Bipolar Disorder.: Dear Ladies. I have... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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Bipolar Disorder.


Dear Ladies.

I have been reading a book on Bipolar Disorder. If my second opinion does not come back as Complex P. T.S.D. now am going to accept that I have Bipolar/P.T.S.D. I have spoken to my husband and my pharmacist and they have advised me not to come of my medication. I believe this is the best course of action. I realize I am in good company, as Vincent Vangho, Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln suffered from Bipolar Disorder. I know some of you ladies suffer from Bipolar Disorder. How do you manage it?

Best Wishes xx

19 Replies

Hi there, I have bipolar type 2 - a milder form but definitely hard enough to manage!

I manage using medicine. I take Olanzapine for the mania (anti-psychotic) and Sertraline for the lows (anti-depressant).

I recommend talking therapy too. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy works well.

You need a good psychiatrist who can answer your questions and prescribe medication that works for you.

It may take time to get the balance right - stick with it!

Good luck with it all x

Hi, I have bipolar disorder, as well as PTSD.

I manage primarily with medication - I am on sodium valproate and aripiprazole as my maintenance medication. I've had a few episodes despite being on medication, and when this has happened I've needed ECT.

I've also done therapy for my PTSD.

in reply to Kokoraki

Hello Kokoraki

Welcome to the forum .... thank you for your supportive reply and sharing your challenging health issues.

I noticed from your profile that you are in Australia and have bipolar1. I had Postpartum Psychosis many years ago but I'm sorry that I don't have any experience of bipolar to share.

I wonder if an article in Pendulum magazine "Pregnancy for Bipolar Women" might be helpful to read from a few years ago? The link being If the link doesn't work you can find the article at the end of the Personal Experiences section at experiences/.

The forum is mainly to support women who are recovering, or who have had Postpartum Psychosis. I hope you will have replies from mums here with experience of bipolar and I wish you well in your future pregnancy. Take care.


Hi Poulson,

I was diagnosed bipolar during my admission for PP in 2012. I've been off and on different medications (olanzapine and quetiapine) but right now I'm managing well without anything. My doctor is pretty happy for me to self manage, and to monitor my own mood. I am fairly good now at recognising when I'm getting down or a bit too "busy"! However, this is not something I'd undertake lightly... Everyone is different.

More generally, I think on balance having the diagnosis has been helpful for me. It's allowed me to make sense of a lot of things, both before and after the PP. I think it's also helped me to make peace with not trying to "accomplish" too much. I was a bit of an academic high flyer in my younger days and always felt I ought to have a full-on job and "achieve" stuff. I know now that it's much more important to maintain my health and be there for my son. My goals have completely changed. I do have a job now but it's part time and fits in very well with my recovery and work/life balance etc. Just getting through life with my sanity intact is enough of an achievement for me!

Hope this helps,

Kat x

in reply to KatG

Dear KatG.

I have spoken to Cardiff University today and they told me that the second opinion service has sent a response to my GP mental health secretary.

I have sent my journal, but she says she is unsure whether or not it has been read.

I have been doing my meditation and looking at my baby photo's which always brings me comfort. I have been recalling taking my daughter to Disneyland Paris and Benidorm. My problems stem from abusive relationships, narcissistic parents and a mental health system that has let me down badly. I have been made the scapegoat in my family, and I have now had enough.

I have been listening to my music and relaxing watching TV with Bruce.

The music brings back good and not so good memories. I believe my diagnosis is Complex P.T.S.D.

I have got my results from my course on Mental Health Awareness Level 2 and 3 Diploma.

I got 78% in my first assignment. I have submitted my second assignment and am doing my third now.

I have not heard anything from the police about the abuse I have suffered all my life.

I will keep you posted as to how I get on.

in reply to Poulson

Hi Poulson, I hope you're doing OK, and that the second opinion may be helpful. You've had some great replies here of people sharing their experience of how they manage bipolar diagnosis.

I think I've given you these links before, but just in case I haven't, I wondered if you might find more people to connect with for peer support around Complex PTSD from some of these organisations:

•CIS'ters (Childhood Incest Survivors) PO Box 119, Eastleigh SO50 92F, tel: 023 8033 8080,, Provides help and support for adult women who suffered incest as a child. Organises workshops and conferences to raise awareness on the issues surrounding incest, particularly mental distress.

•The Survivors Trust - UK network of support organisations for survivors of rape, sexual violence and childhood sexual abuse. Offers extensive information resources plus details of your local specialist support.

•One in four - Advocacy service, counselling service (available over skype and in several languages) and information for people who have experienced child sexual abuse.

•HAVOCA (Help for Adult Victims of Child Abuse) - Provides information to any adult who is suffering from past childhood abuse. Website includes survivors' forum.

•Lifecentre - PO Box 58, Chichester PO19 8UD, adult helpline: 0844 847 7879, under 18s helpline: 0808 802 0808. Telephone counselling for survivors of sexual abuse and those supporting survivors.

•The Lantern Project – and support for survivors of sexual abuse. Information library on website, and survivors' online forum.

I hope that's helpful. Do take care,

Ellie X

Hi Ellie.

I have spoken to Cardiff University. He says he is not doing any more referrals. I have decided to go private to Thornbury Hospital.

I am in touch with Sodit Sheffield. I have told them that I am fed up to the back teeth of being misdiagnosed, put on medication, and put in psychiatric hospitals and prison when it is not me who is at fault. It all stems from a dysfunctional family.

I have been doing my journal and intend having it published one day.

My son says that if I mention the abuse his dad did to me he will turn against me. If that is the case, then so be it. I have done my best for him and my daughter.

I am going to get my second opinion, then if I get a different diagnosis I will sue the health authority again. It is a pity I cannot sue my family for all the trauma they have put me through. I will not settle out of court again like I did last time.

I was dreaming about holding a little baby last night. It was a wonderful dream.

Best Wishes Maxine

Dear Ellie.

I have spoken to the consultant psychiatrist from London today. I sent her my journal. When she contacted me she said she was so sorry for all the trauma I had been through and that she was surprised I have come this far with all my ex-partners and health authority and family have done to me.

She says she does not believe I have Bipolar, that she believes my diagnosis is Complex P.T.S.D. She has advised me to come off my medication slowly, and that she will write a report to myself and my GP stating my new diagnosis, she has recommended I take an antidepressant. She has also said she is going to refer me to a psychotherapist for talking therapy.

She also said that with all the trauma to process I may be in therapy for a long time.

It is a weight off my shoulders to finally have a correct diagnosis after all these years.

She wants to speak to in a months time to see how I am getting on. She said it is difficult to overturn a diagnosis, but that I don't present with symptoms of Bipolar and there is no evidence of psychosis.

I am reading another book today on narcissistic mothers.

I used to tell my husband that my family will have to pay to a higher power than me, but a dog can only be poked in the eye so many times before it retaliates. I believe in God and if that is a mental illness then I am guilty.

Best Wishes XX

in reply to Poulson

Hi poulson

I’m so glad the psychiatrist appointment was helpful and that she has given you a diagnosis that feels right. It sounds like you have a good plan as well and that you can access some therapy. You have been through so much.

Take care poulson


Dear Ellie.

I have had a prompt response from the consultant psychiatrist today. She did an in depth letter to myself and my GP. She was very thorough. She was very sympathetic on the Skype appointment. She wants another appointment with me on the 14th of may. She is only going to charge me for half an hour, but is going to speak to me for an hour.

I had another nightmare last night, but I didn't get out of bed, I just turned over to my husband and put my arms around him.

I have not heard anything from the police yet.

I am just about to have a soak in the bath and listen to my music again. My husband is watching a horror film and i don't like those.

I will keep you posted to how I get on.

Lots of Love XX

in reply to Poulson

Hi Poulson - wow congrats on your assignment results! That’s wonderful. I’m so glad you’re in touch with Prof Jones and I really hope you’re able to access his service via Skype soon. I’m sorry to hear about all the trauma that you have faced, it sounds horrific. I think trauma responses (especially response to repeated traumas) can often go misdiagnosed within the mental health system. Perhaps clinicians “don’t want to go there” or are unsure how to unpack the trauma from the current presentation of mental ill health - and so reach for the diagnoses that they are comfortable treating. Or (even worse, in my opinion) the “hard to treat” or “treatment resistant” labels. Has anyone spoken to you about specific trauma therapies? I wonder whether it’s worth exhausting all of those avenues (EMDR, ACT etc) before thinking about medication for bipolar itself? Just a thought.

Wishing you all the best,

Kat x

in reply to KatG

Dear KatG

I have had E.M.D.R treatment before, but it did not address the root causes of all the trauma. I was told to focus on voices in my head after my daughter was born, which was too disturbing. As I have said before, I am doing my journal and intend having my story published soon. I come from a very dysfunctional family, and all their problems have been put on my shoulders. For example, I was abused by two partners, two brothers and a cousin and have narcissistic parents who have covered it up for 43 years.

I have been given that many different mental health diagnosis over the years and pumped that full of medication you would not believe. I successfully sued the mental health services in 2009 for misdiagnosis. They have told that many lies about me that I started to question my own sanity. It is called "Gaslighting." It is what narcissists do.

This was all because my mother and ex-husband wanted custody of my children from the day the were born. They have systematically bullied, threatened and blackened my name for years, but the thing is they don't know I have a memory that goes back to when I was 3 years old, and I also have the truth on my side. I also have my strong faith.

I intend naming and shaming my family and health authority for all the trauma they have put me through.

Best Wishes.

in reply to KatG

Dear KatG .

I have spoken to my husband and we have both agreed that I should come off my medication in 3 months. I know i have not got Bipolar as the psychiatrist says. I have already sued the Mental Health System for misdiagnosis, and they still keep misdiagnosing me.

It should be my family that they are taking a long hard look at, not me. I have got that many qualifications in mental health, 24 in all. I have a Certificate of Higher Education with The Open University and hope to get my Diploma and Degree next year. Then I hope to go on and get my Masters and P.H.D. Then I can speak to the psychiatrist on his own level.

I can thank my grandparents for how far how I have come in my education. I miss them all terribly.

I am just listening to Rother FM and all the music that was in the charts when my children were little. My family cannot take my treasured memories of my children and granddaughter away, however much they try. I look at my baby photo's on a daily basis. My family are all toxic and they should all be brought up on charges for what they have put me through.

I am just reading a book on Complex P.T.S.D. by Pete Walker.

Best Wishes

in reply to KatG

Hello Kat,

it is lovely to hear from you again. Our path could be certainly of interest to research into BP. It would be lovely to exchange our experience one day, as I always have been on a journey of alternative therapy after my recovery of PPP.

Stay safe and healthy. Happy Easter.

in reply to Pikorua

Hi Pikorua - lovely to hear from you! Yes we should compare our experiences some time, that would be really interesting. It’s been a lovely long weekend in sunny Scotland - back to work (from home) today though!

Take care and I hope all is well with you too,

Kat x

in reply to KatG

Thank you for your message Kat...will be in touch via private messaging. Stay safe!

The Doctor said diagnosis Bipolar Affective Disorder in 2008 and put me on a mood stabiliser and it has worked pretty well. Plus Keeping the Balance groups which i attended and have reaped the benefits and I also helped with the Bipolar UK which is a great charity based in London that has a fabulous website with lots of articles and support. All the best X

in reply to new-baby

Dear newbaby.

I have finally got my second opinion letter to speak to a consultant psychiatrist.

I have already had 3 other discussions with psychologists who have all said I have got Complex P.T.S.D.

I will keep you posted.

Hi Poulson, Well i take a medication for mood stabilisation as well as one for psychosis at a 25mg dose which he says doesn’t work for psychosis at that strength but is good to help with getting to 😴

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