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.