I am 30 years old from Birmingham UK and was diagnosed Bipolar when I was 19 after experiencing a serve depressive state followed by a manic episode. This was just brushed under the carpet as one of those one off things and I didn't receive any therapy on ways to cope going forward.
It is only now that I've truly accepted and understood my illness since I had my son who is now one. I was severely depressed and psychotic a few days after he was born. I honestly thought it was the end of my life, no bond at all with my son, suicudal, delusional and after waiting 4weeks I was admitted to a mother and baby unit in Derby where I stayed for 8 weeks. I wouldn't wish my experience of been so unwell and admitted on anyone but for me it was the best thing that could have happened as I got the help I needed after many years of just 'coping' being up and down like the weather not knowling what is real and what's not.
My struggle as I am sure it was/is for many began when I was trying to get pregnant.. having Bipolar did not even cross my mind (and clearly not by my GP who just gave me anti depressants)
3 miscarriages and 3 years later I fell pregnant. All of a sudden it was like sirens were going off... bipolar and pregnancy= 80% chance of becoming unwell! But no one said what it would be like if I become unwell I had no one to relate to, I did everything in my power to not become unwell but it happened, nothing can really prepare you for it, it just took over and I felt all alone. I now know the key things myself and my family should have been told is it will be ok, it will pass, it's not your fault you are not alone.
I now have the support I need, I had a perinatal CPN until a few months ago and have another CPN who I see every 2 weeks. I take my medication and take each day as it comes.
I am hoping to have a second child at some point however I would be lying if I said I wasnt worried about the thought.
Looking forward to connecting with others who have had similar experiences and will offer my support for hope & recovery.