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Bipolar and postpartum depression

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Q. Recently I was diagnosed with PPD and the doctors are still trying to pinpoint my previous depression before pregnancy. My question actually has to do with the relationship I have with my child’s father. He is Bipolar and I have PPD so we were constantly clashing with our moods and such, and he’s unmedicated. After finally seeing a counselor and a doctor, I have been prescribed Effexor, and I’m glad I’m starting to put my life on track.

A few weeks ago my fiance and I had started fighting worse than before, and this had been progressing since my daughter’s birth. Now that I am fixing my condition, I expected my boyfriend to maybe do the same. Unfortunately, he seems to be in denial and refuses to take meds and finds seeing the doctor to be pointless and he feels that he can’t talk about his problem.

I really want to make our relationship work, but I need his help too. Is there any way to perhaps influence him a bit more into seeing somebody? If not to get back on his medication, but maybe to deal with his condition in a different way? We’ve been together two wonderful years, but with our moods greatly affecting one another, I’m afraid we’ll never have another chance because of the things said and done. Please, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Bipolar and postpartum depression

Answered by on -


This is a difficult situation complicated by the birth of a new baby. There is little that you can do to force someone to accept treatment, especially when he or she does not think the treatment is necessary.

Given his reluctance to consistently stay on the appropriate treatments, the recent fighting and the fact that you are now getting your condition under control, I am unclear about why you want this relationship to work. Maybe you do not want the relationship to work per se but instead realize that he is the father and you do, as you mentioned, need his help in taking care of the baby. Whatever the case, you need to ensure that he is able to control his conditions and temper around your new baby. This should be your greatest concern.

My suggestion is for you to seek support from either a counselor or others around you at this time. If he will not get help, you still can and should. The reason for this is because a therapist can help you repair the relationship, if that is what you want, or deal with the end of the relationship, if that is the way ultimately this relationship goes. You could also suggest to him couples counseling and he may be willing to do this since it would not just be him attending the sessions. He may be open to the idea of the two of you working on these issues together in tandem. Take care.

Bipolar and postpartum depression

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). Bipolar and postpartum depression. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 24, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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