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undiagnosed bipolar in the family?linked to ppd?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have recently starting reading a book called "women's moods" -believe it's by two women doctors, and was utterly floored by the info in it. It talks a lot about ppd, pms etc. and how they relate to brain chemistry being more sensitive due to genetics, and mjor life events and that something like childbirth with the hormonal fluctuations can trigger predispositions to illnesses like depression and bipolar. Not sure if I am explaining this well, they explain it great.

They decsribe bipolar 2 in it which I had never heard of...and my mother fit almost all of the symptoms, so I looked it up and again it sounds like they are decsribing her. She also had sever ppd which went unrecognized after all three children -doctors didn't really notice and she realized later after reading up on it and once she wasn't in it. She also has extreme PMS...she has had fairly violent mood swings my entire life which scared me, but not the super mania described in bp 1 so I kept dismissing it... anyway, not that I am diagnosing her, she has actually become mroe stable as she moves out of childbearing and takes high doses of fish oil etc. but it really scared me. It does run in my family on my father's side. Maybe I am being silly but... he definitely seems to have the same kind of crazy moodiness to the point where both parents were rarely calm -always super excited talkign fast could take on the world.hyper or depressed and despondent with my mom throwing rage and extreme irritability in there.

In any case, I am now pregnant with my first child and looking at many things about my upbringing and realizing that that may have been what all the chaos was about...I also can see that I have many similar symptoms (and have had one major depression as a teenager and several shorter ones that were milder as well) I manage fairly well, and am pretty aware of my "sensitive/moody" nature, yet assumed I was more than ok given how chaotic my parents were. I am wondering a few things

1.) has anyone else come to a realization of this sort about one or both parents? What did you do? Given that my parents seem "better" -i.e. more and more stable and would probably totally dispute this idea...but they do have two teenagers still at home...

2.) I am scared because of what I know about ppd and my own mom having it as well as my own big mood swings at times with pms that I will get ppd...I know it is chemical/biological, but I wonder if extra support of friends and not getting isolated would help or certain supplements (fish oil?) to prevent it or lessen severity. My midwives know of the depression I had and my mom's ppd.

3.) Should I go to a counselor or therapist? Should I even bring it up with them if I do? I don't feel I NEED meds at this point or even that I have bp but have lived around it so much that it seems more normal to be super "up" and then super "down" and I have taken on some of that behavior but gotten more and more stable since being with my husband and away from that environment. Has anyone else been through this? I feel so overwhelmed...
post #2 of 8
Well my husband is newly diagnosed as Bipolar II. There are several types of Bipolar as I am sure you now know. But that is very interesting. I wonder if there is any connection with PPD/hormones and BP. I will have to check that out.

As far as your situation, I would seek out help now. Psychiatrist usually only dispense Meds. Liscensed Professional Counselor is who my husband sees. Along with the Psychiatrist.

FWIW I had PPD with DS and DD2. I am not Bipolar or anything of a sort (as far as I know. )
post #3 of 8
post #4 of 8
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
thanks for the links. I am looking into counselors in my area
post #6 of 8
I think it's great that you are aware. I would get screened and have someone on hand that you trust whom you can call of if you end up needing help- for PPD or any other issue that might pop up.

I'm bipolar II/OCD/ADD/GAD and my dad is bipolar I and he's extremely paranoid and anxious. My mom is neurotic in a cat lady sort of way, she's not into humans and she's got OCD pretty bad.

My brother is depressed severely and has been since he was 12. He uses alcohol to keep himself "okay". He's 29 btw.

My sister has really severe depression and she uses rx meds and alcohol to control it. (I'm NOT advocating alcoholism as a coping mechanism.)

I'm the only one that accepts and is actively battling my mental health issues.

The rest of them are in pretty deep denial.

I think it's always very smart to be well read on mental health issues if they run in your family- not only in case you suffer from them, but I think it helps you cope with a lot of dysfunctional stuff you maybe didn't realize were based on untreated mental health issues.
post #7 of 8

Hi...I am just wondering what happened after your pregnancy.  I have a four month old daughter and we had a rocky start (I couldn't breastfeed and I really beat myself up about it) but I thought things were getting better.  Now after a month of sleep problems on her part, I feel like I'm slipping...sometimes feeling intense anger (at her, my husband, but mostly myself), uncontrollable tears, then sometimes I feel just blah, emotionless.  My grandmother was bipolar and took her life, and I have had some episodes of depression in the past.  Just wondering if you had any insights.


post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
For some reason this didn't pop up on my homepage. I think I wrote this before my first dd now 2.5 and I have a ds 6.5 months. I would encourage you to pop over to the ppd forum because it sounds like your concerns fit better there... I have struggled with ppd and PTSD after nboth births.... Feel free to pm me
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