But I am 33 years old and I have schizoaffective disorder. I also would not want to be the root cause of another child slamming head first into manic depression. More studies are needed to support these findings, but the bottom line is that bipolar disorder medications can impact fetal development. Whether or not I would choose to have another child, I truly don’t know. Every person is different, but even the earliest pregnancy symptoms usually include more than the…, Since my bipolar disorder diagnosis in 2011, I’ve struggled with depression, too. My eldest sister committed suicide. I look back at her childhood with a lot of regrets at how horrible I was. If you already have one child with BP, there is a 15% to 25% chance that another of your children will also have it. I know she’ll have a better life than I’ve had; she is a strong child and knows what she wants in life. –Modesto, CA, I desperately want to have children, but at this point in my life I’m still working out my medications, I’m in weekly therapy, and my home and work lives are so full I couldn’t manage a child. This is also true with other types of mental health issues. They insist they are not “crazy” like me. –North Port, FL, Predisposition to bipolar, depression, OCD, anxiety, and SAD has affected my choice in not having children. Everyone is different. I think we need to extend our definition of what family and community and mothering mean, and we will all find ourselves a lot better off. –Belleville, MI, I have a maternal cousin with bp and many siblings with major depression. –Hanover, MA, I was 19 and completely ignorant about the genetics of mental illness when my son was born. I told him just now i would go and see a pre-abortion conselling service on monday and now he is saying that he thinks abortion is not the right thing to do. I couldn’t imagine passing this illness along to a future generation. When pleasurable pastimes like shopping, gaming, or online socializing cross the line from enjoyable to excessive, it may be time to tame your overindulgences. Printed as “SOUNDOFF: When conception is the question,” Spring 2007. Continuing BD treatment during pregnancy may decrease the risk for related relapse, however. To all women: Good luck and God be with you! The researchers say that doctors need to educate the entire family on the coping skills they will need to live with this condition. –Richardson, TX, I was diagnosed with bipolar at age 21. I feel a sense of responsibility to work daily at being a functional, stable mother. This is true whether you have BD or not. He blames me and refuses to be properly diagnosed. It made me maintain my health and illness at all times. Author: Richard Ellis. Blogs and Articles. The difference between my previous two marriages and this one has everything to do with how the relationship began. Aside from concerns during pregnancy, there’s some risks for a mother and her baby’s well-being immediately after labor. –LaVerne, CA, I wasn’t diagnosed with bp until after I had my two children. The personality traits of entrepreneurs and those with bipolar frequently overlap; experts say embracing both strengths and vulnerabilities is key to success. Religiously checking Facebook. I am so adamant about the issue that I have had two abortions, and still to this day I know I made the best decision. Also, I would like to sign up for bphope's FREE e-Newsletters. With regard to the former, if he/she was asymptomatic prior to exposure to the bad environment, it is possible that the two could be correlated. I don’t want this! –Jackson, MS, I will not consider having children if they are biologically mine. I am not worried about passing on this illness. The short answer to “Has it had an impact in your decision?”: No. –Novato, CA, Unfortunately, my diagnosis came too late for me to consider whether to have children. My husband wants to have children and I always did untill someone said our schildren would be bipolar to. I also wished to keep bp out of the gene pool. I am now 49 and childless by choice, as I was fearful of going off meds during pregnancy and what my disease would be like for a child raised by me. I think that was the wake up call for him as this prompted him to start going to therapy and got diagnosed with bipolar 2. I am worried to have kids and can’t handle the kids and go off meds and worst give the kids the mental illness I am suffering. You, your doctor, and obstetrician might decide to cease medications during pregnancy, at which time you’ll need to rely on other forms of treatment for bipolar disorder, such as self-care, and psychotherapy. 0 0. Bipolar disorder (BPD) is ... % to 30% of women with BPD who are pregnant. Learn more about the connection. I did suffer postpartum depression during the first month, but was able to get stable with med changes. There is a lot of beauty, talent, and intelligence in my family’s genes, too, but I do not regret not bringing a child into my world or experience. Your concern early on will be how to raise your children in a happy, healthy environment and make them feel secure, even when one of their parents is behaving strangely. All my support and warmth to you, friends. But I was doing it for the baby. I worry about being able to provide good care to my baby once he is born. Sleep is a must, as well as having help in taking care of the baby. If I ever desire to have a child, I’ll adopt. All rights reserved. –Ashland, OR, Since my husband and I already had two children before I was diagnosed with bipolar I, we didn’t have the opportunity to consider the “what if’s.” I may have passed on bipolar disorder, but my children will know that it’s still possible to live a positive, productive, purpose-filled life. For those with bipolar disorder, there are even more issues to think about. A full year with no medication at all: a recipe for disaster for anyone diagnosed as having bipolar disorder two years prior. Having a spouse with bipolar can be challenging. I am sorry if it seemed that way. We have two successful sons: a music minister and a radiologist. Understanding bipolar disorder. People with BD have significant mood changes that include manic (high) and depressive (low) episodes. Here are techniques for coping with bipolar spouses. For selfish reasons? If I had known I had bipolar eight years ago, I probably would have chosen to not have children. deleted_user 07/10/2007. –Arlington, VA, My husband and I found peace in knowing that no matter what, we would love and care for a child. –Ottawa, ON, I have one daughter who is 5 years old—two years older than my bipolar diagnosis. –Anchorage, AK, My kids are grown now. It was very scary. We are thankful for and love our children. He says he can't handle the pressure that i am putting him under. Postpartum psychosis is a rare, but serious condition that requires emergency treatment. It was just a risk that I was not willing to take personally. I’m not going to i think about it all of the time. My grandmother had bipolar disorder and experienced a long hospital stay postpartum, leaving her newborn with family members for more than six months. While some develop it younger, this is pretty rare. After extensive research on bipolar pregnancies and outcomes, my partner and I have chosen to adopt a child from Africa or China. I'm afraid to pass it on to my future kids. If so, will the spouse be able to handle two bipolars? –Horseshoe Valley, ON, I knew labor and delivery could be triggering events, and for me, they were. Potassium is a mineral that's involved in muscle contractions, heart function and water balance. I knew beforehand that he was bipolar which isn't a huge deal to me because my mother is also bipolar and it's something I've been around and dealt with for quite some time. –Chicago, IL, I have a bipolar disorder. Truth is, most people can say they’ve been there, done that. A leaflet for people with bipolar who are considering having a baby. I can already see signs and symptoms that could be classified as bipolar. Symptoms may be confused as postpartum depression, which is a common mental health illness experienced by many women after having a baby. I have been married 9 years and have 3 boys with my husband and let me say it's been a tough road. –Merrimack, NH, It’s definitely something to give serious consideration to. However, it made me examine how my feelings were selfish and not in the best interest of the child. While some antidepressants don’t seem to pose these risks, antipsychotics can be dangerous. For the past month I have been dealing with symptoms of postpartum psychosis and have had many med changes to try to stabilize my mood. With BD, pregnancy can be safe, but you’ll want to try to plan ahead as much as possible. Other medications used in the treatment of bipolar disorder may also be harmful to the fetus. Never once. –DeSoto, IL, My husband and I have been married for 44 years. Building and maintaining your marriage when your spouse has bipolar can be challenging. Good Luck! Today I am learning who I am again, and it has been one of the hardest things I have had to go through in life. I’d like to believe that with the right therapy and a supportive network, even without certain meds for a period of time, one can take each day one at a time and provide a special level of empathy to his or her child who may or may not also struggle with mental health. On other days, you might feel irritable and down. This is why I gave my baby to the adoptive parents of my choice when he was 4 days old. Psychological problems A 2014 study by Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, revealed that the children of bipolar parents were more susceptible to psychological problems such as risky sexual behavior.. The issue in my mind was about having a child without the father involved. I would like to have children someday, but my main concern are my medications, most of which would be harmful during pregnancy or would pass through breast milk. Our brains help us to think, feel and act in certain ways. Starts off with insomnia and trouble getting motivated, through to exhaustion then hyper mania for a few months then onto the downward spiral to depression. Symptoms include severe mania or depression that starts within two to three days after delivery. I am terrified to have a child. Though I do worry about their future, I know to teach them to watch for the warning signs. My daughter is now nearly 2 years old, and having a child is the best thing I ever did. –Austin, TX, Family history impacted my decision to remain childless. This article explains how much potassium you need per…. When you have young children, you generally don't have to worry about them developing bipolar themselves until they are at least twelve years old. He doesn’t see himself a father and we start our relationship. Mood stabilizers, such as divalproex-sodium (Depakote) or lithium (Eskalith), may be dangerous to a developing fetus. In many cases, the defects seemed to resolve by 12 months of age. BD symptoms can become more prominent during pregnancy. Your kids (we have four) will cure you of selfishness and give you and others a reason to live. When I was young and newly wed, my sister told me that I should never have children. Who do you think you are? Also, kids are a lot of work and I don’t think I could handle it. Download this leaflet as a PDF. Being the spouse of a bipolar husband means a marriage with bipolar disorder. ARTICLE ; Love and Being ‘Worth It’ Carin Meyer. Women may find that pregnancy can alter their mood. I realize now that I needed as much sleep as my baby did. Psalm 127:3 says children are a gift from God, and they are a reward. He knows I have Bipolar and we’re still in the relationship. People with BD may be hesitant to experience major life changes, including pregnancy. Had I known, I may not have chosen to conceive, despite how important mothering children was to me. But I grieve for what I have done to them. The review authors noted that the data they worked with was low quality, and there’s a need for additional studies. Will it impact our lives? In considering BD and a developing fetus, the biggest concerns are medications you may be taking to manage your condition. I also knew that sleep deprivation and trying to take care of a baby were other potential triggers and that my illness could make life unpredictable and difficult. I don’t want my child to go through what I went through. –Marshfield, MA, I was diagnosed after having children. Why would I want to inflict this torture on another human being? I have one daughter who is exactly like me with all the classic signs of bipolar and she is now 25. –Mountlake Terrace, WA, Why would a bp not have kids? Looking for encouragement, if there is any to be had. Bipolar disorder has not and should not be allowed to quench it. You may be more likely to develop bipolar disorder if you have a family member with the condition. 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