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any bipolar moms out there

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I was recently diagnosed as bipolar. I would love to hear how others deal with this and parenting. Meds vs no meds? Meds vs bfing? I have a two ds 1 yo and 3 yo. I'm a stay at home mom and I'm finding it increasingly difficult to make it through the day with some sort of breakdown. (probably pretty normal for all moms bipolar or not )
post #2 of 18
No meds... its not easy but I do not like how I feel on meds.

Breakdowns are common in all moms but Im sure more common in us who are bipolar.

Have you learned your signs of going more towards manic or depressed? It took me a while but learning my warning signs helps me to deal with them before they get out of hand... having DH learn them as well helps too so if I miss it, he knows to step in and say hun... step back for a second and see what is going on...

My biggest help has been exercise... just getting out of the house once a day for a mile walk with the kids, teaching my kids about nature and the neighborhood and whatever else while we are out there walking...

I dont know what it is about that, if its the getting out or the exercise itself... but I find I have worse days when I do not do it the night before.
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hey MaerynPearl! I really appreciate the insight and suggestions. I totally think the exercise / outside advice is great, I do notice a big difference if I get out. I do need to get in tune with my warning signs and get dh on board.
Can you recommend any good books on the subject?
Also, thank you to you and your family for the service you dh is providing to all of us!
post #4 of 18
I have not read any books... Ive done all my research online and through discussing with my doctor (she was a GP but has a bipolar daughter so shes done a lot of research... was helpful to have her helping me!)
post #5 of 18
Hi!
I'm bipolar. I take fish oil (Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA), exercise, and get some sun to help fight off depressions. I take Hyland's Calms Forte when I feel manias and anxiety attacks. It's not perfect, but I've had better results with those than with meds (been off meds since late 2001). And they're breastfeeding-safe!

Good luck to you!
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by lotusdebi View Post
Hi!
I'm bipolar. I take fish oil (Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA)
How many of the pills do you take? I just got them...
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommahhh View Post
How many of the pills do you take? I just got them...
I take one every morning most of the time. In the winter, my depression is more of an issue (seasonal affective disorder, less sun, less exercise, etc.), so I take two every morning (though I may skip the extra on mornings that I'm going to the gym).
post #8 of 18
Oh! I take Calms Forte too, as necessary. Was skeptical, tried them and they work so much better than any prescription I have been on, without the side effect of feeling like I have gone out of my mind.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
thanks lotusdebi and mae. I'll def try the fish oil and hylands calm forte.
I really appreciate the response from you all!
post #10 of 18
Hi
I usally take topamax. but I am pregnant so right now I am only on prozac. I have never tried anything natural. But I do want to breastfeed again this time so I may look into it.
I have many days when everything feels hard. I don't do much, cleaning or anything those days. I try to at least do one thing a day. and everynight I read to my kids. It may sound like such a little thing but it has taken me years to addmit I have this ( even aFTER drs told me) I do see a shrink weekly or bi weekly. it helps alot. he has helped me to become aware of my triggers and signs.

I am no longer a single mom so that helps too!! \my DP is wonderful and he does understand. lol most of the time. He will pick up the slack, these days its alot of slack.
I find the more Iam open and excepting of my bipolar the more others- family and friends are understanding and open.
post #11 of 18
Hello mamas.

I have moved this over to the mental heath forum.
post #12 of 18
Hi! I was diagnosed bipolar about 2 years ago. Right now I am on Trileptal, Zoloft, and Seroquel. I tried the natural way and it took me a long time to admit that it didn't work for me. Right now I am feeling better than I have in a long time. I hate being on a lot of meds but if this is what it takes to feel myself then it's what I have to do. I also haven't been able to breastfeed (I have a 2 month old) and that has been VERY hard on me. But I have to be there for my kids. It's very hard to deal with bipolar but with the right doctor and right support it is doable!! Good luck!
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearsmom View Post
I was recently diagnosed as bipolar. I would love to hear how others deal with this and parenting. Meds vs no meds? Meds vs bfing? I have a two ds 1 yo and 3 yo. I'm a stay at home mom and I'm finding it increasingly difficult to make it through the day with some sort of breakdown. (probably pretty normal for all moms bipolar or not )
I take Lamictal, which has been very helpful. I took depakote before, and it was also very effective, but it can be harsh (requires you keep an eye on your liver health) and I experienced some weight gain. Still, the depakote was the first effective med I found and it was a turning point in my life.

Be careful with bipolar, it's not something you want to mess around with. Were you diagnosed by a psychiatrist (medical doctor)? I urge you to get treatment from a psychiatrist, not your regular family doctor.

Medicine, talk therapy and exercise, all together, are very helpful. It's easy to take a pill once a day, harder to get yourself out the door for a daily long walk, harder to find a therapist and get yourself on the couch regularly. But there has actually been a study done comparing patients who take meds only, vs patients who take meds and have talk therapy. The people with therapy were happier much, much longer than those who took meds alone.

However do not discount meds where bipolar is concerned. It is literally a life saver.

This has been a really helpful web site for me:

http://www.psycheducation.org/index.html
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

talk therapy

I'm so fortunate that I have a supporting husband but he works a lot (home late and travels) so I feel guilty when he has to pick up the slack (which is more often than not).
I was diagnosed by a pdoc and am doing weekly therapy with a counselor. But I can see myself letting the therapy slip if I do not start meds. The pdoc wants to prescribe lamictal however he does not want me to take while bfing and I just can't give it up bfing right now - son is only 15 months and he is my last. (I think i'm addicted to the endorphines too )
I am also 39 so I think I'm going through a midlife crisis. Anyone experiencing that too?
Haven't started the fishoils yet. Therapist is pushing lamictal. I told him I would try to start weaning in one month. Don't think I can do that. However, I know I can't control my increasing rage with the breathing technique he suggested!
Thanks again for everyone sharing. It helps so much to know that others have and are getting on with life dispite this crippling mental unhealth.
Did anyone have trouble with weight gain on lamictal?
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
almadianna - thanks for finding a proper home for this thread!
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearsmom View Post
I'm so fortunate that I have a supporting husband but he works a lot (home late and travels) so I feel guilty when he has to pick up the slack (which is more often than not).
I was diagnosed by a pdoc and am doing weekly therapy with a counselor. But I can see myself letting the therapy slip if I do not start meds. The pdoc wants to prescribe lamictal however he does not want me to take while bfing and I just can't give it up bfing right now - son is only 15 months and he is my last. (I think i'm addicted to the endorphines too )
I am also 39 so I think I'm going through a midlife crisis. Anyone experiencing that too?
Haven't started the fishoils yet. Therapist is pushing lamictal. I told him I would try to start weaning in one month. Don't think I can do that. However, I know I can't control my increasing rage with the breathing technique he suggested!
Thanks again for everyone sharing. It helps so much to know that others have and are getting on with life dispite this crippling mental unhealth.
Did anyone have trouble with weight gain on lamictal?
I don't have bipolar but I do have MDD. I have been on meds for a long time. I just wanted to address the BF. I know BF is best and that every mother should strive to do it, but when it comes to your health I TRULY believe that it is better for your child to have a well mother than breastmilk. With my depression I can't handle being the sole provider of nutrition and comfort. I just can't. I know lots of other mothers can, but I'm not one of them. I chose to supplement with formula so I could have help from others. I would really recommend weaning and trying medication. Your children most likely won't remember if they were breastfed or not but they will remember having a crazy Mum (and I say that as someone who is crazy themself!).
post #17 of 18
I don't have BP but my husband has BPII. He was diagnosed June 2009.
post #18 of 18
After a few years of going me free after my Bipolar diagnosis I started taking meds a couple of years ago. I will never go med free now. It's what works for me. I certainly don't like taking medication every day but it's the reality I have to live with and I'm down with it as long as I'm sane.
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