Saturday, October 24, 2020

Why My Kids Know Mommy Has Bipolar Disorder

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Chances are it will happen again. Mania will overtake my brain to the point where I’ll need to be forced into treatment. No matter how hard I work at staying mentally healthy, thestatistics show that most people who live with my type of bipolar will relapse. This can be due to meds ceasing to work, life events or changes in sleep patterns.

We probably should write down a plan.

That was the advice given to us as we sat in a dreary office speaking with a new psychiatrist one month before I would give birth to our first child. My entire pregnancy had gone so smoothly. My bipolar disorder appeared to be in remission as I indulged in ice cream every night and marveled at my growing belly. I was so happy with how our life was going.

So when my husband Ben and I met with the psychiatrist, I naturally wasn’t focused on preventative measures. Frankly, I was questioning whether I even had bipolar given how well I had been doing off medication. The meeting was meant for us to have someone in our back pocket should we need her in an emergency. My ego ached for her to shower me with praise for how well I had been taking care of myself.

Instead, she focused on the inevitable hospitalization she predicted I’d face. That’s all I heard. “You’re going to fail at mothering with bipolar, so we need a plan for when that happens.”

Well,

f*ck you, lady.Ben didn’t have the same visceral reaction I did. He told me later that he thought it was good she was preparing us to be prepared. We may not have had a plan written down when we left her office that afternoon, but at least we had her card.

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