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Are you scared of passing it on?


Have babies, eh?  

151 members have voted

  1. 1. Are you going to have children?

    • No, I don't want to risk passing this on.
      19
    • No, I don't want to risk going crazy on them.(you know what I mean)
      9
    • No, I don't want kids, has nothing to do with my dx.
      10
    • Yes, I don't care about my dx.
      2
    • Yes, I'm willing to take the risk, but am going to be prepared.
      35
    • I already have kids and they have no dx of MI
      35
    • I already have kids and they have a MI dx.
      13
    • Other(please specify in your post)
      7
    • No, I don't want to risk passing it on AND going crazy on them
      22
  2. 2. If you don't have children yet but plan to, are you worried about passing this on?

    • I don't worry about things that haven't happened.
      2
    • I'm not worried.
      5
    • I worry but I'm willing to take the risk.
      19
    • Already said I won't do it.
      50
    • I'm more worried about me being a bad parent.
      25
    • Already have children
      51
  3. 3. Did your parents have a MI?

    • Yes
      55
    • No
      36
    • Never officially dx, but I'm pretty sure they did.
      61


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I don't want to have kids. More specifically I think I WOULD like to have kids, but I'm scared of 2 things: ending up like my mother and traumatizing them and hurting them (how do you explain to an 8 year old that mommy is just manic and it's not their fault?) or I'm scared of passing on bipolar to them and forcing them to be on meds and in therapy for the rest of their lives when they'd otherwise be healthy.

I'm about genetic responsibility as a parent. I DO NOT want to offend ANYONE because that is not my intention at all. I should say I'm not judgmental of others in situations like this, just myself, if that makes any sense. I don't know how to explain it better, but I REALLY REALLY don't want to offend, so remember that when I explain what I mean about that.

My mom was 35 when she had me. I wouldn't have kids 35 or older because of the risk of some of the genetic issues. I think when parents have one kid that has a disorder that's from their genes meeting and then they try again bc it "might not happen this time" I could never do that, I don't think it's responsible. So it's my responsibility I feel, to realize that I have less than stellar genes. I used to want to be an egg donor. Now I would never want to give a couple my eggs.

The thing that hurts is I always thought I wouldn't have kids only because of my mother. She was an alcoholic, emotionally abusive biatch who I now realize is bipolar. (I actually used to think that before I knew much about it, and talking to my tdocs and pdocs has confirmed it for me) But I think part of me always thought if I could get to 30 without turning into her, maybe I could have children. Now I realize that's not it.

I don't know why I really thought that anyway though. I had an AMAZING childhood as far as my parents go(the bad things that happened they didn't know about until much later and had no control over). Then, ironically enough, my turning 12 and my mother breaking her leg and not being able to walk for 6 months coincided. She had to go on heavy painkillers and began drinking more. So while people thought our fighting had started because of my becoming a teenager, that wasn't it. She started drinking more and that's when she started having MEAN mood swings. When I think back, she had depressive mood swings and spending mood swings before, but she was never mean. Now she became awful. Not long after was the first time she told me she hated me. So I might be fine at 30 and go crazy later... gah

I refuse to be like that to a child. My mother had scarred me often with things she has said(I deserved to be molested bc I was a slutty 7 year old... obviously) and the easier things would be when she'd slap me so hard my nose would bleed.

I was wondering how other people felt. Are you scared of passing on bipolar? Are you scared your mood swings will hurt them? (I can be mean to my bf when I'm "in a mood" and I feel HORRIBLE after).

Yeah... just wondering. Sorry if this has been done before, but there are SOOO many topics here they get lost sometimes.

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I want kids, but I am scared of passing it on to my children.

Maybe it isn't the worse thing in the world to pass on, but I do worry about it. I worry about whether I might be a not-great mom b/c of it.

And I worry about pregnancy....how can I be pregnant and be on meds? But how can I be off-meds? Am I an automatic for post-partum psychosis?

But, I still want kids. I think it's something I'll have to plan carefully, if we decide to have kids.

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And I worry about pregnancy....how can I be pregnant and be on meds? But how can I be off-meds? Am I an automatic for post-partum psychosis?

You can be on meds and be pregnant, and you're not automatic for PPP, especially if you stay on meds or go back on them in the third trimester. NAMI has a lot of information about this.

I have a son. He's autistic, but he's happy and so are we. I hope he doesn't have a mood disorder on top of that, but if he does, we'll deal with it the same way we've dealt with the autism.

I would have more kids if I could, but pregnancy and my bipolar don't get along. It's not like that for everyone with BP, but for me it's not something I'll risk again.

See, and then I read about you susan and I have hope for a second, but idk if I'm as strong as you. You seem to be an amazing mother, after everything I read about you and your son, but what if I'm not... what if I'm my mother... gah

I'm glad you answered that too, I was also wondering.

Sorry, added already have kids bc I didn't realize you HAD to answer all of them.

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Don't want them, luckily, otherwise my main reasons would be being terrified of PPP and the kid/s inheriting bipolar. I am sure it would be a tough call, as I know it's a strong desire in a lot of women.

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Susan, that is good to know. I was just reading some of the older APs are safer too.

I would hate for my kid to be BP, but then I think....my life isn't worthless, so while I wouldn't want to pass it on, I'm not sure that alone would be enough to stop me from having kids.

And I thought having dogs provided an impetus to stay stable, so I could take care of them! It would be even stronger with a kid, I'm sure.

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There's no guarantee that you'll pass on bipolar disorder, and if you're a good, conscientious parent,you can lessen your childrens' risks by raising them well. I think the psychological fucked-uppedness I got from my untreated parents is probably worse than the BP itself. There's a reason I've been in therapy since I was 11.

That's what I'm worried about though, is my affect on my children.... bc even with medication, it's always something you fight and have to worry about meds stopping working, etc, right? So if I go crazy, am I going to scar my child forever? I don't want to be like my mom. I'm sooo soo I can;t even describe how many soooo's scared of that thought.

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My parents had me before they were diagnosed - they were in their twenties. Mom has Undifferentiated Schizophrenia, Dad has MDD, is a recovering alcoholic, and has some sort of anxiety issue. I ended up with what's in my signature. Not sure if it's right, but it seems to explain a thing or two at least.

I'm currently pregnant. I don't plan on having any more kids for a few different reasons, and the MI issue is not one of them. There are a lot of people in this world, and I don't need to add more than I have to. Plus pregnancy kicks the shit out of you physically. My mood has been a bit wonky, but it's been manageable.

I'm a functional person with good insight. Even when I wasn't so functional, I knew that there was something wrong (I just refused to get help because I didn't want to be like my mom - another post). Now that I have at least some idea of when I am and am not functional, I attempt to and succeed in nipping episodes in the bud (to use a cliche). I get myself good and medicated and have a few bitch sessions with my therapist so it doesn't get bad. I'm not the sort of person that wakes up one day and finds myself really fucked. I seem to slide downward with at least a few days warning. Because of all of this, I'm only so worried about traumatizing my child. I keep a few "normal-sorta" people in my life, and I will request support from them if things get bad.

As for how I feel about passing my crappy genetic code on...eh, sometimes I feel guilty and sometimes I don't. A part of me feels sort of selfish because as far as I'm concerned, I have the right to a normal life, which includes having kids if I should so choose. And there are lot of nasty, heritable diseases that a lot of people don't think twice about passing down - cancer, anyone?

I don't feel guilty at the same time because while I resent my parents for a lot of things, one of them isn't giving birth to me. I'd like to think that my kid will feel the same way.

MI isn't always the end of the world. Pancreatic cancer, however, frequently is.

That's just my take. Everyone's situation is different.

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My parents did tiny things that have scarred me forever, they were (my dad was, anyway) perfectly loving and kind to me(mother was distant, but for a decent reason I guess) and STILL did shit that stuck with me forever, that turned into some mental issue with me. They were pretty good parents, better than a lot of people get, and STILL I ended up not so great, but they did things most people would over look is all I am saying. Just a little more protective than usual and whatever, but not strict or abusive by any means. Nothing traumatic.

I still ended up a little wacky.

My point is that this is something EVERY parent worries about, and with good reason unfortunately. It makes it harder for me to be a parent because I KNOW that they watch every little thing you do, they pick up on things. Guilt is tremendous, and it's always over something stupid too. Anyway, it is possible and likely for any human being on the planet to do SOMETHING wrong that will affecf their child negatively. Sadly, most things you wouldn't even notice or think about. I try really hard on that part, as a parent, no one is perfect.

Sorry if that offended anyone.

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I'm currently pregnant. I don't plan on having any more kids for a few different reasons, and the MI issue is not one of them. There are a lot of people in this world, and I don't need to add more than I have to.

I would like to adopt, as well as having a birth child actually....or even instead of. But I've always figured adoption agencies would not want to adopt to someone with BP/MI. I could be wrong in that.

I've assumed I got BP through genetics - my dad was adopted and died of cancer at 44, so dunno, but I think he was normal. My mom was s.a. by my grandfather and has anxiety issues, but is a great, strong woman. My brother has MDD - I'm more functional than him - but in my mom's family there's lots of 'weird' great-aunts/cousins type of thing....including one great-aunt who insists she had sex with a ghost (I'm disappointed nobody asked her what it was like) - and she's not the only 'weird' one, so I wouldn't be surprised if that's where my BP comes from.

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Hmm, after one of my many "I wish I was never born" fits, I decided that kids aren't my thing. I'm not really comfortable with the idea that I could pass the batshit on. I don't know if my batshit could handle having the responsibility of another person. I can barely take care of myself.

Plus. I'm already running a risk of being infertile. And the majority of my relationships are with females, which complicates it as well (for me). I don't know how I would handle the guilt if my kid got picked on for having "two mommies".

My decision isn't set in stone though. If I were to meet someone I would like to settle down with, I might re-evaluate.

But it's not a great urge for me. I don't have a ticking biological clock. And I would lean more toward adoption if I were to consider children to ever be part of my life.

***obvious disclaimer*** These are my views on my own life only, and I in no way use them to pass judgment on anyone else's choices. To each their own.

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I'd really like to have kids, but I'm worried that my MI would make me a crappy parent. And/or that because my parents abused me, I won't know how to parent in a non-abusive way.

Also, for some reason, I have this terror bordering on the phobic about the idea of being pregnant/giving birth. I have no idea why. Just thinking about it freaks me out.

I'm hoping I'll grow out of that in time for me to have some kids. Or, being gay, I guess my hypothetical future partner could have them, if she were more capable of carrying children...

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I have a daughter and I do fear her getting an MI that I basically jinxed her with or what ever you may call it. But on the other hand, I know that if she where to possibly be dx'd with a MI it isn't the end of the world, millions of people live with an MI and live long, happy, and fulfilling lives.

I can also see the signs quicker than a person who doesn't, I know when to take her to see a doctor due to behaviors that arent "normal" alot of people dont know the warning signs because they weren't dx with an MI or never got help and arent as educated as we are, we know what a manic episode is, we know the signs of depression, and other MI's.

It is frightening, I know the chances are very high that she may get it, my father was BP1 and I am too, my mother was never dx with an MI but I am sure she has an MI too. MY SO, my daughters father has an MI, his is depression but still, alot is genetic.

That being said I am blessed and very lucky to have her, she is the light of my life, the only reason why I force myself out of bed, and why I go to therapy. IF it werent for my kids I probably wouldnt be here. Children are a wonderful thing. Before my daughter, before I found out I was pregnant I said no, never, I will NOT have kids, but the day you find out that you are going to bring another life in this world, it all changes.

I went with out meds during my pregnancy, I only took what was medically necessary, it was hard, very hard, I was depressed and all that good stuff, but it was worth it, and if she does get dx with an MI, I will help her in every way I can I will try my hardest to help her get better, I wont sit here and worry about it now, if it happens then I'll deal with it but I cant worry about something that may or may not happen.

An MI wont make you a crappy parent, you are the parent you want to be. You can be supermom and have an MI. There are crppy moms who have no MI, it is all in your head, if you want to be a good mom you can be MI or not.

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This is a hot button topic for me. Let me tell you why.

My son was born with a rare stomach disorder. He had several surgeries and several surgical procedures before the age of 2. We spent a vast majority of the first two years of his life in the hospital or the doctor's office. At one time, he was under the care of five specialists.

These times were not fun. I actually developed a fear (more like an anxiety intolerance) of hospitals as a result of the experience. My son was in pain for many of these hospital stays. Then, right before he turned 2, he broke his femur right in front of me. I called 911 and had to convince the firefighters that there was actually something wrong with my son. So I picked him up and handed him to the firefighter, letting that leg, which I had previously immobilized, dangle freely. I still cannot forgive myself for causing my son that particular pain.

That being said, if you had told me before I got pregnant that I would have to live through that horror, I might have said no, I'm not getting pregnant. But here's the interesting thing: that was only two years of his life. He's a happy, relatively normal 11 year old boy. He loves me and tells me so every night. He has fun, plays with his legos, talks on the phone with his friends, and is a fun loving child. He has ADHD, but it doesn't slow him down a bit.

I would immediately say yes to doing it again, because those rough times were only a small part of a very joyous and productive life. I wouldn't trade my son for all the diamonds in the world. And only by being a parent can you understand how deep that feeling goes.

I had my children before I was diagnosed. I would still have had them post diagnosis. Do I wonder if I passed BP on to them? Yes. But I have the tools to know what to look for and the ability to speak openly to my children, when it is time, to explain to them what they need to look for to preserve their mental health.

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Very Very scared of passing it on, and very very convinced i am going to be a bad parent.

I can hardly look after myself. Its as simple as that.

I cant look after fish, cats dogs anything.

I am also convinced i am a perfect candidate for post postpartum depression and or PPP.

My opinion for know, i am very young, so who knows it might change.

GC

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Well, only recently (as in past few months) have I even reached a point where I could think about things like this... and I have concluded that I am not stable/healthy enough to raise a child, plus I am almost absolutely certain my child would be mental. There is so much crazy in my family, and it just seems cruel to do this to someone else. Maybe my perspective will change in time, but now, I really don't want another child like this. It seems like these genes are pretty dominant...

I can trace all of my problems as being highly genetic, passed down generations.

Mother recurrent major depression, obesity, possible autism, social withdrawal/apathy.

Maternal grandfather, depression, possible/probable autism, social withdrawal/apathy, some first degree relatives in mental institutions.

Father, anxiety disorder, paranoia, depression/agitation, alcoholism.

Paternal grandfather, anxiety disorder, alcoholism, recurrent psychotic episodes

Paternal grandmother, paranoid schizophrenia by 30s

Brother (my uncle) chronic depression, suicide by 30s

I've my mother's depression (recurrent), and I think I am only bipolar because of the extra genetic dose of psychosis/craziness from my father. Both are social freaks too (my mom the worst of the two, and I take after her like a clone). I'm also genetically predisposed to obesity just like my mother which I only control by eating like a weirdo.

I just know if I had a kid it would be all fucked up like me. It would be depressed/crazy and fat, socially nonfunctional, and maybe a good artist like me, but who cares about that?

I got the bad genes, just like my sister did. My brother and sister got the good ones, lucky bastards.

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Oh I didn't even think about stuff like the actual pregnancy... seeing as I get pretty hypomanic at ovulation, and again at menstruation (progesterone withdrawal), I'm pretty sure I would be one of those to lose their shit forever after the progesterone withdrawal of giving birth. That's when grand ma ma started to go loopy for serious, way back in the 50s, when any crazy person was "schizophrenic" even if today they would be diagnosed as something else.

Yea, hormones pose a big problem for anyone with bipolar. Estrogen kinda makes you manic, and progesterone withdrawal does the same thing (via rapidly increasing estrogen activity, even if estrogen level may decrease too).

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i was undiagnosed when my daughter was born. i didn't go crazy until she was five. i've stayed crazy until about, i dunno, last year?

she is doing all the bad things you hope your kid won't do right now. but she's not mentally ill. she has some bad coping mechanisms she learned from me and her father and stepfather. not anything that can't be helped with therapy alone by a long shot.

if i had known when i was 20 that i was MI... i'd have never done it. if i had seen my inability to care for a child like i think i should, i would have decided that it was not good for anyone involved.

but she was born, and i haven't regretted it. i regret she didn't get parents who were stable. she regrets it too, i'm sure, in ways she doesn't understand yet. but if you asked her about her childhood, she'd say it was great other than a few awful experiences (that i completely own). even now when she's rebellious and angry as hell - she never calls me a bad mother. she thinks i am really freakin unreasonable right now heh, but that's because most seventeen year olds think that when someone enforces boundaries.

even if it turns out that she'll end up with a MI... i'll not be sorry that she still is alive, illness or not. most importantly she isn't sorry at all.

being a parent made life really, really hard because of my illness(es). it also made my life meaningful enough that i couldn't end it all. and now i'm still alive after what i thought was my better judgment when i was severely depressed.

my parents sucked HARD in many ways. my childhood sucked. i've always been terrified i'll be like them and hurt my daughter. it turns out that being SO vigilant about NOT being my mother was a really good way to keep checking that i was not abusive at all. i bet that happens a lot.

i wouldn't fault anyone for deciding to be child-free. i think it's an equally valid choice, illness or not, bad genes or not. the pressure is on for women to make babies their whole adult lives, and that isn't fair. you can have a life that's exactly what you wanted without reproducing. you can have a life that's nothing like you wanted/expected/planned (but is somehow really great anyway) if you decide to have kids heh. it's up to you and anyone who criticizes that can shove it in my opinion.

this is interesting! thanks for bringing this up. do you think any of this affects your thoughts on whether you'll reproduce? if it was me i'd value crazy parents opinions much more than a "professional" opinion. but that's just me.

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but if you asked her about her childhood, she'd say it was great other than a few awful experiences (that i completely own). even now when she's rebellious and angry as hell - she never calls me a bad mother. she thinks i am really freakin unreasonable right now heh, but that's because most seventeen year olds think that when someone enforces boundaries.

I bet if you asked her one day? ... she'd say she has an awesome mom whom she wouldn't trade for anything in the world.

...beautifully written, as a lot of your stuff.

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