Help! I suffer from severe bipolar disorder. I am now pregnant with my first child. At first in the pregnancy, I was the happiest person in the world, now I get irritable even quicker than before and stay mad 90% of the time. Is there any exercises that maybe would help me out?

A. Given your severe bipolar disorder symptoms, you should be in treatment with both a psychiatrist and a psychotherapist. A psychiatrist can determine if medication is appropriate. A psychotherapist could assist you with managing your moods and increasing your mood stability. Being pregnant and bipolar is an especially challenging set of circumstances. It’s imperative for you to have as much support and care as possible.

My recommendation is to contact your primary care physician and ask for referral to a mental health professional. You can also speak to your gynecologist who may assist you in acquiring psychological help.

At this point, you need help beyond simple “exercises.” One study showed that women with bipolar disorder are 100 times more likely to experience postpartum psychosis when compared to women without bipolar disorder. Working with a mental health professional could prevent the further progression of your symptoms and significantly decrease any chance of postpartum psychosis. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog