"Don't have children!" Busting myths about Bipolar Disorder and Motherhood

Posted on June 13, 2016

The surge in “Don’t have kids!” came at the heels of research showing that while severe postpartum depression effects up to 10 percent of women across the board, postpartum psychosis—an illness associated with delusions and infant harm— is another matter. Postpartum psychosis occurs in about 1 out of 1000 births and may occur at rates of up to 100 times higher in the bipolar population than it does in the general population (though less than 4 percent of those with postpartum psychosis actually harm their kids).

Herein lies a part of the issue, because misdiagnosis is now, and always has been, rampant. And the women who end up engaging in infant harm or other scary behaviors are often the ones who are misdiagnosed or under-treated. This is especially difficult because there is some research to indicate that many women with histories of depression may convert to bipolar disorder after birth. One study found that the rate of switching diagnoses was 11-18 percent higher in the postpartum period than at other times. So with those high hormone levels, not only do women have a higher risk for all manner of psychological distress overall, but they may have a higher risk of triggering manic episodes and bipolar conditions even if they’ve never had them before.

It isn’t that the risk isn’t real. Sleepless nights and hormones wreak havoc on our bodies and can trigger more symptoms. This is something that every women should be aware of when making these decisions. According to some studies, 71 percent of women with bipolar disorder will experience a resurgence of their symptoms during pregnancy, though the risk is two times greater for those who forgo drug treatment.

Awareness matters. If you’re bipolar and reading this, you already have a leg up on the situation. Accurate diagnosis and a plan for pregnancy and postpartum allows every woman to weigh her odds and make informed decisions about her body, for better or worse.

It might not be easy, but it might be worth it once you get past the harmonicas. And only you can decide whether it is a path you want to take.

To read the full article, click the link below.

Category(s):Bipolar, Pregnancy & Birthing

Source material from Megsanity

Mental Health News