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White Poppy

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  1. Talked to my doc today. He agrees with me about the PTSD, and gave his blessing for EMDR. He wondered why the family therapists we saw to help with my postpartum depression didn't catch it, I can't help but wonder why he didn't. But I really do like him, and I didn't talk to him much about my trauma, so I don't blame him. Just glad I've identified this and hopeful getting help with it will make my life, especially my relationship with my son, better. Thanks for all your thoughts.
  2. It was six years ago, so I don't remember the source, but I think I found it through Pub Med.
  3. When I was pregnant, I did some reading on this. Bipolar women with adequate care and who are stable going into the birth have about a 50% chance of PPD (not sure about PP psychosis). I went into the birth depressed, and my traumatic birth experience made it worse. I had terrible PPD for at least a year if not more, and even then, I didn't stabilize, just started bouncing around between mania, mixed states, and depression. My son is six now, and it's the first time I've felt stable. I am still suffering from the effects of PTSD, though.
  4. I'm already on tons of medication because of my bipolar disorder. I had been relatively stable and in a good place before I got pregnant, but a complicated pregnancy plus traumatic birth experience destabilized me. in the 6 years following the birth, I've gone from one med to 5... Hoping to get off of some of them soon. Luckily I have a very attentive psychiatrist and have made an appointment to get some therapy. I would like to try EMDR.
  5. When I got diagnosed, I was enrolled in a PhD program. Hypomania really helped me write better papers. After I had my breakdown that lead to the diagnosis, I was often too depressed to work, and the mood stabilizing meds dulled my brain. I just wasn't as sharp as I had been before. After several sick leaves, I finally dropped out of the program. That was ten years ago, and I am plagued by regret that my decision-making was compromised, and that I will never get to finish this big project that I started. The other day I had to go to my little brother's graduation ceremony, and I was so sad after, still am. I hate that my BPD stopped me from finishing something I had put lots of years and lots of work into. All that to say, I really understand the grief that goes along with BPD interfering with education. Hang in there.
  6. It's really reassuring to hear that you've been able to make peace with your regrets. It's true that everyone has regrets, even those without serious MI. I just wish I weren't so haunted. But I'm starting therapy again after not going for 6 years. I'm hopeful that will help. A lot of my regret having to do with my son is because I have PTSD following an extremely traumatic experience giving birth to him. I'm going to try EMDR and see if it helps. If I had to pick only one regret to make peace with, it would be that one.
  7. Since I started talking to other woman who suffered birth trauma, I've been reading a lot about postpartum ptsd, and ptsd in general. I did a test for it online (I know that is not a substitute for a diagnosis from a medical professional). I got a pretty high score. Going to bring this up with my doc when I see him next week. Thanks for your thoughts, it really helps.
  8. Obviously I'm not asking anyone here to diagnose me. I hadn't thought about my experience in terms of PTSD, and now I am. I'm just looking for others who have more experience to share their thoughts.
  9. I have bipolar disorder, and I have a 6 year old son. My pregnancy was complicated, but the birth was a total shit-show. I almost died, and was in and out of hospital for a month following the birth. I had to have 3 surgeries in 4 weeks. I got poor medical care. My concerns about my mood were dismissed. It was a truly awful experience. When I finally got out of the hospital, my mood went crazy and stayed that way for 5-6 years - manic, depressed, mixed states, intense anxiety. Following the birth, I started having what I think are flashbacks. I never lost touch with reality, I didn't actually believe I was back in the hospital, but I would have these intense moments where the memories flooded back all of a sudden, especially if I saw or heard anything about childbirth. I have less of these now, but I still get them. For example, I have trouble watching shows in which someone gives birth, and when someone I know is pregnant or gives birth, it fills me with feelings of sadness for what I missed out on. The other day I was writing up the story of my son's birth, and I had to stop because I suddenly felt like I was going to pass out. I have recently hooked up with a facebook group for mothers who have experienced traumatic birth, and a lot of them say they have PTSD. I'm wondering if I do too. 6 years after the birth, I still have physical damage, and I have had a lot of trouble bonding with my son. I often regret having him, because in a very real sense, his birth is the worst thing that ever happened to me. I am socially withdrawn, when I used to love being around people and talking to friends. I have also withdrawn from my marriage for the most part, we hardly talk anymore. I never want to leave the house. I am almost completely unable to feel joy - once in a while it happens, but it only serves to remind me of how infrequently I feel good. Does this sound like PTSD?
  10. I'm on Latuda too. I haven't had problems with rage (well not more than usual ), but I have really withdrawn socially and am more or less unable to feel joy except very rarely. I was talking to someone recently who is also on Latuda and also suffers from flat moods, and her pdoc told her it is probably the Latuda. I'm going away this summer so can't get off it right away for insurance reasons (travel insurance won't pay if you've made any med changes in the 6 months prior to leaving), but my doc said we can start weaning me off of it when I get back.
  11. I'm not in therapy. I should be. I have some insurance coverage for it, but not enough to get me through a year, so I've been anxious about starting. But I know it's important that I do it. For my PhD, it was good that I left, but only because I had made such dumb decisions about what to study/who to study with/where to do it. I wanted to impress the hardest people to impress instead of just studying what made me happy. If I had just done what I had intended to do with my PhD, I would have finished. But my decision-making while I was in the program was really distorted. I went to my brother's graduation recently, and I found it really hard to see the people graduating with their PhD's. I'm considering starting a new one, but I have a full time job, a house, and a kid now, so I'm not sure that will work. I just feel like I am never going to shake this regret.
  12. Don't be sorry! It helps me to read this. I have also noticed that it's often easier to deal with my son if we're out doing something than at home, and I definitely do it more than I used to. We're taking a couple of trips this summer, one to see my in-laws for a month, and they love taking care of him. So I won't have the whole summer to fill. But it's daunting, the idea of him being here all day every day. He's got one week left of school. We'll see what happens. I've never worried about him being taken away, but I do worry that his teacher thinks we're not good parents. He's covered in bruises, he has crazy hair that needed to be cut 6 moths ago (although he likes it and doesn't want it cut). They send home these little challenges for the moth sheets with things we're supposed to teach him to do at home, and we really don't put enough effort into doing them.It's only kindergarten, and I know he will learn the stuff eventually. I feel especially bad about this because I am a college teacher. If anyone's going to help their kid through school, it should be a teacher. Anyway, now it's me that's rambling. Thank you again for responding. It's very comforting to know I'm not the only one who struggles with these things.
  13. So glad to read these stories. I had a very traumatic birth experience, and it destabilized my bipolar disorder for five years afterward. Mania, depression, and mixed states. I have had a lot of trouble bonding with my son because of it, and I often regret having had him. I know that's awful to say, but it's true. The thing is that in a very real sense, having him was the worst thing that ever happened to me. I had a miscarriage before I got pregnant with him, and that basically started to unravel me. The second pregnancy was not joyful because I was so anxious about miscarriage. The birth went terribly, and my mental and physical health have suffered so much because of having him. I do love him, and I think the world is a better place with him in it. But it feels like I had to take a fall to get him here, and I worry I will never forgive him for putting me through hell. I know it's not his fault, but I have also learned that trying to talk myself out of feeling something doesn't work, even (or especially) when my feelings are dark, as they often are. But it is so comforting to read the words of other moms (and one dad) who have been through similar experiences. I often feel like I'm the only mother in the world who isn't particularly happy about being a mom.
  14. That is so comforting. I sometimes feel like the only mom in the world who has complicated feelings about her child. I know I shouldn't compare myself to people on social media because no one posts the bad stuff, but I just keep seeing pictures of these joyful mothers whose difficulties are solved with a relaxing glass of wine after bedtime, and come morning they're ready to go out and make great memories with their kids. I let mine watch too much tv and eat too much junk food. We don't often take family excursions, we never go to the park. I just feel like I am not providing him with a good childhood, and that he's going to end up a drug addict or something because of the trauma of not being loved enough by his mother. I have a tendency to catastrophize and to be very, very hard on myself, and I know I'm doing that now. But I can't seem to shake these feelings.
  15. I know I have a right to my feelings. But it feels like I'm missing out, and so is my son. He deserves a mother who loves him more than anything else, and I deserve to feel happy I have such a great son. I know "deserve" is probably not the right way to think about it - we all get what we get. But I have a lot of trauma from my childhood because my father left us, and I worry that my son will have similar trauma because I don't love him enough, don't pay him enough attention. People always tell me that the fact that I worry like this means I do love him enough, but it just doesn't feel like I want it to feel. I know that all mothers struggle, but I also know that many mothers experience great joy being with their kids. As I said, it's gotten better, and I am able to enjoy time with him now, but I'm so ambivalent. I have one foot in and one foot out. I think a lot about how much happier I'd be if he weren't around. This is the first year he'll be home for the summer (because he finished daycare and started school) and I'm kind of freaking out about him being home every day for 2 months. We're taking a few trips, so it should be fine, but the idea of having to deal with him all day every day is frightening. Anyway, I'm kind of rambling, but thank you for posting back. It really helped to get my story down in writing and have supportive comments from others come in. Thank you.
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