Micaela on accepting her postpartum psychosis and bipolar disorder

mom laughing at her son - essay on being diagnosed with postpartum psychosis and bipolar disorder

Content warning: Discussion of postpartum depression, birth trauma, domestic abuse or other tough topics ahead. If you or someone you know is struggling with a postpartum mental health challenge, including postpartum depression or anxiety, call 1-833-9-HELP4MOMS (tel:18009435746)—The National Maternal Mental Health Hotline This free, confidential service provides access to trained counselors and resources 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in English, Spanish, and more than 60 other languages. They can offer support and information related to before, during, and after pregnancy.

I wanted a baby so badly. I remember craving one after I experienced a miscarriage. Well it happened and I was over the moon!

Pregnancy was terrifying but worth it. Birth was painful but worth it. And then came the first 6 months. The first 6 months of my son’s life were hell. It was so much more than the baby blues.

I had a serious problem—one that had always been there but worsened from birth and my experience with breastfeeding. I stopped breastfeeding at 8 weeks. I hated every minute of it and even regret doing it. It hurt every time and doing it made me angry and I hated that. It ruined sex for me forever.

Related: How to cope with postpartum ‘baby blues’—from a clinical psychologist

Now any time something touches my nipples, rage washes over my body and I can’t control myself or my anger. I finally spoke to a mental health professional after that experience plus all of my other weird mental health stuff and I was diagnosed with psychosis.

I’ve been hallucinating for years and never really realized it or paid any attention. I only recently started paying attention because the hallucinations got worse. And louder. And more in my face. I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and my moods are all over the place. It’s hard to control myself. I’m suffering through depression and I relish in the time I spend in mania. I feel like I’m the only one that enjoys mania, but it feels better than depression.

I have yet to find a good therapist. I’ve been traded around to at least 3 different ones because apparently no one is qualified to help me with my issues. That makes me feel even worse about my diagnosis.

Related: Learning that I’m bipolar made me a better mom

It didn’t help my mental health but I’m doing so much better now that my son is older and less dependent on me. 

I hated hearing this, but you need to hear it. It DOES get better. I know what you’re thinking. You want it to be better NOW. And I know how badly that feeling feels. But I promise. It really does get better. I’m currently coming to terms with my diagnosis and hope to find a good therapist who is qualified to help me soon. 

Don’t feel alone if you’re going through something as serious as I have. It doesn’t happen often but it happens enough that you can find someone who gets it.