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#1 of 17 Old 01-03-2011, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Everyone,

 

I wasn't sure if I should post this here or in mental health. Dd is ten months old (my first) and it's been so, so hard...this whole time I was just comign around to the idea that I have ppd...which I think I do...the problem has been it's been mostly anxiety, mixed in with some ptsd-type symptoms around our birth experience. I posted a little while ago about feeling fine then not fine...like I get triggered by stressors suoer easily and then I have harming thoughts....but a new piece of the puzzle surfaced recently...I really need feedback.

 

I've been going to the naturopath and trying 5 htp...as well as support for my thyroid which is low. I wa staking the 5 htp in the morning and one in the evening. It seemed to be helpign a bit with keeping me mopre "up". For those who don't know 5 htp wouldact similarly to an anti depressant, it stimulates you to produce mroe serotonin... anyway, a few big stressors happened over the holidays...namely we all got sick several times and I ended up not sleeping for entire nights even once dd was able to sleep because my body was so "jazzed" the naturopath had me try taking the 5 htp in the evening as it can help with sleep and it seemed to help me sleep more soundly but if I didn't take melatonin, I couldn't get to sleep, my mind would race even more than it has been and I felt as if electricity was flowing through my veins. I realized I was feeling like I couldn't stop...I had a million great ideas (they actually were good ideas, not bizarre or anything, just too many where I was jotting them in a journal and felt overwhelmed by them), couldn't stop chattering even more than usual, felt irritated with dh for trying to hug me sometimes because it made my skin crawl when I ahd so much to DO. I couldnt stop, I was sewing up a storm...this is even before I lost so much sleep, I was "excited" about gettign so much done with dh on vacation. This isn;t the first time i;ve felt this way either and it seems even weirder in contrast to how I felt so low while dh was working so much and I was stuck home alone with baby.

 

I had been wondering this whole time why the counselor at the health unit insister I wasn't depressed...when clearly I was unstable... I have always worked with my highs and lows or sometimes just felt normal...but since dd's birth they are pretty nuts. I feel I can't control my reactions...stupid things make me snap. And scariest of all, I sound like my mother who was/is super unstable and had ppd after all thre eof  her kids. I took an online test and scored high...i'm wondering can ppd trigger biploar (2)? Is that what this could be? or is it anxiety/ocd??? I'm scared ebacuse I know the meds for biploar are maybe not as safe with breastfeeding and I am committed to breastfeeding....also, would 5 htp...a serotonin increaser maybe make me worse? As in...this is the most "manic" I remember being.... help/resources please. would this explain why I am sometimes coping fien and other times swamped with true ppd symtpoms??


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#2 of 17 Old 01-03-2011, 08:24 PM
 
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Hi, I am sorry you are having such a rough time. As a mom with a history of OCD, panic disorder and depression, I really feel for you. My brother has severe bipolar I and it can be really difficult to deal with. I think you should go see someone who is more qualified to diagnose mental health issues.

 

As for your question about pregnancy turning on BPD: I don't know about research-based findings, but I have a cousin who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after she had her son. Before she had her son, she could manage OK but after the birth, she just lost it. The pregnancy and birth seemed to kind of "turn on" the BP for her, though it's very possible she had tendencies before the pregnancy and birth given there is a very solid history of people with bipolar in my family.

 

I think it's really important to be evaluated by someone who has experience with mental health issues. They can work with your naturopath if you want to try natural methods first. For example, my DD is currently being treated for anxiety and depression by our ND and a psychologist. If the amino acid therapies weren't helping, we would be trying regular meds for her. (it sounds like you are doing a bit of this right now?)

 

It also sounds like your main fear is the possibility of needing meds and not being able to breastfeed. While this may not be ideal, having an unstable parent is not ideal for babies either. I think you're best option is to find out what you are actually dealing with and going from there.

 

I hope you find some helpful answers soon. hug2.gif

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#3 of 17 Old 01-04-2011, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm pretty sure sleep dep is really, really affecting me too. Would be good if i could get more sleep and see how i do, as i never had such issues before.


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#4 of 17 Old 01-04-2011, 05:33 PM
 
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I'd stop taking the 5htp.  It doesn't stimulate serotonin, it essentially is serotonin, at least the immediate precursor to it.  It can cause mania and sleep disturbance.  It makes  me manic if I take it even if I only take it in the morning, and there's no way I can take it after noon and expect to sleep.  It's a good sign that you don't have a serotonin deficiency based depression.  And yes, sleep deprivation can cause the irrational actions. 

 

PP-bipolar disorder is possible, most mood disorders are possible postpartum, however, I would eliminate the 5htp from your regimen before jumping to any conclusions about bipolar.   You can simply stop, there's no need to ween off it.

 

Now, if you're having thyroid issues, those could just as easily cause depression based symptoms, and most likely you'd do well to try an amino acid called L-Tyrosine, which you'll find is a common ingredient in many thyroid supplements (so don't add it if it's in something you already take).  The way you take this for depression is to take it first thing in the morning, before you eat or drink anything else.  Best if you can to wait 15-30 minutes before eating.  It will boost your energy.  I had thyroid/depression issues after my 2nd baby was born and this supplement was amazing, really amazing for me.  You can take another around noon before lunch.  You'll want to take 500 mg each time.

 

Dr. Hale says that the body regulates the amino acid content of breast milk, so it's not likely to affect the baby, however, he doesn't particularly sanction this therapy during lactation.  And it will boost your dopamine, so if supply has been a problem for you, it could lower it.


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#5 of 17 Old 01-05-2011, 07:44 AM
 
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If I am undertreated for my hypothyroidism (dose is documented too low, but current doc won't deal with it) would a low dose of L-Tyrosine be advisable?

 

I am sorry that you are going through this mam (((hugs))). I am BP 2 but have had my dx for quite some time. I was unmedicated through each of my last two pregnancies and found the post-partum time to be particularly difficult. I developed an axiety disorder and OCD, both of which I am now being treated for in addition to the BP. I had tendencies towards the last two pre pregnancies, but they became severe after. I did avoid medication completely after our second was born, and that was a mistake. I was a complete wreck for 2 years. I stayed off of medication until our youngest weaned at 22 months (so I was off for just over 4 years) and again, that was a REALLY hard time. I had no idea that my medication had been deemed "safe" or honestly I probably would have gone back on it after our last was born.

 

So I agree, while concern about breastfeeding and medication is valid, you need to be healthy and functioning (((hugs))). It's so hard, I know. Do go and see someone because that is the only real way that you will find out what is going on. Sounds like it might be a good idea to go off of the 5-HTP though too, I didn't realize that it could aggrivate symptoms! Lack of sleep sends me spiraling in to mania very quickly so try to get some rest.


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#6 of 17 Old 01-10-2011, 09:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by yogachick79 View Post

If I am undertreated for my hypothyroidism (dose is documented too low, but current doc won't deal with it) would a low dose of L-Tyrosine be advisable?

 

I am sorry that you are going through this mam (((hugs))). I am BP 2 but have had my dx for quite some time. I was unmedicated through each of my last two pregnancies and found the post-partum time to be particularly difficult. I developed an axiety disorder and OCD, both of which I am now being treated for in addition to the BP. I had tendencies towards the last two pre pregnancies, but they became severe after. I did avoid medication completely after our second was born, and that was a mistake. I was a complete wreck for 2 years. I stayed off of medication until our youngest weaned at 22 months (so I was off for just over 4 years) and again, that was a REALLY hard time. I had no idea that my medication had been deemed "safe" or honestly I probably would have gone back on it after our last was born.

 

So I agree, while concern about breastfeeding and medication is valid, you need to be healthy and functioning (((hugs))). It's so hard, I know. Do go and see someone because that is the only real way that you will find out what is going on. Sounds like it might be a good idea to go off of the 5-HTP though too, I didn't realize that it could aggrivate symptoms! Lack of sleep sends me spiraling in to mania very quickly so try to get some rest.


I would hesitate to suggest anything in your situation.  I don't know at all how L-tyrosine would interact with your bpd.  I know, for instance, that 5htp could be problematic, but not about the other neurotransmitter precursors.  I also don't know how it would interact with the meds you are currently taking for your thyroid.  If I were you, I'd seek out another doctor who is more receptive to treatment options.  You could also try a supplement with iodine, which helps thyroid, but as far as I know doesn't have an impact on neurotransmitters. 


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#7 of 17 Old 01-10-2011, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't have diagnosed bpd...this thread was all abotu wondering... The hypothyroidism is borderline...enough to affect me and concern the naturopath, the doctor said NOTHING! I am on a ..I believe homeopathic type supplement for it and I'm taking some kelp. I feel like a different person after getting a bit more sleep and not having the 5-htp...also seems like I get...almost nesty like when you're pregnant between ovulation and my period! I get really way too into cooking, cleaning, making crafty things, knitting etc...a little obsessive... Just got my period and I feel so different! I plan to watch and see...I'd never had ...and episode or a feeling of mania like I did two weeks ago till a few days ago though -whew!


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#8 of 17 Old 01-10-2011, 11:09 AM
 
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Cycling through moods and feelings is completely normal as a part of being a woman and having cycles.  The stress and anxiety of having a baby plus the new challenges of getting out and meeting people alone can bring on depression, but then the hormonal changes can exacerbate them.  I think you're wise to back off the 5htp, and maybe just start journalling your state of mind, mood, energy levels etc.  as they relate to your cycle.  That can help you and your health care provider a lot in figuring out exactly what's going on.  You may have some cycle related imbalance, or you may have a mild anxiety disorder that is exacerbated by hormonal fluctuations.  Anxiety itself can present a lot like a mixed mania.  Getting a diagnosis of bipolar is pretty easy, but if it's the wrong diagnosis, it can take years of failed treatments and trials and really make your life miserable in the pursuit of wellness.  I have a family member who was made suicidally depressed by the treatments for supposed bipolar disorder and only got better when they were stopped altogether.  On the other hand, I also know people for whom the treatment of bipolar has been life changing in the very best way. 

 

If you do find yourself down without the 5htp and needing a boost, with your current supplements the addition of L-Tyrosine should be just fine. 

 

As you journal and consider what is going on with you, I suggest you read the book  An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison.  It's a very interesting memoir about her own illness, and I'd say if you can relate to the disease she's describing, you might then read her more technical book Touched with Fire and see if you think it's worth exploring further.  Touch with Fire contains all the diagnostic criteria for bipolar I and II, however it's a much more technical read, and therefore less interesting.  Certainly what you describe on the 5htp of the racing but really good thoughts sounds like a mania, but since the increase in serotonin caused by the 5htp alone could induce that even in a healthy individual, I'd hesitate to go on that alone.

 

Good luck, I hope you're feeling better soon.  It is, unfortunately, in our culture very difficult to transition into the job of mother. 


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#9 of 17 Old 01-15-2011, 12:54 PM
 
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I don't post often in this forum but this post really resonated with me.  I was diagnosed as bipolar after we lost our daughter, Carina.  In reality, it was a severe case of post partum psychosis.  Many in the field cannot recognize it and it seems that bipolar is a very popular diagnosis right now.  While I do believe medications are necessary in some situations, I spent the next two years heavily medicated and the medications they had me on made me a million times worse.  I try to get my story out there a bit as I truly thought I would have to be on medications for the rest of my life.  I was hospitalized numerous times during that time period for suicidal tendencies and attempts.  It was horrific.  I was a walking zombie who wouldn't leave the house.  Finally, my family did a sort of intervention because I was getting worse and worse and we decided to try going off all medication for a bit just to see what happened.  That was over a year ago and I am completely back to normal.

 

Anyways, just a word of caution.  Be very careful with the anti-psychotics if you choose to try them.  And try discussing whether it could be PPP. 

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#10 of 17 Old 01-15-2011, 05:56 PM
 
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Hi doulawoman,

 

First of all, your story isn't uncommon at all and you will find a lot of support here.  Although I am not yet a mom, I too have thyroid and anxiety problems.  I have seen a lot of misinformation on the internet about hypothyroidism (from "stopthethyroidmadness" and other quacks who almost exclusively try to promote dessicated pig thyroid to people and sell books).

 

It took many years for a medical doctor to disagnose and treat my thyroid,a nd up til that point I was having harmful thoughts.  It was a desperate situation.  You see after you have a baby your thyroid often gets even lower. 

 

My suggestion is to look at your  see an ENDOCRINOLOGIST and read what mayo clinic has to say about this; odds are if you are like me and dug deeply in to things, you have been well misinformed about naturopathy and where it is appropriate.  I would not see a naturopath, nor any other kind of doctor besides an endo, knowing what I know now about the industry of natural drugs as well as medical.  Horomones are serious business, and while I am glad some naturopaths have a sincere desire to help women, sadly many of them are vastly unqualified to deal with the complexities of PPD and hypothyroidism.

 

The trouble with treating thyroid when you are already on medications is that it will cause fluctuations and make it difficult to establish a baseline.  It took me about 2 months of regular treatment with synthroid before I stabilized and felt normal, and it has been lifechanging.

 

ironically, my TSH never registered over 6, which many MD's consider to be 'normal'.

 

If you are taking anything for thyroid at all, and it is not a regulated dose or being changed every few months, your TSH levels might be all over the board, causing what appears to be neurotic behavior.

Find a good endo and trust them.  Start there, then work your way into other options.

In addition to that, I found in the past wellbutrin did treat my depression symtoms, but it can also cause the flighty feeling you described.

 

 I do still struggle with anxiety issues, but now that I am not as depressed I find it a bit more manageable. I am still not an expert about anxiety but I wish you all the best in treating all your symtoms.  I suffered for many years in deep depression because I listened to people claim that anti-depressants are the same as a sugar pill, believed I was just lazy, etc.  Try trusting your doctor, and make sure you have eliminated all basic health causes as the true issue behind how you are feeling.

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#11 of 17 Old 01-15-2011, 06:04 PM
 
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I just want to add, in reagrds to my comment about naturopathy; I was a little off base, and  do not know enough about naturopathy to be qualified to badmouth it; I should state my own experience.  My apologies to anyone I may have offended.  I am emotional about this issue from seeing my family steered the wrong way by the types of doctors who don't take insurance and sell books.  But natural doesn't always work, especially in my case, and especially in the case of people with ceetain types of cancer, for example.

 

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#12 of 17 Old 01-21-2011, 03:18 AM
 
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I suffer from hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue. I have to say that stopthethyroidmadness truly helped me.

http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/thyroid-depression-mental-health/

It truly saved me. I had terrible mood swings, insomnia, startled easily, anxiety, I couldn't get out of bed, didn't want to leave the house. I was really quick to get mad but would back down right away upon confrontation. I had severe issues.

 

I was on Synthroid and would not recommend it. Although it helped I still had many symptoms.

 

I am now on Armour a desiccated thyroid medication. I also take Isocort and Adrenamin. I go to an integrative medical clinic they have done wonders for me and they are well qualified. I am treated not only on my blood and saliva test results but also my symptoms. 

There is no one cure fits all for thyroid problems I am sure everyone is different. However, my grandma, mother and I are all on Armour and it has really helped all of us. I think its important to be knowledgable in all available treatment option so that you can make an informed decision about your treatment and the option you have.

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#13 of 17 Old 01-21-2011, 07:27 PM
 
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Have you tried acupuncture? 

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#14 of 17 Old 01-23-2011, 08:21 AM
 
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Julianne,

 

I am not a doctor and don't make recommendations, only share my personal experiences.  Stopthethyroidmadness has caused much more confusion and mistrust in proven medical practices than it has helped those minority who don't respond well to synthroid. Mary shomon is an alarmist profiteer, who owns that and several other sites.

 

That's my opinion.  I based it on many, many stories I have heard and also my own father and grandmother's experiences with 'natural' thyroid.

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#15 of 17 Old 01-23-2011, 02:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the input everyone. I just want to say I'm happy with my naturopath....seems as if this thread is going in another direction...


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#16 of 17 Old 05-10-2011, 08:46 AM
 
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Hi, I just wanted to let you know what my experience has been with mood disorders. My diagnosis is not yet finalized, but it's looking like Bipolar NOS. This is sometimes referred to Soft Bipolar or Bipolar 3.  Essentially, it is recurrant depression with anti-depressant induced manic states.  I was prescribed Zoloft over twelve years ago, and in the few months I took it, I experienced hypomania/mixed state (characteristics of mania and depression). In the following years, I have had 3-4 bouts of depression since with no manic-like episodes.  I have not taken any prescribed medication but have pushed through my debilitating depressive episodes, albeit unhappily. I have tried OTC supplements like 5-HTP, St. John's wart, etc., and all make me weepy, agitated, energetic but still sad, etc, although not to the same extent as the Zoloft because I ceased taking the supplements within a week.  I have learned that typical anti-depressant medications and supplements do not work for me.  This is a common and normal reaction for people with bipolar as bipolar depression is NOT the same as unipolar depression.

 

Mood stabilizers, such as lithium, work generally to treat mania and hypomania symptoms.  They do not generally treat the depressive symptoms as well, although lithium has been shown to reduce suicide rates.  But they are required for bipolar people if they want to take an antidepressant or supplement that works on the same pathways as antidepressants (5-htp, St. John's wart, etc.).  Without a mood stabilizer, the bipolar depressive runs the risk of a mixed state (the most dangerous state as far as suicide: you're sad but energetic to do something about it) or a life-ruining hypomanic or manic state.  Thyroid medications can also induce mania or mixed states.

 

People with bipolar disorder have the highest rates of PPD.  My suggestion for you is that if you want to treat your PPD and/or thyroid, you do so in consultation with a reputable psychiatrist or mood disorder clinic.

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#17 of 17 Old 05-12-2011, 09:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This is a pretty old thread...I've actually not had trouble with the manic type stuff since my homeopath got me a great remedy for it. And now I'm actually pregnant with number two and feeling neither manic nor depressed....a whole lot of it i think was the 5 htp and having such incredible sleep deprivation....and a very intense little baby. Not down playing it, but now with #2 I know what to watch for much sooner thanks for all the replies, hope this thread can help others.


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