Post # 17
@MissPatience: A geneticist couldn’t help you anyway. The gene for bipolar has not yet been isolated.
Since adoption is something you’d be interested in, maybe you should pursue that route, if your spouse is on board as well. There is a possibility you could adopt a child that will develop a mental illness later in life, of course. I have a friend who adopted a set of sisters and they are both severely autistic. She adopted them at 2 years old, and 3 months old.
I would want to know who the parents are and know as much about the family history as I could, if I chose adoption.
@village_skeptic: That’s a great point. Talking to someone about your concerns really can help so much. I have seen a therapist, and I only had 5 sessions available to me, but it still made me feel a lot better. It made the issues feel much more manageable.
Post # 18
This is an issue I have considered and thought about extensively, as someone with bipolar.
My main concern is the pregnancy itself. I am concerned that a lot of literature points to a more significant risk of relapse during the pregnancy and of severe postpartum depression. This is compounded by the fact that medications can harm the foetus and are generally discontinued during the pregnancy (although some meds can be less risky and it’s definitely worth looking into and evaluating, as well as considering non-drug alternatives, etc) For some, it’s absolutely worth it once that part is over.
Aditionally, my family has a lot of mental illness that crosses the spectrum from anxiety to depression to addiction to bipolar. This would put my child at a higher risk than I would like… I would feel horribly guilty feeling like I passed this on/inflicted this on someone (irrational but i can’t help feeling that way) and for me the downs are hell-holes that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. However, it’s not 100% certain at all, and if it does come up knowing to look out for it can help you provide good care and early treatment.
My SO and I are on the same page about considering adoption (he would fully support me either way, but totally gets my concerns, and he was adopted and had a good experience with it).
I spent a while thinking I couldn’t/shouldn’t have a family because of this but I think adoption seems like a good solution for me. Especially with a supportive father around.
Everyone is different! Really, don’t let the “how” impact your ultimate goal (having kids or not) because there are so many possibilities and people there to help you out.