Bipolar Disorder and Pregnancy: Bipolar Taking Away Choice
On the topic of pregnancy and bipolar disorder, I have said before, I would choose not to have children because of bipolar disorder. I’m not saying this is what every woman with bipolar disorder would choose, I’m saying that with my particular brand of bipolar, with my particular situation, with my inability to live off of medications, I would choose not to get pregnant because of bipolar (Medical Research on Bipolar Disorder and Pregnancy). I believe that, ultimately, it would be unfair to bring a life into my mess. It would be selfish. It would be me “wanting” a child above me considering the welfare of the child. And that’s not something I would ever do.
And while I know the choice is mine entirely, it doesn’t feel that way to me at all. While I know I could get pregnant (or, at least, I assume so), and it’s me that’s choosing not to get pregnant because of bipolar, I feel like my back is against the wall on this thing and that not having children is the only thing I can do. I feel like the bipolar has taken away my choice. All the other women out there get to decide if children are right for them based on, mostly, lifestyle choices (although, of course, some other women carry genetic risks as well) and I don’t get to decide because bipolar has forced my hand. Bipolar has taken away my choice around bipolar and pregnancy.
Being Pregnant with Bipolar Disorder
As I said, I truly believe that this decision is best for me and best for any child who would be thrown into the mix. But, on some level, I would like to have a child. My decision never to have one is right and logical and reasonable but it doesn’t override the ticking baby clock that so many of us have. It doesn’t stop me from feeling like women have kids. It’s what we do. It’s what our bodies were built for. It’s our thing. And, somehow, by not having children, I am less of a woman and, likely, less of a person.
(Please understand, when women out there decide not to have children, for any reason, I respect that choice and don’t think those things of them. These are just my feelings about me, which aren’t necessarily reasonable or rational.)
Bipolar Disorder and Loss of Choice
And, like I said, I feel like my bipolar disorder has taken away my ability to make a choice around bipolar and pregnancy. The only choice, if I’m a caring and loving human being who wants to protect children, is not to have children.
And that’s a big fucking choice to take away from someone.
And the thing about bipolar disorder is, it takes away so many choices. It takes away your choice not to take medications every day. It takes away your choice not to be under medical care at all times. It takes away your choice not to be on a schedule. It takes away your choice of not prioritizing your mental health above all else. It takes away so many day-to-day choices that it makes my head spin.
And this one more choice that bipolar disorder is taking away seems untenable to me. It feels like the latest in a strong of affronts designed to grind down my humanity. (She said as she took her second batch of pills for the day – medication used to treat medication side effects.) I do, not infrequently, feel like I live a life of “have tos” rather than a life of choice. Of course, I can make any choice I want but the opposite of those “have to” actions will just make me sick. That’s bipolar taking away my choice and making all those choices for me.
You know, when all is said and don’t, sans bipolar I might choose not to have children anyway, but the loss of the ability to make that choice is what just rubs my soul the wrong way.
[And don’t bother telling me not to swear. I think sometimes it’s the best way to express a thought.]
About Natasha Tracy
Natasha Tracy is an award-winning writer, speaker and consultant from the Pacific Northwest. She has been living with bipolar disorder for 18 years and has written more than 1000 articles on the subject.