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people here speak of having an "episode."  what exactly does that mean?

i mean, i have almost continuous episodes with no normalcy in between.  i am manic for months at a time and then i am depressed for months at a time and then back to manic.  are each of these episodes?

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Yes, what you are describing sound like discrete episodes of mania and depression.  Some people have interludes of normalcy in between.  Most people, if not manic or depressed, still have a recovery period after an episode while they and their minds try to reassemble themselves.  Right now you are cycling directly from manic episodes to depressive episodes and back, which sucks, but is not forever.

If a meds-free pregnancy is important to you, do so as far as you are able.  There are, however, several drugs which appear to be safe for use in pregnancy which your doctor should perhaps consider.  Whatever you decide, you will be able to resume taking medication once your son or daughter is in your arms.  (Breastfeeding is good, but having a healthy mother is far more important.)  Once you begin working with your doctor to regain control of your bipolar, it's only a matter of time before you find the appropriate medication(s) to halt this incessant cycling.  I really believe that. 

Hang in there.  I know you feel awful right now (even if I can't empathetically sense how), but you can get through this.  Keep walking.  You will endure. 

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Heya invictus,

Sounds like me -- I've never had a break in between types of craziness, more like a continuous wave or something.

Echo what lmnop said re. pregnancy.  It and breastfeeding are all about risk/benefit for mom and baby.

If your BP stays stable off meds for the pregnancy, that's fantastic.

Some women have to restart mood stabilizers though, because having a suicidal, raging, or manic mom isn't any good either and can of course be worse than meds.

Likely they will talk to you about restarting meds during or immediately after labour.

Hope the pregnancy goes well!


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