in his memory. Together we can make a meaningful difference, and we hope that you will help us in this effort.
To read about the Foundation's Quest For The Test™ initiative to find an empirical test for Bipolar Disorder click here.