Giving Birth Was Supposed to be the Happiest Moment of My Life

An excellent first person account of living life with a mental health issue.

The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog

After giving birth to my first child 25 years ago, I was diagnosed with postpartum depression and was treated with antidepressants until my OB doctor realized he could not help me. He referred me to a psychiatrist who diagnosed me with bipolar 1 disorder, as my primary mental illness.

When I was first diagnosed initially with postpartum depression and soon after with bipolar disorder 25 years ago, postpartum bipolar was never heard of or discussed at the time. Back then postpartum bipolar was not diagnosed much or at all that I am aware of.

Even today, postpartum bipolar is often mistaken for postpartum depression. The severe low mood pole of bipolar is not recognized as bipolar, but is misdiagnosed as postpartum depression instead. Confusing bipolar disorder with postpartum depression can result in devastating consequences. The wrong medications can cause a new mother’s symptoms to worsen, and in some cases require hospitalization. The…

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4 thoughts on “Giving Birth Was Supposed to be the Happiest Moment of My Life”

  1. Hi there! I noticed your reblog of Susan’s post via James’ blog. You might be interested in my memoir “Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder,” the 1st book written by a mother with this perinatal mood and anxiety disorder. I’m honored it has received excellent reviews and was endorsed by Kay Redfield Jamison (author of the bestselling “An Unquiet Mind”) and four of the world’s top perinatal psychiatrists.

    I had treatment-resistant bipolar depression, tried 25+ meds to no avail, had two rounds of ECT, and seven psychiatric hospitalizations. Yet when I wrote the book I didn’t want it to be all “doom & gloom” – I wanted it to help readers.

    I’ve been receiving feedback from moms who have shared with me how much my book has helped them feel less isolated with postpartum bipolar disorder. My experience, as harrowing as it was, has given them hope and practical tools & resources to help them achieve mood stability. My story applies to people with all forms of bipolar, not just postpartum. The book is available at some libraries (I think you can request it if it’s not at your local branch/system) and on Amazon.

    Thank you for sharing Susan’s important post. I wish you the very best and congrats on your new blog!

    Take care,


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your story Dyane! Congratulations on your positive reviews and for being able to reach many people who need to identify with someone who has suffered through the nightmare of the symptoms of mental illness. Take care!

      Liked by 1 person

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