New moms with Bipolar

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Sassy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2003
Total Posts : 646
   Posted 9/1/2008 8:19 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, I am a grandmother of an 8 month old who's mom has bipolar and is cycling.  I am afraid for the child's safety, as the mom has had several different guys over partying, to the apartment my son has paid for, and she has forced him out of.  Her background is terrible, she has a mom with bipolar too, and a dad who could care less.  Basically, she has learned how to servive by lying, crying and doing what it takes.  She has not matured, and cannot look after herself.  She does not know what love is.  I don't mean to say, all the women with this disorder are like this.  This is just my observation.  She watched her mom take in several men and her dad the same.  She has started to follow in their footsteps.
 
My son became involved with this girl at 17 and was taken in by her needyness etc.  Soon she was pregnant, but would not tell her parents, in fact her mom did not know until after the baby was born.  My son tried to do the right thing, move in to a place with her and make a go of it.
He soon became depressed as she did no cooking, no cleaning, did not get up in the night with the baby.  She has beaten him in rages, and tried to choke him.  Yet she has made him feel that he is the blame.  He is now suicidal, believing he has brought a child into a horrible life situation, and believes the child will turn out just like his mom and grandma.
 
She is in denial, and won't commit to hospital, or change her meds.  I understand when you are manic, you feel really great.  I have seen her manic and depressed.  I feel for her, but she hates us.  She has taken the baby supposedly to her grandmothers, the only person left who will take her in.  The grandmother is 70, and I fear will soon tire of doing all the chores.  However, she would only give an address, not a phone number.  I very much want to get in touch with her family, to make sure the baby is properly taken care of.  They are 2 hours away from us. 
 
Thanks for listening, I was wondering if from experience, any moms can tell me how difficult it is with a child.  Can you handle the pressure, is your child your main focus? 
 
Sassy
 
Left sided UC dx 03
1200 asacol daily
30mg Celexa daily & rising as anxiety is back
Suffering from a bad case of menopause!


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 9/1/2008 11:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sassy,

I think parenting with bipolar is difficult, but so is regular parenting. Yes, for me, my child is my main focus. I can handle the pressure, but I've made a point of building a strong support system so that when I need back up I have it.

I'm no doctor but it sounds like your daughter in law is in a pretty acute manic phase. I doubt she feels good right now, but one of the common symptoms of mania is denial. It may have even been triggered by having the baby, she may be having some post-partum problems. I was watched very closely after I gave birth to make sure my moods didn't go haywire, and she should have had a doctor as aware of her situation as well. She needs to see a doctor immediately and have her medications evaluated and adjusted. Also, your son needs to see a doctor, or at minimum, a therapist. It is not uncommon for spouses of bipolar patients to need to see therapists -- we are hard to live with. Even the strongest spouse is going to get frustrated and worn out.

Nonetheless, it is NEVER okay for her to physically abuse him. There is no call for that, mania or otherwise. Tell him not to stand for it. The frustrating thing with bipolar patients is there isn't much you can do for them if they don't want help. However, if you really feel your grandchild is in danger, you may need to call child protective services. Your son doesn't need to let the mother take the baby all the time, either.

Bipolars can lead moody, but relatively normal lives with therapy and proper medication. But it takes a lot of effort. They have to make those choices on their own, however. She has to want to be a strong parent. If she chooses otherwise, do what you feel is the safest option for your grandbaby.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


Sassy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2003
Total Posts : 646
   Posted 9/1/2008 5:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your reply. This girl is only 19, and tends to do & say things that hurt my son. I know my son needs help. I don't know how to "make him get it", without making things worse. I guess it would be worse if he actually gave in to his suicidal thoughts. He is on Wellbutrin (sp) and they may be making his thoughts worse. The Dr. wants him to try it for 2 more weeks. I don't know if he should continue. He suffers with Dystimia--low level depression, that basically is constant for 2 yrs to be diagnosed. I don't know the legal implications as far a child custody, access etc. for parents with these 2 conditions.

We knew this child would have been better off adopted from birth, but the parents didn't want that. But now, we love her so much, it would be horrible if she got into the system-foster care etc.

I have read a lot and know a couple of people who have children with Bipolar disorder. I can understand some of the feelings and stigma going along with mental illness. I have worked in hospitals with patients who suffer from mental illness. I myself have suffed from anxiety and depression, and have been treated for a few years with success. But this disorder really scares me, its unpredictable. I afraid I just can't deal with this girl without jeopardizing the rest of my family, as I slip back into having anxiety attacks.

Thanks again for listening.
 
Left sided UC dx 03
1200 asacol daily
30mg Celexa daily & rising as anxiety is back
Suffering from a bad case of menopause!


missflip
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 163
   Posted 9/1/2008 6:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Sassy,

Hi. I agree with serafena. You definitely need to make sure that your son gets the proper help right now. Then I would see about trying to make contact with the girl and your grandchild. You do not need to be cut out of her life and he has legal rights as a father. Perhaps this is the direction you need to take if she is unresponsive at taking care of herself. If she can't help herself, how can she take care of an 8 month old. You have every right to worry and intercept on this baby's behalf. I think that someone needs to.

I am Bipolar II and have a 13 month old and one on the way. My child and unborn child are my main focus as well as my husband. I also focus on trying to take care of myself. It is daunting at times but it can be done successfully. A good pdoc, a good ob, and good support system have kept me going in the right direction.

I will be thinking of you guys. I hope that this turns out alright. Keep us posted.

Hugs,
Missflip
"I'm not crazy; I'm just a little unwell."  Matchbox Twenty

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