Alarmed by his dramatic mood swings, Nicholas Parker's parents took him to see a child psychiatrist, only to learn that their eleven-week-old baby suffers from bipolar disorder.
“It came as a real blow,” admitted Nicky's mother, Shelly. “But at the same time, the diagnosis explained a lot.”
According to Nicky's dad, from the time that Nicky was born, his emotions were all over the place. “Sometimes he was sweet as pie, cooing and gurgling like he didn't have a care in the world," Mark Parker stated. "And then in the very next instant, he might burst out crying or even wailing. We realized later he was probably manipulating us.”
Nicky's parents dealt with the volatility as best they could, coddling and pampering him – literally – in order to calm his stormy moods and prevent him from acting out with such inappropriate behaviors as urinating or even defecating in public.
But Mark says that the point of no return came when, one day while Nicky was nursing, he bit Shelly's nipple, causing her to wince in pain.
“That was it for me,” recounted Mark. “She kept saying it was just an accident, but she never wants to blame him for anything. That sort of antisocial behavior needs to be nipped in the bud, or it could escalate.”
Unfortunately for Nicky's parents, however, their baby's behavior has also baffled his psychiatrist, Dr. Lynn Seymour, who says that while it's quite clear that Nicky suffers from bipolar disorder, what's not so clear is what to do about it. Thus far, Nicky has proven treatment-resistant, often spitting out his prescribed medications or refusing to take them altogether.
Dr. Seymour noted that while Nicky is the youngest person ever to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder, he is almost certainly not the youngest to suffer from the syndrome. "There's a lot of under-diagnosis of mental illness in infants," he reported. "Fortunately, awareness is growing."
Nicky's parents remain firm in their commitment to keep their son at home, rather than having him admitted to an institution. "We love our child unconditionally," stated Shelly Parker. "And we're determined to help eradicate the stigma of newborn mental illness. Beginning right now."