Any mothers with Bipolar Disorder?

posted 2 years ago in Parenting
Post # 2
Member
759 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Tisa85 :  hey bee, I am commenting to follow cause I am in the same boat. I have always wanted kids but now wonder if it’s something I will be able to manage 

Post # 3
Member
330 posts
Helper bee

I am not a bipolar but my mother has this, very serverely, since before I was born. She has 5 children, all very good contributors to society, none of them with this illness. The only problem for my mother was she did not take her medicine as it was told to. She has strong illness and needs strong doses of medicine. She would take too little or too much. My father also did not like her on it. When both accepted she had need for it, everything went to pretty much normal. It makes a big difference. If your husband does not support medicine, or you are not willing to sometimes, then think on it carefully. Otherwise from my experience as the child of one, there is no reason for a bipolar not to be a mother. 

Post # 4
Member
1128 posts
Bumble bee

I am not bipolar but much of what I struggle with is similar to bipolar disorder- so much so that I’ve taken meds for bipolar in the past.  I have similar fears about having children & I know it’s very scary.

I want to echo what PP said about being diligent and consistent about medicine- it makes all the difference in the world.  I found that even forgetting for HALF a day had a ripple effect on my moods and made everything hard to track.  

We don’t know what works unless we eliminate all variables (too much of a dose or withdrawal for a few hours).  I also recommend living as healthily as possible (maybe cut out drinking, try to keep up with sleep hygiene).  

Maybe if you aren’t taking meds (or if you are), you might find that you are totally confident and ready to do this.  

Wishing you wel!

Post # 5
Member
104 posts
Blushing bee

I was also the child in the situation, but I can tell you my experience. My father has bipolar disorder, a severe case like the bee above. To this day, he and I have an awful relationship. He never stayed on his medications, now I understand he refused to stay on them because he hated the side effects. 

He walked out on us many times, only for my mother to take him back. She loves him to death and always hopes that the previous episode was the worst and things won’t get that bad again. He had an episode last year when I was visiting, I had to babysit him to ensure he wouldn’t drown himself in the pool as he had gotten so drunk, this was after he explained to my mother that he wouldn’t drown himself, he would instead jump off a bridge. Of course, he needs help, but when he pulls out of an episode he argues that he has things under control. Anyone in this position knows that you can’t force someone to get help, they have to want it in order to stick to it. 

This is just my experience growing up, everyone is different and suffers from it in different ways. Just because he did this, does not mean you will. If you are able to manage it with medication then that is definitely a step in the right direction. My father is stubborn and would never take his medications, age has only made his episodes worse. 

In my opinion, as your kids grow (if you choose to have them), educate them. My parents tried to keep us in the dark about my father’s illness. When I was younger, I didn’t understand that he was choosing to walk out when he was mentally unstable. At some point, I connected the pieces and realized my father was mentally ill, but he didn’t sit down and have an actual conversation with me until I was 21 (when he pulled out of the episode and learned that I had to “babysit” him at the pool). I think I would have resented him less had I known the severity of his diagnosis when I was growing up. Now the damage has kind of been done and I have had a difficult time working through it. So I would definitely say be open and honest when you’re children get to an appropriate age (if you decide!)

This is all just personal experience though, like you said, you’re also seeking professional advice and I think that’s where you will get the most help!! 

Post # 6
Member
1192 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

I know a dad with bipolar.  He said he struggled a lot after his third was born but knew well enough to get help.  I think if you are actively taking care of yourself and your health, then there is nothing to worry about.  If you are constantly letting yourself go and not taking meds, then I’d worry.

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