Dealing with postpartum bipolar - my story

My story of dealing with postpartum bipolar is a long one, but one that I’m grateful to be able to share.
When I became pregnant with my child several years ago, I was filled with excitement and joy. But as the months went by, I also began to feel overwhelmed and anxious. The coming months would bring extreme changes in my mental health that I hadn’t anticipated or prepared for.

Shortly after giving birth, I began having strong fluctuations in mood; I had highs where it felt like nothing could bring me down and then sudden crashes into deep lows of sadness and depression. It was at this point that I realized something wasn’t quite right.

I made an appointment with my doctor who diagnosed me with postpartum bipolar disorder (or “postpartum rapid cycling”). This was largely unexpected but also made a lot of sense when looking back on my symptoms leading up to the diagnosis.

Since then, I’ve been doing everything possible from lifestyle changes to utilizing medication for managing these episodes - both highs and lows. These measures have certainly helped to stabilize my condition significantly but it’s still a work in progress as sometimes the episodes will suddenly get out of control again. However, being aware of how postpartum bipolar impacts me has allowed me to make plenty of improvements and a sense of calm while on this journey.

Thanks for being courageous enough to share your story. It can be so difficult dealing with a large change in mental health unexpectedly, and I applaud you for recognizing something wasn’t quite right and taking the necessary steps to get help. Learning to identify the signs of episodes and taking action accordingly is no easy task, and it’s great that doing these lifestyle changes and utilizing medication has made a significant difference in the stability of your condition.

It’s great that you have developed an awareness of how postpartum bipolar disorder affects you, as this gives you the tools to make progress on this journey. I’m sure there are still plenty of struggles along the way, but know there are people here who support you every step of the way.