Good question and let me just start by saying you are not alone. As mothers, our number one concern is always our children and how can we help them. A lot of times we find ourselves in a terrible position of feeling helpless. It’s not a good feeling. We’ve all been there at some point. I can relate to your desire for knowledge.
When I was married (divorced now), before I met my husband’s daughter, I was told the Doctors thought she had Bipolar Disorder. I wanted to know everything about the illness and how I was supposed to deal with it, and her, while she was visiting us. I didn’t understand at the time what mental illness was all about. However, I did lots of research. I searched the internet, which is a very useful tool. You can go to Google and just type in Bipolar Disorder and you will get a hit on many different topics; websites, books, maybe even support groups in your area if you narrow your search. That was my first approach. I read books, read blogs and thought I was prepared for everything.
Then after my divorce, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder (which was the reason for a lot of the problems in my marriage, not all, but a lot). So I did a little different research. What I found were information tools online like the ones on Facebook like www.facebook.com/askabipolar It always has different blogs posted regularly, sometimes several times a day, with lots of information about bipolar. Also there are books like Loving Someone With Bipolar Disorder by Julie A. Fast & John D. Preston, PsyD. That one is more geared towards couples, but you can still pull a good bit of information from it for loved ones. There is also Bipolar Kids, Helping Your Child Find Calm in The Mood Storm by Rosalie Greenberg, M.D. That one is really for smaller children but there are things in there you might relate to with your son. These are two books in my personal library. I highly recommend Julie A. Fast. It was a wonderful read. Also, a website you might try is www.Internationalbipolarfoundation.org . They are always having webinars about different topics that could be beneficial. Another great site on the web is http://bipolar.about.com/?nl=1 . You can sign up to receive emails from them and you will get useful information on a regular basis. She is full of facts from medication to mood swings.
A great idea if you are on Twitter is to follow one of the sites on Twitter like AskaBipolar or International Bipolar foundation. Once you have followed them you can get there tweets. They always have blogs with lots of insightful information. Both sites also retweet information from other sitess that they come across with additional useful information. There is a whole Bipolar world out there, especially on the world wide web. You just have to dip your toe in the water and you will create a ripple affect.
I hope some of this information gets you started. Always remember your best source of information is the internet. From there you can look for books, support groups in your area, counseling, webinars and even just personal blogs from people who have “been there done that.” If you ever have any other questions don’t hesitate to ask. That’s what we are here for.
Sidenote! For more about the book by Julie Fast, Loving Someone With Bipolar Disorder, check out the interview with did with her as part of our book review on that book! Its a 2 part interview, but may give you some additional information!