Thank you all very much for your kind replies.
I am actually in a very stable relationship. I have been with my Partner for 7 years and we will be getting married shortly. He is very strong and capable and kind. I think that bringing a little of him and a little of me (when I am well) into the world would be good for the world.
I am very well since I started on the tablets a number of years ago so I don't really worry much about my mental wellbeing. I know that for the foreseeable future it is fairly under control.
I could take care of a child but what I don't want is to be selfish about it. I think many people decide to have children for themselves but as soon as the child is born it's not about us anymore. I don't want the child to be born with Depression.
Shy: I believe that it is hereditary. I come from a very stable family backround, parents still together, never any fights etc. We were given everything that we needed and we all turned out differently. I have cousins with problems too. I was brought up in the city. They were brought up in the country in a stable family environment. I don't think anyone actually knows if it is or not but I really do believe that it is.
Teresa : Thank you for being so open and honest. I know exactly what if feels like to become "agitated, angry and lash out at others" but fortunately not recently. I hope you begin to feel better soon.
Hi Geraldine -
I was having a similar conversation this morning with a friend at work. It seems I've been struggling with the same kind of question lately, so thank you for posting it. It seems to me that the best thing to do is listen to your heart. I mean if having kids if something you really want to do, you should. Especially if you're in a committed, loving relationship in which both of you are in it together. I mean it sounds like you are already leaning in one direction, but worried that you'll pass on this dreaded disease. But, remember there is also the possiblity of not passing it on. It's risk, you just have to ask yourself if you're willing to take it.
i could be a smart a** and say, "if you have to ask, you don't want one." but that's a facile answer to a complex question. there are a lot of variables. let me give you a bit of my personal history as an example.
i grew up in a dysfunctional, abusive family. i was what some psychologists call the "sacraficial lamb." whatever went wrong in the family was my fault. as a teen (back in the early 60s) my motheer took me to a psychiatrist and essentially said, "fix him. there's nothing wrong with anyone but him."
like you, i have been clinically depressed for almost my entire life. about 5 yrs ago i was diagnosed as bi-polar. this dx was seconded by a second, independent, psychiatrist.
my wife and i have travelled all over the usa and eruope. we have been places and done things that most americans don't even know exist. but we have done it at the expence of not having children of our owm. i will be d*mned in h*ll before i would put another sentient being through the h*lls that i experienced growing up. child abuse isn't in the dna, but it is passed on in families from generation to generation. depression is now considered a genetic disease. why would i curse my child with abuse and mental illness? not me. no. not in this life time.
this is my decision and my wife's. when we first got together over 30 yrs ago, we talked about it and we have lived the lives we decided upon.
this is a personal decision. i can't make it for you and your priest, rabbi, or minister can't make it for you. we can point problems and benefits. one thing i can say from personal experience, don't have a child thinking that it will "save" or "improve" your relationship. Babies take over your life and magnify existing relational problems.
hope this helps.
Thanks for your replies.
Warren: I found your reply especially useful. I think you put my fears into words and I am especially interested in the fact that you yourself made a conscious decision not to have children. I think most childless couples don't have children because they can't and it is not something you can talk to people about easily.
All my friends with babies are waiting for us to start reproducing, they say it's the best thing that has ever happened to them. But again that is the point. It may be the best thing for me and my husband but maybe not for the child.
I have told my husband (I got married since we started this thread) that if I get broody to take away my tablets so that I remember the issues that raise the question in the first place.
Thanks again. It's good to know I amn't the only one with these mixed feelings.