“bipolar mothers die quickly”

11 Jun

My word, do we?

I will admit-at this point, if I was unmedicated, I would likely be dead. It’s that simple, and it had gotten that bad. My disorder had gone to that point. What at one point had been almost manageable if you dug crazy chicks was moving into territory that scared me.

But it’s true. Those of us with bipolar are at a higher risk of suicide, with around 15% being successful from 25-50% who attempt to kill themselves at least once. We aren’t the stable individuals we might seem.

Try adding pregnancy to this mix. Bipolar starts to show itself in young adulthood, and it doesn’t exactly get better. Hormones send you for a loop. The pressures of new motherhood, lack of sleep, adjustment to a new role-it all works to try and crush you in a pressure cooker. Post partum, the bipolar mother has an increased risk of depression leading to psychosis.

I didn’t know I was bipolar-in hindsight, considering my behaviour, I should have. But people always discount pregnancy as a time when women lose their minds.  I alienated the people around me. I stressed out my household to the point where my daughter was having nightmares. I didn’t enjoy my second pregnancy at all.

I’m lucky, or at least I think I’m lucky because I’m only Bipolar II. I have the disease, but not to the point where I’m completely debilitated. I can function, even if it’s just barely somedays. I can hide my bipolar behind the mask of “weird”. I’ve been doing this long enough-and this likely explains my disdain for people who try to be weird or odd. Some of us don’t have a choice, and don’t necessarily want it, at least not all the time.

I sincerely wanted to die, but was, as usual, saved more by my fear of abandoning the people who loved me than anything else. But if they hadn’t been there for me-I wouldn’t be telling you this story.

Bipolar mother’s do die quickly if no one is around to help them.

6 Responses to ““bipolar mothers die quickly””

  1. roxy June 11, 2007 at 10:12 am #

    Statistics like these always break my heart. It’s so frustrating to think of a mother with an illness like this in a world that just doesn’t fucking understand. In my own situation, the reports that fill me with a cold chill are the ones that show how likely it is my daughter will have my depression/anxiety. That my mom and her mom had, and who knows how far back.

    I know I’m to have a mild form of depression that’s not bipolar and can be pretty well managed without meds- now that I understand myself better, but my experiences with my darkness makes me so empathetic with these types of disorders.

    I think you do wonders here writing so candidly and touchingly about your illness and your motherhood experience. Keep it up. You are certainly helping me in the back of my mind when I occasionally want to eat a handful of Xanax.

    *crazy chick hug*

  2. roxy June 11, 2007 at 10:12 am #

    sorry, that was”‘lucky’ to have a mild form…”

  3. Jason Dufair June 11, 2007 at 1:39 pm #

    I dig crazy chicks. Glad you’re still here to share your stories, Thor. Given that Anna’s dad is severely bipolar, I worry about when my babies hit young adulthood. Hope you’re still here then – I may need some advice. And so will they if it turns out that way.

  4. Jennnifer June 11, 2007 at 2:28 pm #

    I know the statistics, thats why last year I was so adamant that you did NOT have it, I would rather you were just a little depressed and quirky.

    😦

    The big thing though is that you are very pro-active, aware and open about it. I don’t think you realize just how healthy that is on the grand scale of things.

  5. Bromac June 12, 2007 at 2:57 pm #

    My daughter has saved my life more than she will ever know.

  6. Dafft September 10, 2008 at 3:59 am #

    Yoga will further help you learn to calm down during the “brain racing” phase. God sure made our interior wiring intricate and sensitive and amazing. Knowing this be gentle with yourself. Find what is good and pure and beautiful and kind and focus on those things. As the Desiderata says, “You are a child of the universe (THAT APPLIES TO MOMS, TOO), no less than the trees and the stars, you have a RIGHT to be here.” God bless you as you continue on your incredible journey—many parts are edible in this crazy land we live in–I highly recommend Ghiardelli’s dark chocolate raspberry filled squares (PINK shiny bag). Then you will truly know that LIFE IS GOOD. Love and kindness, Lexa

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