“People With a Mental Illness Can’t Have Kids!”? My Reaction!

If you are a more regular follower of this blog, then you will know that I suffer with bipolar disorder and PTSD and the anxiety that comes alongside these conditions. Ever since I was little, I have always wanted to have my own children. Don’t get me wrong, I am 23 currently and so I would like to give it a little while until I hear the pitter download-6patter of my very own little monsters– at least until I can get my own life together! But regardless, I would like it to be soon. I have encountered many positive attitudes surrounding the topic of myself and children don’t get me wrong, most in fact – but there are always the odd few arse holes!

“People with mental illnesses should not be trusted with children, and certainly shouldn’t be allowed to have their own!” Sadly, I have heard this comment on more than one occasion, in 2016 you would hope that people’s attitudes have moved on a little further than this, however unfortunately not everyone is that kind or well adjusted. I am the first to admit that yes, my moods go up and down – but that hurts nobody else but me. I refuse to let my mental illness stop me from doing anything, and if I want to do something then I am damn well going to achieve my dreams.

I don’t intend to have children until I find the man that I love with all of my heart, a man that I would trust with my life. A man that I know will support and love me no matter what my mood is – we would support each other and support our child in the same way. My bipolar does not make me a bad person or a bad parent as it doesn’t affect me in the slightest. 1 in 4 people will experience a mental illness at some point in their life and my child will not only mnhave a much better understanding of these conditions, but they will also have a much greater compassion and ability to help others who are suffering.

And if they themselves suffer with a mental health condition then I will be able to properly support them and to help them through the process to recovery. My children will have the full support, knowledge and understand that I myself have built up over the years battling with my condition to help them to never feel inadequate or unacceptable. My children will always know how much I love them, and my bipolar will never stop me from showing my affection and supporting their dreams.

I may have bipolar but my condition is not all that I am – I have bipolar, I’m not just bipolar. I’m Emmie, I am 23, I am a vegetarian, I have an unhealthy obsession with unicorns and glitter and finally, I suffer with bipolar disorder – but every day I am winning the battle with my condition. I know that I will make a fantastic Mum one day and so to all those shitty people? All I can say is just piss off!


*New Video* My Diagnosis Story

Getting a diagnosis is rarely quick and easy and is often a very scary experience while things are being investigate. However, I am strongly of the belief that having a diagnosis behind me has really helped me to cope with my mental health. Take a look at my most recent video to find out more.

10 Daily Wins for People with Anxiety

I suffer with anxiety and bipolar disorder and so everyday tasks such as making it out of bed can be a huge task for me and can mean a lot if I can achieve them. These things are often not accepted by society as much of a big deal, however I know how hard you have worked to achieve your goals, and so here is a list of my 10 daily wins for people suffering with anxiety.

  1. Getting through a day at work without having to run off to the toilet for a secret cry
    If you suffer with anxiety then it is very likely that you will have had to take a little break from your work day to disappear to the bathroom. There is no sign of weakness in doing this, whatever helps and works for you then do it, however it feels pretty damn good when you manage to leave at the end of the day without having to run off for a teary respite!  210f68daf7bf8218a16a0daaa7670f40
  2. Answering a phone call
    Most of us hate phones, and in this world of online messaging that is usually fine! However, sometimes people need to actually speak to us (unfortunately) and I always feel really proud of myself when I manage to answer a phone call. Usually I just let it go to voicemail and text them back 🙂 

  3. Getting out of the house when you didn’t have to
    When you suffer with anxiety it can be so easy to just keep yourself locked up so that you are stuck inside with your own thoughts. This can be really damaging, so getting yourself out of the front door is a huge achievement.
  4. Calling someone when you could have just as easily sent them a text
    Phones suck! I know that I pretty much do all of my communication via Facebook messenger as talking on the finephone makes me feel sick. I feel so damn proud of myself when I feel strong enough to actually make a call.
  5. Walking through a busy street or shop
    Whenever I am at work in my local town centre, every Wednesday and Saturday is market day and this is when it is totally rammed! So walking through is a horrible idea 90% of the time. Managing to get through all those people is a much bigger achievement than I give myself credit for.
  6. Making it to the end of the day without having a panic attack
    Panic attacks are absolutely nothing to be ashamed of and sometimes they seem to be inevitable. They are an absolutely horrible experience to go through and I go through periods of having multiple panic attacks in a short period of time. When you know that you have a big and important day ahead of you it can be such a relief to reach the end of it without one.
  7. Continuing with your day even if you do have a panic attack
    As I said, panic attacks are nothing to be ashamed of and they happen from time to time, as shitty as they are. Even if you do end up having a panic attack, the ability to be able to calm yourself down and pick yourself up again is a huge deal and you should be extremely proud of yourself when you carry on with your day.234704d066cfb78c2a65242561fbd971
  8. Remembering to eat
    Anxiety makes you feel sick, like all the time! Which means that you hardly  want to eat all of the things thanks to constantly feeling like you want to vom, however its important that you have something as making yourself ill isn’t going to do you any good either. Even if you do feel sick, pushing yourself to have something, no matter how small is a fantastic thing. I’m proud of you for looking after your physical health as well as your mental health as they really are just as important as each other.
  9. Being able to say no even when it would have been much easier to go along with it regardless of what you wanted
    I suffer with this more than most other things I think, I can’t say no. When I know that someone wants me to act a certain way, and that such actions would lead to them being happy, I find it very difficult to not just go along with what they want to make them smile. I know that deep down I don’t want to do the thing, and that I would much rather do things my own way, however actually verbalising this makes me feel terrified that the person will no longer like me or be angry that I don’t want to do what they want me to. However that’s complete rubbish, I am a 23 year old woman and I am allowed to have my own mind and do what I want with my life. Although someone may be disappointed that you may not be catering to their every desire, it is important that you look after and stand up for yourself. So every time that you manage to say no – be proud of yourself, I sure as hell am!
  10. Managing to fall asleep without having flashbacks or nightmares
    Personally, I suffer with PTSD thanks to an abusive childhood and so falling (and staying) asleep is a huge problem for me. If I am not lying awake for hours with my anxiety in overdrive as I overthink everything that I should be trying to forget, then I am waking up several times a night in a cold sweat and/or crying thanks to a traumatic memory or thought that decided to crop up and ruin my peaceful sleep. Waking up well rested is amazing and makes me so thankful and proud that I was able to stay in control of my thoughts before bedtime.

The Side Effects of Lamotrigine

I have now been on Lamotrigine for just over 2 years to treat my Bipolar disorder (type 2) after previously being on Citalopram for depression. Lamotrigine is an anti convulsant that is also used to treat bipolar in some cases. I was unsure as to what medication would be best for me following my bipolar diagnosis as a lot of the solutions terrified me. Back when I was the ill-informed youngster that I was when I first heard about it, Lithium scared the living hell out of me! All I had heard were the horror stories, and I am ashamed to say that I heard what I wanted to hear in that sense. I am certainly a lot more open to trying Lithium nowadays.

When taking Lamotrigine, it is important to have regular blood tests as it is possible that it can cause organ damage (quite why that didn’t scare me as much as Lithium I will never know, I mean really!?) I recently wrote a blog post about the side effects of my anxiety medication and so I thought I would write do the same for my more long term medication. I find it very useful to read other people’s blogs about their experiences with certain mental health medication as I find it a good way to judge which is the right choice for me. So, here are my top 3 side effects from taking Lamotrigine.

  1. Insomnia!
    I have always struggled with my sleep however before taking Lamotrigine it used to come in stages. Since taking this medication I struggle to fall asleep most nights, but when I do fall asleep then it is for the rest of the night and I do actually manage to sleep well. I love my sleep too much to accept this so I have spoken to my doctor about this side effect, however I am still rather unsure about the alternatives to this medication. We are still looking for an alternative that might not have this affect, or an accompanying medication that would help me to sleep.
  2. Joint pain!
    I have been extremely achy since taking Lamotrigine which has been unfortunate however it is not to the extent that I am stopped from going through my daily activities. I have good and bad days, some worse than others, however my Mum suffers from Fibromyalgia and so I have seen what it is like to really be in pain and so that kind of makes me suck it up and try and get over a few minor aches and pains. However, it is very important to keep a record of all of the side effects that you experience with a new mental health medication so that you can discuss these with your doctor so that you can make sure that you find the perfect treatment plan to suit you and your individual needs.
  3. Back pain!
    Since I have been taking this medication I seem to have had a near constant pain in my back. Although a part of this could be put down to me being overweight, I didn’t used to experience it nearly as often. Before, I would only ever experience back pain if I had been on my feet all day or wearing heels for a long period of time. But

    Rear view of woman with hands on lower back with Pain written on it

    Rear view of woman with hands on lower back with Pain written on it

    now, it is almost all the time! I have kind of got used to it to be honest, but I do enjoy a good massage every now and then when I can justify the expense. Although the beauty therapists are always surprised by how much tension I hold in my back considering I am only 23!

Generally, this medication has worked really well for me and has certainly taken the edge off my low points when it comes to my mood. I had reached a point where I was worried about the risk to my own safety before taking this medication as my depressive periods were dangerously severe. However now, although I do still experience low points, they are a lot easier to deal with and help to make it much less of a struggle to cope with the day to day life. I feel much more in control with my bipolar depression and I am proud to say that I have been free from self harm for 5 months.