Home » Blogs » Mental Health Humor » Bipolar Dad: Out of the Mouth of My Children

Bipolar Dad: Out of the Mouth of My Children

Today, May 18th, 2011 is a very special day here at Psych Central! Collectively, many of the bloggers will be posting personal stories of their recovery during the day long Blog party.

Mental Health Blog Party BadgeI thought I would take a different approach and let my 4  kids draw a caricature of me.  Then tell you about me and my mental illness from their vantage point and in their own words (with a little help typing it up from Mom.) This post, I’ll call “Bipolar Dad: Out of the Mouth of My Children.”  I figured it would be simple, but it turned out to be very enlightening… letting them draw me, then color their works of art in and write a story to tell you about their Dad.

We’ll start with my oldest LP. He just turned 12 and loves drawing, Star Wars, Legos, Pizza and reading the Diary of a Wimpy Kid book series. Here is his caricature of me.

Drawn By LP age 12
He starts out with this preface to his story about me:  The subject I am going to be talking to you about is my father and his illness and how it affects me. In this chapter, we will learn how it all began…the Tragic story of my father….
by LP
Chapter 1: Childhood
My father grew up in the projects. So, he was always getting in some sort of mishap. His father always punished my father. My grandfather wondered what was wrong with his son. Later in life, he picked fights with neighborhood kids. And it went back and forth, his state of mind was untreated. He wondered why he got in so much trouble all the time. Because my father’s father had Bipolar and you could say it rubbed off on to him.

Chapter 2: The Discovery
Years later my father got married to my mother and three years after my birth, my father got seriously ill. My mother didn’t know what do so a couple years later, she decided to go to Massachusetts until the mess was fixed. Later in the hospital, my father found out he had Bipolar Disorder.  After my father got out of the hospital, our entire family was reunited!

Chapter 3: Dealing
To this day my Father still has the illness. But we have learned to help him with it and also to deal and cope.  He still, however, can have a bit of a temper.  But if you look past that, you can see he’s a very likable guy which is Chato B. Stewart!
The END 🙂

Next, we move on to my oldest girl, Sweet Pea. She is 10 and below is her caricature and how she sees having a Bipolar Dad.  While my son looked at my “issues” as a complete story, my big girl had a bit of a different view.  Sweet Pea’s post pulled at my heart and almost had me in tears!
Drawn By Sweet Pea age 10
About my Dad:  His mental illness makes him fall asleep at 1 a.m. or later in the morning. When he gets up, he works and works. He is mean some days. He is nice. When I was a baby, he was nice to me. Now that I am almost 10 years old, when I don’t do what I am suppose to he gets mad. I know it’s his illness that causes little things to set him off.

All my kids have a great sense of humor.  We laugh a LOT and I’m normally the one starting it.  Yet, my Precious ( age 8 ) is a gal right after my own funny bone!  She loves to laugh and joke around.  Here is her caricature of me and a poem about me and my happy pills…It’s the Wellbutrin XL.  If you look closely at them, it really does look like a smiley face.

Drawn By Precious age 8
A poem for my Dad:  Dad…popcorn…yum…um….let me think…xxxoxoxoxoxoxo. I love Dad! I love Dad! His caricatures are good. Sometimes he gets mad. And sometimes he gets sad. Most of the time, he’s mad. Flashlight…I caught a butterfly. My Dad loves animals, too. He has diabetes. Happy pills…yay! They have a happy face on them and then they put a happy face on my Dad.
The End

There is  no comparing my kids!  Each one is as unique as a used tire… some have more treads then others.  But Belly, age 6, will melt the coldest heart.  She is a combination of all the kids rolled up into a scrawny little package.  Here is her caricature of me and more of a note to me… I think she really captures my eyes.

Drawn By Belly age 6
8-> day dreamingHi Dada
I love Daddy-o:x lovestruck
Dada, Dada, Dada…his jokes are funny! And his cartoons are cool! I like Dada…;) winking He’s sick and I don’t know what to do. Give him medicine and kisses and hugs!! He lets us watch T.V.:-$ don't tell anyone shh! I like to draw with my Dada and go fishing=D> applause Love, Belly

While this started out as a Blog party on Psych Central, it really turned into something much deeper and personal for the Chato Family!  My kids got to have fun drawing me and expressing themselves about some of the issues that this Bipolar Dad has always feared.  Namely, that my mood swings would effect my kids like my father’s moods effected me and my siblings. My children recognize the difference between an unmedicated dad and one that is medicated.  That alone is evidence that, at least for me, I need to stay compliant with my meds. I did not edit their comments to make me look better.  Maybe I should have, but I wanted this to be an open and “honest” family art therapy session!
Bipolar Dad: Out of the Mouth of My Children

Chato Stewart

Chato Stewart has a mission, to draw and use humor as a positive tool to live, to cope with the debilitating effects symptoms of mental illness. Chato Stewart is a Mental Health Hero and Advocate. Recovery Peer Specialist board-certified in Florida. Chato is the artist behind the cartoons series Mental Health Humor, Over-Medicated, and The Family Stew - seen here in his blog posts. The cartoons are drawn from his personal experience of living with bipolar disorder (and other labels).

7 comments: View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
Stewart, C. (2011). Bipolar Dad: Out of the Mouth of My Children. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 28, 2020, from


Last updated: 18 May 2011
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.