Parents of missing Tampa teen speak about daughter’s bipolar disorder

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – “Hailey is extremely bipolar. She has a lot of suicidal thoughts.”

Hailey Acierno’s parents, Lisa and Chris Acierno, spoke about their daughter’s mental illness on Tuesday.  Hailey disappeared a week ago from her New Tampa home. Her parents still don’t have any leads.

It’s been a tough road for the entire family, especially for Hailey.

Starting in 7th grade, her family says doctors have diagnosed her with different disorders, finally determining she is bipolar. They say as she gets older, things get worse.

That’s why she is on important medication, to balance the chemicals in her brain. Her parents have seen what can happen when she’s without the medicine.

Related: Local attorney offering $25,000 reward to help find missing Tampa teen

“She was without it in the hospital one time for two days,” said her mom, Lisa. “When she called us that second day, she couldn’t stop crying. She couldn’t even form a coherent sentence. She was in bad shape.”

They can only imagine what Hailey’s state of mind is, now without her pills for a week.

“She could be in a complete state of confusion and not know where she is,” said her father, Chris.

While things seemed normal the day before Hailey disappeared, her mother noticed that Hailey did something out of the ordinary the last day they saw her.

“The scary thing is, she made her bed before she left. She never makes her bed,” said Lisa.

Her parents explain Hailey is protective of them, and she doesn’t like for them to see her when she’s manic.

They want her to know, right now, all they want is to protect her.

“Hailey if you are there, please reach out. Let us know you are okay. We both love you.”

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