Although this website is not intended to be about Carol Anne Brown, we feel it is important for visitors to know who she was so as to better understand our inspiration for launching BipolarAware.org. In addition to numerous photos, you can view newspaper articles and an informative video produced by the Freelance Star Newspaper in Fredericksburg Virginia.
This video was filmed three short months after her death and it truly encapsulates our struggle with this illness. It also depicts our confusion and internal denial that our daughter may have had a mental illness; you may even personally relate to our story. We are here to make a difference in the lives of those LIVING with Bipolar Disorder… and that includes family and friends.
Carol Anne had the classic symptoms of what is commonly referred to as Bipolar II. Her hypomania phase was somewhat less extreme than the full mania of Bipolar I. She was highly talkative, productive, creative and distracted during her hypomania episodes. She would often say that she was so hyper and excited she had to tell everyone. At other times she could not get out of bed and would cut herself to “relieve the pain”. We later found her journal and read where she felt that no one loved her; she had approximately 1,000 people at her wake.
During four difficult years, Carol Anne’s father would coin a few phrases he uses today in his presentations on Bipolar Disorder Awareness:
“It is impossible to logically understand her illogical behavior”
“It seems she lacks a consequence bridge”
“How can a person with such brilliance make so many unintelligent decisions?”
…this is the world of someone living with Bipolar Disorder.
Most people knew Carol Anne as a social butterfly and one who loved to give a hug. She was beautiful and intelligent. She attended Governor’s School for the gifted and was a cheerleader. She was an equestrian, actress, musician, artist and athlete. She played lacrosse, ran track, played soccer, raced go-karts and horses competitively and she was one of the country’s best soap box derby racers. She was very spiritual, had over 300 volunteer service hours and over 2,000 friends on Facebook – knowing them all by name. As a 17 year-old she addressed 250 business leaders as an awards presenter. She was admitted by early decision to James Madison University where she hoped to major in theater. Lastly, she expressed that she should be an organ donor and now five lives have been changed forever because of her generosity. She was truly bigger than life at times… she stood 4’ 11 ½ “tall.