New to forum: a few questions

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/8/2007 8:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi - I appreciate the existence of this board. I was diagnosed as unipolar (mania) 18 years ago and then as bipolar about 10 years ago. When I was a teenager, before I was diagnosed, I was given essentially what were sleeping treatments. I was finally put on lithium at age 18, taken off of it at 21, put back on it at 25, taken off of it at 28, and back on it again permanently at age 30. I have also tried Depakote, but it led to an extremely bad reaction, so for the meantime, Lithium is my friend. It's strange having coped with this for so long and never haven really talked about it much with other people who have it.

I've had 4 major bipolar hospitalizations and 3 of them were when I wasn't on medications. The last time I was hospitalized, however, I was on lithium and a little bit of Celexa. At the time, I had just graduated from graduate school, gotten married, moved to a new state and the first house I've ever owned, and started a new job. A lot of major transitions that I guess helped me breakthrough the prophylactic powers of the lithium. It was a really difficult hospitalization - I had to go in twice - and it was actually a pulmonary arrest and medicine induced coma (long story there) that helped me throw off the mania. Unfortunately I then went into a 2 month depression which was really the worst lows I've ever experienced. Anyway, that leads me to my present situation and questions:

We are expecting twins through surrogacy. I'm always afraid that lack of sleep propels me into mania, although maybe it's mania that leads to insomnia. Has anyone here dealt with the early days of newborns and lack of sleep and how did you cope with it?

I am also really scared about becoming manic again. My manias are not really livable -- I rather quickly reach the point where I need to be hospitalized. One psychiatrist told my husband last time that the more one becomes manic the more likely one is to relapse. Also, he said it's harder to come out of the mania as time progresses. Are these statements true?

Thank you so much for any responses.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 657
   Posted 1/9/2007 1:08 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi there Naranjadia ,

A warm welcome to you , I'm glad you found us :-)

Have you talked to your doc about this - I really think you should so you can have a back up stratagy/plan.

I have had a child and the father wasn't around to help , I know it's a cliche but us mothers just seem to find ways of dealing with things. Once I found my true love , my baby was 6 months old , by the time she was 12 months he was helping me , so if it is possible for your husband to help in the night then ask him. I found taking a night each was better than taking turns each time baby woke up.

I'm not sure about relapses as I have only once been hospitalised ( they didn't quite know what was wrong anyway) although my mania is getting more frequent.

Take care and keep posting ,

CONGRATULATIONS on your twins yeah yeah

Smiler tongue

Bipolar Moderator
DX : Bipolar , Panic Disorder , GAD , OCD.
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Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 1/9/2007 1:43 PM (GMT -7)   
I had my daughter before I was diagnosed with BiPolar. During the time that she was an infant I was sleep deprived, manic/depressed and had major anxiety issues. I dealt with all this because my dh was very supportive and helpful. We took turns getting up with our daughter. I would go to bed early and he would stay up with her until 1-2am, he's a later night person anyway. Then after that I would get up with her. I can tell you that I am not one to deal well with sleep disturbances, but we made it through okay.  It probably would have been helpful if I had been diagnosed before hand and knew what to expect. 
I can only tell you this... My husband was a life saver and helps with everything because I can get overwhelmed very easily. If you have people to help out, mother/in-laws/friends/cousins, TAKE THE HELP. I was very proud and wanted to do the mommy thing on my own and didn't take the help. Bad move. Utilize everyone and everything. Family want to help with a new baby (or two). Make sure to take naps too. The more sleep you get the better.
I hope this helps. Good luck.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 215
   Posted 1/9/2007 5:15 PM (GMT -7)   
With twins this is going to be harder, but...sleep when they sleep. Housework waits. Babies are only little for a short time. Concentrate on getting to know your children, on falling in love with them, in a routine that works for you. It is one thing to get up with babies in the night and feel tired the next day. It is altogether another thing to get up with them and then believe that your house should be in 100% perfect order 100% of time, think that dinner HAS to be on the table at 6, that you always need to look good, etc. The latter will drain you out and leave you a limp washrag.

When I had my babies, my mom would constantly rag on me about the state of my house. She always wanted to "help out" by caring for the babies. THe real help I needed was caring for my house and seeing to meals. A silly casserole was what I needed! For her to do some laundry is what I really needed. She didn't understand that my first need, my first responsibility was to my baby. Screw the rest of it.

I would suggest that you check out some online sources for OAMC or Once A Month Cooking. There are a lot out there. Do what you can now. They say to cope with anything, don't get too tired, too hungry or too lonely. Tired is expected, but if you are eating right and your husband/mom/best friend, whomever, will come and help you cope with the house and the laundry, you'll fare better. It is scary to think of feeling too tired and overwhelmed. You are right to worry that it is a recipe for disaster. However, if you have household help and you are getting nutritious hot meals out of the freezer, you'll be more likely to feel human and in control.

Oh and um, come here when you feel like you are about to burst. Let us listen, we do you know.
The Lady Dragonfly
Yes, it was me...I know because I was there when I did it. Lupus sufferer, bipolar II sufferer. Currently on Indocin for chronic pericarditis related to lupus, and cherishing every deep breath without pain. Currently in graduate school for mental health counseling, class of Fall 2007. Vegan and loving it!

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/10/2007 5:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for your replies!

Smiler - my doctor and I have been talking about this and he set me up with a therapist who is helping me work through my fears and plan what to do. My doctor wants me to contact him when trouble starts brewing. I just hope that the response doesn't have to be hospitalization. I tend to go whole hog when I become manic.

Lady Dragonfly - Thanks for the advice. Guess I'm going to have to work on my perfectionism, too!
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