Bipolar Diagnosis After PP: Has anyone... - Action on Postpar...

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Bipolar Diagnosis After PP

vlk86
vlk86

Has anyone else received a bipolar diagnosis a few years after PP? I have just had another manic episode and been diagnosed as bipolar 3 years after suffering PP out of the blue. Do you have any advice for the initial recovery? Have experienced a drop in motivation and finding it difficult to adjust. Looking for reassurance from ladies who have been there.

13 Replies
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Pikorua
PikoruaVolunteer

Hi vlk86,

yes, there are quite a few mums on this forum, who live with BP1.

I am sure we will be able to help and support. I can explain a bit about my unique experience with this chronical condition more in detail tonight.

During the day I am busy home schooling with my nearly 10 year old son. I was diagnosed in 2018. I lead a happy life style with my partner and son.

Please do not worry about your diagnosis. Professor Ian Jones has helped us tremendously & knowing why I struggle with Insomnia, Anxiety and Sensory Processing so much all makes sense now. Establishing a diagnosis was important for my partner.

I pretty much continued with my authentic self and feel comfortable in using a path of alternative therapeutic tools to achieve maximum quality of life suitable for my purpose, which includes my family and selected friends.

I'll be in touch again. Bye for now!

x

Pikorua
PikoruaVolunteer

Hello again,

as promised a bit more to maybe ease your concern.

We are all very different in our experience of recovery. I believe it really helps to access factual information about BP. Once I knew I was diagnosed I did and still continue to try to understand more and more about my condition. Initially I looked into MIND, if you go into search for BP you will find explanations and some useful links. In addition Bipolar UK is very supportive, especially now with the Covid crisis.

My PPP (2010) experience has been very traumatising, because of ill treatment in a Psychiatric hospital. I am not sure whether BP is just happening out of the blue after PPP as you mentioned and, thus can not comment on this.

It has been different in my case. I traced back that my personality always has been extremely hyper and at 24/7 speed without much sleep. One of the reasons possibly why I always studied at night and lecturing full time in my previous life, before I got poorly with PPP :-). My suffering of PPP led to mental health challenges which were described as agora and social phobia by my local health professionals.

Let's summarise a bit, whereby I am thinking of my own tools. Please remember we are all very different and you may want to figure out where you find yourself on the spectrum...If you have had PPP, you are categorised for Bipolar1, but that does not mean that you fit into this particular spectrum. My symptoms at the moment are bipolar 2, but I struggle with cycling BP. I use a tracking system with Worcester University called true colours, which is mood research for BP...I have learnt to understand my BP since I've started to run a diary and to record my moods.

I ride a bike mostly every day with my son, but also meditate regularly and focus on Yoga. I believe Reiki has helped me quite drastically and now I am working on my own chakra balancing. I listen a lot to Meditation I Pods at night. In addition I use a lot of aromatherapy to calm my mind.

Obviously I do not know you as a person and if I tell somebody I follow the principles of Buddhist philosophies, that may does not make sense to everybody. However, I just found the Happy Book by Fearne Cotton on my Kindle, She suffered from pretty bad depression, but has written an easy accessible self help book with some lovely activities, which you may find useful.

Positivism, gratitude, being open to learning, not comparing and cherishing the moments and accepting that the Past is the Past is pretty much my qualitative life style also reflected in Fear Cottons Book;

At this moment, since my son is at home I seem to cope much better as I have a set routine with home schooling, and I can sleep more hours per night since March. I have been living for nearly 2 years with my diagnosis. I have a very good support system with my little family and some friends.

My purpose is very clear as I love to be there for my family, but also can pursue my love for creativity and volunteering. My partner supports my decission in taking CBD capsules, which has been in my system for over 1 year. I declined Lithium or any other mood stabiliser.

Please, do understand that my path is an alternative choice. Most people with BP I know have chosen a mood stabiliser or Lithium. Advise, support and a none-bias/none judgmental attitude by good health professionals, family members and kind friends will be in my view point contributing factors in order to identify your path of recovery.

It takes a while to figure out how to ride the waves, but I manage quite well!

Take good care and I am sure that you will hear from some wonderful mums on this forum, who also live with BP...

lgreen
lgreen in reply to Pikorua

Thankyou VLK86 for starting this thread as this is exactly how I feel. I suffered PP out of the blue in 2012 been off all medication for 7 years, fit and well and WHAM beginning of lockdown had a serious episode of hyper mania and became became prodromal psychotic. I was under Crisis team and diagnosed Bipolar.

Now im discharged from Crisis team on medication antipsychotics and sleeping tablets referred to CMH. Feel very worried as the earliest CMH can get in contact is August. I have brand new diagnosis of Bipolar no mention of on what scale etc and left.

I'm a single mum of 2 children, no family locally and just feel iv been left out on a limb. Iv been on sleeping tablets since March I'm worried should I still be, could I become addicted etc. How or when can I get a diagnosis of what level of bipolar I am. I have a professional, high responsibility job am I safe to return. I don't know how I'm going to be 1 day to the next. Thankyou ladies reading your similar experiences after PP help x

Hi vlk86,

My experience was pretty similar PP out of the blue and a subsequent manic episode around 18 months later which led to a Bipolar 1 diagnosis. I have to admit I have struggled more with this diagnosis compared to the PP so give yourself plenty of time.

After the relapse I restarted CBT sessions which was hard but helped me to talk through some of the trauma I has perhaps buried after suffering from PP. I also researched the medication the psychiatrist was offering as I was determined to not be sedated or muted if you know what I mean . I chose lithium and 2 and a bit years later everything seems to be going well.

I did go to a few bipolar uk support groups too.

I’m sure this all feels a little unreal, good luck x

Hi vlk86

Same as you I was diagnosed bipolar after 2xPP 2003&2007 then BP episode in 2010 I know it’s tough to get your head around but it is something you can conquer and live with though it really knocked my confidence for a while x. I had a lot of psychotherapy which truly helped and still take lithium daily x. Your not alone 😉. Take care

Natalie x

Pikorua
PikoruaVolunteer

Dear vlk86

hope you are doing fine and the above messages will reduce your worries.

Healthline: Bipolar Disorder is a Newsletter = free subscription

The APP website also has some further information which you might find useful about the links between PP and bipolar disorder: app-network.org/what-is-pp/...

Kind wishes,

x

Thankyou VLK86 for starting this thread as this is exactly how I feel. I suffered PP out of the blue in 2012 been off all medication for 7 years, fit and well and WHAM beginning of lockdown had a serious episode of hyper mania and became became prodromal psychotic. I was under Crisis team and diagnosed Bipolar.

Now im discharged from Crisis team on medication antipsychotics and sleeping tablets referred to CMH. Feel very worried as the earliest CMH can get in contact is August. I have brand new diagnosis of Bipolar no mention of on what scale etc and left.

I'm a single mum of 2 children, no family locally and just feel iv been left out on a limb. Iv been on sleeping tablets since March I'm worried should I still be, could I become addicted etc. How or when can I get a diagnosis of what level of bipolar I am. I have a professional, high responsibility job am I safe to return. I don't know how I'm going to be 1 day to the next. Thankyou ladies reading your similar experiences after PP help x

Frankieb
FrankiebVolunteer in reply to lgreen

Hi there, I can imagine you are going through a tough challenging time right now. I had PP in 2004 and 2007, I was well then for 8 years before my first bipolar attack. I am now on Lithium daily, my mood is stable and I can live a happy and productive life.

I can imagine its so hard right now because essential services are limited. You mention sleeping tablets, have you been prescribed any thing else? I can understand your concern with being on them a long time. Have you got any contact with your MH team, unfortunately sometimes they do need a little shove, maybe contact them and see if you can get a telephone consultation. Happy to chat anytime, take care now

Barbara x

Pikorua
PikoruaVolunteer

Dear all,

thank you for all your comments and yes, it realy helps to talk about it, therefore thank you vlk86 for opening up and sharing.

Research needs to delve deeper into the subject matter of BP in combination with PPP and or whether PPP could be a trigger resulting into BP as some of the mums suspect.

We are certainly a minority of mums, who experienced either diagnosis of Postpartum Psychosis followed by BP or maybe already having knowingly or undiagnosed BP resulting into PPP, as it was in my case.

In my case I have no definite answer, because my own family tree is rather complicated and the branches I was able to research did not identify Bipolar in family members, but Schizophrenia. I experience stigma as my family does not know how to deal with my transparency and openness of PPP and BP and thus, mother and brother do not talk to me. I am concerned for the younger female generation within our family.

I managed to read more about research in manic-depression (old definition of Bipolar) starting in 70s publication onwards, thus I believe a lot of women were not diagnosed accordingly. It is easily done as it still happened to me in 2010 when I was sectioned.

Yes, it is quite a lot to deal with when being diagnosed much later after already a traumatising period with PPP and recovery. I am pleased that some mums have found a path of therapeutic avenues and individual and/or group therapy. I worked extremely hard in order to figure out a tailor made toolkit suitable for me and my little family, who have to live with my mood swings.

It is a bit like a maze or fighting continuously with the waves, especially when external influences bombard your mental health and you have no control over these storms such as the Pandemic or my turmoil today where I am struggling with the unpreparedness of how people try to educate their children about racism, where maybe parents never have had any lived experience or opportunities of extending cultural capital, because they themselves have never lived within a multicultural environment or seen or experienced racism, which is represented in many forms...children are not born to be judgmental...socialisation creates inequality! So these are my worries for today, because it is full moon and my mind is racing!!!

I will have to get grounded again by walking in the garden barefoot when the moon is shining tonight :-) ...might you it is pretty cloudy and rainy where I live at the moment.

x

Frankieb
FrankiebVolunteer

I experienced my first bout of bipolar after 8 years of recovering from PP the second time. I take lithium daily, and am glad to say I manage to live a happy, productive life. I have been diagnosed for over 3 years now.

A BPD diagnosis does not have to mean your life is changed forever, it can mean you have an answer, an explanation and you can learn to live with it, accept it and move on.

I have far more acceptance of my BPD than I did of my PP. Happy to chat with anyone who needs to.

Barbara x

Hi Vlk86

I had PP 3 years ago and had a manic episode a month ago out the blue and got diagnosed with BP1 2.5 weeks ago x

vlk86
vlk86 in reply to Cupcake201

That is pretty much the same as me. I am pleased to say I am recovering well after the episode now. Felt a bit low for a couple of weeks but it seems to have passed. I too had a manic episode, I think it was caused by lockdown stress and reminders of previous PP trauma.

Hi I am not sure if I have Bipolar or not. Sometimes I think I do because I can get very hyper then that other side where I can get very low but I don’t know if this is in relation to my menstrual cycle . I do have a gut feeling that I might have it ..

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