Writing about my story has been really hard. Especially reliving events I would rather forget!
But in the same respect, it has been therapeutic.
I hope by tell you about my story, it has in some way helped you not feel so alone.
In this process I’ve been asked several questions. I thought here is the best place to answer them.
Q: How long have you been bipolar?
A: Since I was 16 years old. My 1st manic episode ended in me getting pregnant. I was vicarious, invincible, had grandiose thinking, was promiscuous, a social butterfly, and had major depression after my mania. It was a rough time in life. Although, I had a beautiful healthy baby.
Q: How did you handle being a teen mom with bipolar?
A: Well, seeing as I wasn’t diagnosed until I was an adult. I handled it like everyone else. It was difficult being a teen mom alone, but had I known I was BP, I’d say it could have gone smoother. I moved a lot, was in & out of a relationship with my childs dad, had mania along the way, and battled depression. I did drop out of school, but did accomplish getting my G.E.D., and completed a few years of trade school.
Q: Did you suffer postpartum depression with any of your pregnancies?
A: I do remember my last child I did. I loved my child dearly, but couldn’t stay at home much. I found many reasons to leave, and even got a job 6-weeks postpartum. It was hard with the depression to manage a new baby. It didn’t last very long. Though, I’m proud to say my child turned out to be one of the coolest kids I know!
Q: How have you managed your BP since diagnosis?
A: Like most people I take my medication every day, and go to therapy regularly. I don’t let anything slip. I’m afraid of mania and the repercussions. I also read up on the subject regularly, have started this blog, and joined a support forum (psychcentral.com). These things keep me in the know, and mentally healthy. I’ve enjoyed being able to help others. Being a support, and being supported by the community is priceless!
Q: Have you ever gone off your medication?
A: Yes! It wasn’t always easy (not that it is now) taking my medication. The side effects alone are sometimes hard to live with. I did hit mania almost 3-weeks after I quit. It took me six months of mania to finally have enough of it, and decide to go back on the medication. I’ve been on it ever since.
Q: How many different kinds of medication have you been on? Where any Benzo’s?
A: I’ve been on at least 15 different medications. Yes, I was prescribed a Benzo. My doctor made me so afraid of taking the Benzo. I filled the prescription but never took it. I still have it, and have contemplated taking it from time to time.
Q: How have you handled being a Bipolar mom?
A: With the ultimate support of my wonderful husband! He listens to me daily like a therapist. He also helps when I get frustrated. I’ve learned a lot of grounding techniques that really help!
Q: How many manic episodes do you have a year?
A: At least four a year unmedicated. I also experience rapid cycling. Medicated its much less.
Thank you for all your questions. Should you have anymore or if I can be of support to you, please feel free to DM me on twitter. I’d love to hear your comments to some of these questions too! Sound off in the comments.