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Being a Bipolar mummy

(3 Posts)
bodyshopmama Sun 27-Oct-13 20:23:52

Hello everyone my name is Genevieve.
I wanted to blog about my experiences being a bipolar mummy and the pros and cons about it. Like many of you we enjoy our children endlessly but even though i am a hard working mummy that's always on the go to male sure my children and my husband are sorted in everyway i have found the increasing attack of the mental health labels trying to sabotage my normality of parenthood. I have been diagnosed with bipolar and personality disorder since i was 17, i do not have a criminal record nor have i been a threat to anyone. Recently though since asking for help around my eldest problems i have been vindicated by those suposedly there to help. I have been stable for many years now and always use the services i can access in times of need but my son whom is six has had problems since birth and we were told it was aspergers,he head butts, smears, violent out bursts hearing voices that cause him great distress i and my husband were advised to seek help from the behavioural nurse to which we did. Recently though at a network meeting for Ethan and Aurelia (my middle child under GOSH) i have been told it is my mental health making things up to get attention, funny really not as in ha ha but just disbelief at people in a professional sense having such ignorance. I have been assessed and mental health have said i am stable and far from unwell, in digging a little further it has recently come to light that social services have decided this due to not witnessing my sons problem and found it an easier solution to blame myself. If i was unwell and making this up why have people other than myself seen his behaviour? My husband has also been pushing for support and we are completely heart broken by what they are doing. I am having to see a solicitor tomorrow but are already aware that this social worker has done this to others. I may have labels like many others but that in its self does not me i am not a good parent! Is there anyone else who is having these problems or had them as i am feeling very alone x

ScreamingNaanAndGoryOn Mon 28-Oct-13 09:21:41

As a mum with bipolar, I'm interested in your story. I'm guessing that blogging all about what's going on well help you get things straight and connect you with people. If you're looking for support with all of this, then posting in the Mental Health or Special Needs topics may get you more responses that here. (HQ will move the thread if you ask them.)

My son has ASD & ADHD but I've never had my own MH problems brought into it, although I do worry about the hereditary aspect.

Does your son have a formal diagnosis?

colourmummy Thu 31-Oct-13 09:52:15

Gosh, poor you. I sympathise. I am on the spectrum very mildly for bipolar, which I manage by getting enough sleep and lots of exercise. As I have got older it has got better, helped by cutting out sugar and eating lots of omegas and vitamin D supplements. Also I find being in nature and being creative really helpful.

But it's really hard. It's scary, never quite knowing whether it's me that's mad or the rest of the world. And you can never talk about it to anyone because they would never let their children go to your house again. Even the nicest people can't cope with mental health issues. So effectively you are shut in a silent world - thank goodness for sympathetic family, eh?

The health pros can be the worst. Recently I was assessed: I was told I would be assessed by a psychiatrist, but I was actually assessed by a junior trainee doctor who had then moved by the time I got my follow up. Assessments are hell. At the initial assessment I was told I was fine and that I could come off my medication. Hooray! This I did, which was a bit of a rollercoaster but in many ways fine. Then I went back triumphantly to tell the Senior Consultant I was Fine, thank you very much. He just sat there and told me I was talking rubbish and that I was bipolar. It was heart rending. I was told to have my old medication (epilim) by the bed and start taking it as soon as I started feeling unwell. I can't tell you how awful it is to have such a diagnosis hanging over one. To be told, 'You're going to get ill at any time.' It almost becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

Anyway, here we are 5 months later and I'm still OK. A bit fragile and I can't work to full capacity, plus rather in debt, but apart from that I'm fine. I'm grumpier and less tolerant than I was, but more creative and with more energy by far.

For my son it's a bit tough as I do tend to overreact. Ditto my partner. And the need for exercise and siestas is paramount. I just can't stay up late or I pay for it later with burnout, early morning wakings, highs, lows...

I hope this makes you feel less alone?

The only advice I can offer is that assessments can be manipulated. That sounds terrible but I did a history degree and an assessment is basically telling the story of your life. Like any history you can spin it whatever way you like. So during the assessments be very calm and rational and if they ask you if you feel like killing yourself the answer is NO. Do you think the world is a terrible place? NO. Are you waking up early in the morning. NO. etc. etc.

Is it Ali G that does that skit; 'It's YOU who is mad!'.

Sometimes I think some social workers have an anti maternal agenda. It's almost as if they want to find fault with mothers.

Hope it goes well. I shall say some prayers for you.

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