Postpartum Bipolar Disorder
Though it is normal for mothers who have given birth to experience an array of emotions such as anxiety, joy, feeling good or feeling empty, and frustration. Some women might have not suffered from a bipolar disorder before pregnancy but suffered with it after giving birth. However, in some cases, bipolar might start to manifest during pregnancy, depending on the individual.
There are two phases of bipolar disorders; the highs and lows. When an individual goes through the ‘’low’’ phases, they feel extremely depressed. When they go through the ‘’high’’ phase, they go through manic episodes, this is also known as hypomania. Sometimes, women who are suffering from postpartum bipolar disorders are also likely to suffer from psychosis. The symptoms include delusions and hallucinations. Both bipolar disorders and psychosis can be extremely dangerous for both the individual and the baby too.
The causes of bipolar disorders are unknown. However, professionals suspect that bipolar disorders are genetic and it runs through one’s family history.
The Symptoms of Bipolar Disorders:
Psychotherapist Michael G. Pipich, MS, LMFT, explains, “Postpartum bipolar disorder is marked by the same symptoms of bipolar that anyone else with the disorder would experience.” He adds, “Starting with either mania or depression, women with postpartum bipolar disorder can experience severe up-swings that include feelings of euphoria, grandiose self-image, high irritability and agitation, decreased desire to sleep, racing thoughts, impulsive and often destructive behaviors, or go through periods of profound depression, which can include feelings of hopelessness and suicidal thoughts or actions.”
Bipolar I Mood Disorder:
- High energy levels.
- Rapid speech.
- Sleeping too little and not needing a lot of sleep.
- Impulsiveness and lack of judgment.
- Some periods of severe depression.
- Sudden mood improvements.
- Hallucinations and delusions in some extreme cases.
- The inability to concentrate.
- Racing thoughts.
- High energy and need for little sleep.
- Rapid speech.
- Increased sex drive.
- Grandiose ideas.
- Taking dangerous risks.
- Driving recklessly.
- Acting recklessly.
- Spending money impulsively.
- Manic and inappropriate behavior.
- Increased usage of alcohol and other harmful substances.
“So bipolar disorder involves three key components: 1) episodes of depression, 2) episodes of moderate mood elevation (typically referred to as hypomania) and 3) the occasional occurrence of full mania or the experience of being “up” where you truly feel out of control,” Russ Federman, PhD, ABPP, notes. “If you only experience depression and hypomania, then you’re said to have Bipolar II Disorder, whereas if your hypomania crosses the threshold where your thoughts, emotions and behaviors feel out of control then you’re said to have Bipolar I Disorder.”
Treatment Options for Bipolar Disorders:
Although, there’s no cure for bipolar disorders. However, bipolar can be managed and many of other bipolar patients are living happily, raising children, and are successfully managing a thezir illness. It is also vital for a mother to have postpartum bipolar treated immediately, for the safety of her own baby and herself too.
Getting a diagnosis plays an important part in treating postpartum bipolar disorders. Consult your primary healthcare giver or a psychiatrist. Give them a list of your symptoms and do your own research. Find out if anyone else in your family has suffered from bipolar disorders. Once you have been diagnosed with it, your treatment process will begin immediately.
Psychotherapy is a form of talk therapy and is used during the treatment process of bipolar disorders. The professional will work with the patient, they will help them with managing their symptoms, teach them how to cope with their illness and help them with other aspects of their life.
“These include cognitive behavioral therapy to pay attention to automatic positive thoughts as potential triggers for hypomania or mania; dialectical behavior therapy for improving emotion regulation; psychoeducational therapy to understand triggers and ways of managing the illness; family-focused therapy to improve communication and reduce intense emotional conflict; and interpersonal social rhythm therapy that emphasizes regular sleep and activity patterns,” wrote Erlanger Turner, PhD. He says, “Therapy has a lot of promise as a way of preventing progression of bipolar disorder, delaying relapse and improving functioning in between episodes.”
As mentioned above, though there’s no cure for bipolar disorders, the symptoms can be managed and stabilized with medications. A psychiatrist will prescribe the necessary medications to help an individual. Ensure that you notify your psychiatrist if you are breastfeeding so that they can prescribe medications that are safe for lactation. Here are the different types of medications:
- Anti-depressants – these medications are used to treat the depression symptom of bipolar disorders.
- Anti-psychotics – these medications are given to control and prevent manic episodes and psychotic symptoms. They also help with hallucinations and delusions.
- Mood stabilizers – these help with stabilizing the patient’s mood and managing it as well.
Other Helpful Treatment Tips for Postpartum Bipolar Disorders:
During the treatment of bipolar, the mother should have plenty of rest and should take some time off to take care of the baby and herself too. You seek the help of your partner and other family members to assist you with the baby and other chores.
It is also good to have some alone time every now and then. Take up a therapeutic activity to help you.