I started having symptoms of bipolar disorder when I was a child. To my grandparents who raised me, they thought I was just a independent and difficult child. Looking back, the signs were pretty clear. My symptoms progressed over time, getting worse and more noticeable. My depressions were longer, deeper and more debilitating and my manic phases were down right unbearable for others to be around. I always call myself “A butterfly on crack” when I am manic, as it is the only way I can explain how I feel when it happens to me
When I became pregnant with my son unexpectedly, the first trimester was rough for my mood. I imagine anyone would have been nervous to have a child unexpectedly when they are 20. However, something very interesting happened to me during the pregnancies of both of my children. My depression? None. My mania? Nonexistent. I had ever been more reasonable in my life. And I was not medicated.
You always hear horror stories about pregnant women having severe depressions or emotional breakdowns when pregnant, but not me. I felt so stable. I felt…good. When my husband found out I was pregnant it scared him to death because he assumed my mental states would get worse. If kids didn’t cost so much, it may be worth while to be pregnant all the time for me.
It was and is completely explainable to me. I admit, I am not a scientist and do not have the slightest clue on how brain chemistry works but I imagine that the increase in serotonin in my brain during pregnancy was just like taking my “happy pills”. Apparently to people with normal brain chemistry, that can make you a little whacky. And in that way, would this not be a fool proof way to test people for bipolar disorder?
If you gave people with suspected Bipolar Disorder HCG hormones to mimic pregnancy, could we not analyze their mood patterns to prove an imbalance in serotonin levels, thus, proving an actual case of bipolar disorder? So to all of the scientists and psychiatrists…is this something that could be possible? And, to all of the women out there with mental illness. Did pregnancy make your condition worse or better?
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Last reviewed: 26 Jun 2014