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Old 03-28-2009, 08:20 PM   #1
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Moral Dilemma - Is having kids ok when you're mentally ill?

Hello to all. It's a while since I've visited these boards. Hope all is well.

I've been struggling with the decision to have children or not. I want to have children, but I'm not sure it's fair to potentially pass down BP to a child. I know it's not 100%, but having the disorder, I couldn't imagine having a child that has to go through it. Any experience/suggestions/points of view welcome.

lauren

 
Old 03-29-2009, 02:23 AM   #2
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Thumbs up Re: Moral Dilemma - Is having kids ok when you're mentally ill?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lauren c. View Post
Hello to all. It's a while since I've visited these boards. Hope all is well.

I've been struggling with the decision to have children or not. I want to have children, but I'm not sure it's fair to potentially pass down BP to a child. I know it's not 100%, but having the disorder, I couldn't imagine having a child that has to go through it. Any experience/suggestions/points of view welcome.

lauren
hi karen, i view my children as a gift. they have all experienced mild depression at some point (22, 20 and 16). wouldn't regret them for the world. they are a gift and studies have shown that early intervention has been v. successful especially with boys. only one of the other grandchildren on our side ie one of my sisters' children who also is a wonderful person. my children are really nice people and while we have had normal difficulties over the years i am really proud of the people they have become and still becoming.

 
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Old 03-29-2009, 06:40 AM   #3
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Re: Moral Dilemma - Is having kids ok when you're mentally ill?

I wouldn't trade having my children for anything in the world, even though one of them has been diagnosed as having early onset bipolar disorder at the age of 6. You deal with the cards you are dealt and move forward. We have our struggles, him and I, but it's nothing we can't handle together and with the help of our pdocs. If you really want children then it's worth the risk. I have another child who appears to be your normal rambunctious 4 year old (I could always tell something was different about my oldest). So that being said, you may not even have a child with BPD, but if you do you deal with it. Good luck in your decision! Having Kids is a wonderful thing!
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Mom (Bipolar, OBS & Sleep Apnea) to 2 boys:
ages 6 (Autism & Asthma) and 8 (Bipolar and ADHD)

 
Old 03-29-2009, 10:12 AM   #4
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Re: Moral Dilemma - Is having kids ok when you're mentally ill?

i am not having children because i could not add that stress to my life. i already have a hard time taking care of myself and then having to take care of someone else would be too stressful.

plus, i do not want to pass it down.

 
Old 03-29-2009, 12:31 PM   #5
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Re: Moral Dilemma - Is having kids ok when you're mentally ill?

I have 2 children 19 and 10 neither have BP, the oldest has ADD but has grown out of it since childhood. BP like other chemical disorders has a tendency to breakdown through generations. I have BP, my son had ADD, chances are his children will have nothing. If you really have concerns about this you should talk to your pdoc about it. But there's no sense in borrowing trouble...or letting a medical condition keep you from having children. If you were diabetic would you not have kids because you were worried they would be diabetic? it's the same thing...

kat

 
Old 03-29-2009, 12:51 PM   #6
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Re: Moral Dilemma - Is having kids ok when you're mentally ill?

From what I've read, children born to parents who both have bipolar have a 50% chance of having the disorder while children born to one parent with bipolar have a 15% chance.

I know many parents that have bipolar whose children do not have any mental illness.

I would discuss your concerns with a pdoc who can explain more about the genetical influence of bipolar on children.
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Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

Last edited by dreams in neon; 03-29-2009 at 12:53 PM.

 
Old 03-29-2009, 12:55 PM   #7
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Re: Moral Dilemma - Is having kids ok when you're mentally ill?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kathryn00 View Post
i am not having children because i could not add that stress to my life. i already have a hard time taking care of myself and then having to take care of someone else would be too stressful.

plus, i do not want to pass it down.
I'm not so concerned about passing bipolar onto my children, but I feel the same way you do about having a hard enough time taking care of myself let alone one or more children.

Besides, I need to get my bipolar under control before my boyfriend and I can start thinking about having children.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

Last edited by dreams in neon; 03-29-2009 at 12:55 PM.

 
Old 03-29-2009, 04:06 PM   #8
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Re: Moral Dilemma - Is having kids ok when you're mentally ill?

Dreams,

I can understant your hesitancy, your blind and deaf along with the BP, rapid cycling, and psychotic symptoms...You have more on your plate than if you took all of and turned us into one person.

kat

 
Old 03-29-2009, 06:01 PM   #9
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Re: Moral Dilemma - Is having kids ok when you're mentally ill?

Quote:
Originally Posted by katlin09 View Post
Dreams,

I can understant your hesitancy, your blind and deaf along with the BP, rapid cycling, and psychotic symptoms...You have more on your plate than if you took all of and turned us into one person.

kat
Kat,

My tdoc is very careful about guaging my stress levels because he knows (as is the case with most of us), it can send me into a manic, depressive or psychotic episode.

When I mentioned my move to Arizona in a few months, he expressed concern that it may cause me to rapid cycle or become psychotic. I assured him that I would try to eliminate as much stress as possible, but this was something I felt I could do. If I didn't think I had the ability to do this, I wouldn't.

By the way, I looked on the Internet for psychiatric hospitals in Phoenix and Tucson. Both of those cities have a facility, so I won't be losing anything in that regard. I will just have to find a good tdoc and pdoc, but I can always ask my tdoc and pdoc for recommendations.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

Last edited by dreams in neon; 03-29-2009 at 06:02 PM.

 
Old 03-29-2009, 07:05 PM   #10
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Re: Moral Dilemma - Is having kids ok when you're mentally ill?

Yeah I imagine they are going to be expressing tons of concerns. Your sister lives there right? Can she start putting together a list of docs that you can do some search on the internet of?

kat

 
Old 03-29-2009, 07:41 PM   #11
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Re: Moral Dilemma - Is having kids ok when you're mentally ill?

I have three children and I didn't develop depression until after my third was born. All three of my kids have no health concerns at this time however my second child is an emotional guy and shows his feelings a lot more than the other two. I don't regret having any of my kids. I had ppd after my third was born but I feel blessed to have got my girl. My kids are my life and they are what keeps me going. I do fear that someday they may encounter the medical probs I have had but even if they do, their existance will always be my #1 blessing. I don't think it is wrong to want to have kids when you are mentally ill. It is a personal choice one has to make.

 
Old 03-29-2009, 08:12 PM   #12
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Re: Moral Dilemma - Is having kids ok when you're mentally ill?

Quote:
Originally Posted by katlin09 View Post
Yeah I imagine they are going to be expressing tons of concerns. Your sister lives there right? Can she start putting together a list of docs that you can do some search on the internet of?

kat
No, my sister doesn't live in Arizona now, but she plans to move there within the next 2 years.

I know several people with BP who live in Arizona, so they could help me compile a list of tdocs and pdocs.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

 
Old 03-29-2009, 08:30 PM   #13
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katlin09 HB User
Re: Moral Dilemma - Is having kids ok when you're mentally ill?

What about your boyfriend, is he going to move with you to AZ?

 
Old 03-29-2009, 08:33 PM   #14
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Re: Moral Dilemma - Is having kids ok when you're mentally ill?

Quote:
Originally Posted by katlin09 View Post
What about your boyfriend, is he going to move with you to AZ?
Yes.

In fact, he feels the same way I do about the awful winters we have here.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

 
Old 03-29-2009, 08:37 PM   #15
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Re: Moral Dilemma - Is having kids ok when you're mentally ill?

That's good, I was a bit worried about you going there all by yourself.

k

 
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