Psychosis, Peoria, Postpartum Onset Bipolar Disorder discussed on Mental Illness Happy Hour


Eckoff who is a mother and you experienced postpartum mania with some psychosis. Yes, I did. How long ago was this? So it all started. My son is almost 20 months old. And it started within a couple days of his birth. Does, well, actually, let's back up to the very beginning, what was family life like growing up? Was there any kind of history of mental illness in your family? Zero history. Wow. I know, I know. Which made everything all the more shocking. I had a really kind of happy home life. I'm an only child. I've always had a good relationship with my parents. I grew up in the middle of nowhere, a 900 person town in central Illinois. Wow. Yeah. What town? Brimfield? And what is the city that's close to that? Peoria. Okay. Yeah, it's about 20 minutes outside of Peoria. So that was where we would go for all of our shopping and things. But yeah, I mean, I was really into figure skating. I was a competitive figure skater as a kid. So that was kind of how I spent a lot of my time. I really loved that. But yeah, I had issues with anxiety, generalized anxiety for a long time. Before the pregnancy. Before the pregnancy, yeah, I've had that since high school, but I'm sure we'll get into this, but my exact diagnosis was postpartum onset bipolar disorder with psychosis. And there's zero history of bipolar anywhere in my family. So that was a total shock. How would the anxiety present itself and high school? I had it all started. I had a friend who died by suicide. And so it kind of all started with that. I started having a lot of panic attacks. Just really classic panic attack symptoms. I would be really shaky, my heart would race, sweaty palms, dizziness, nausea. And how soon after your so sorry to hear about your friend? How soon after that happened? Did the panic attack start? Pretty soon, probably within a month or so. Yeah. So shaky rapid heartbeat, what else? Just a feeling of dread of just overwhelming kind of dread and terror, like something really awful was going to happen. The next second. Yeah, exactly. So awful. It's just the absolute worst. And it's interesting because you can intellectually know it's not going to happen, but your body feels it. Yes, absolutely. I mean, you can try to talk yourself out of it, but it's just, it's so hard and it's so all encompassing. It just, it completely impairs you. It just kind of makes things impossible. I cut you off before you started to say something. And so what did you do when it first presented itself? Did you go for help? Did you think there's something wrong with me personally? I just need to well, I mentioned that I grew up in a 900 person town so you might not be shocked to hear that mental health was not at the forefront of most people's minds. So initially, when I told my parents about these symptoms, I was having, they took me to the doctor and my small town general practice doctor was like, oh, it sounds like maybe you have a heart murmur. So they sent me to a cardiologist and they gave me this heart monitor that I had to wear for a couple days and I had to keep a diary of when I felt my heart racing and you know they were just checking for heart murmurs. And it's kind of funny but not funny to me now looking back and thinking like I just had a friend die and my doctor didn't think that maybe I was having panic attacks like the more likely explanation was that I had a heart murmur you know it's kind of I like to think that wouldn't happen now. I think as a society gotten a lot better about mental health but we weren't so great back then. Was he an older doctor? Yes. Okay. So when was it diagnosed? Within I started seeing a therapist and I think he was the one who kind of gave me the diagnosis. So after I think they ruled out the heart murmur relatively quickly, so within probably 6 months or so of when I started having panic attacks, I got the diagnosis. And what did you remember thinking or feeling when you learned that it was an actual thing? I felt better because I knew that there was a plan. I knew like, oh, there's medicine for this and you know, I was put on medicine and that helped a ton. So I mostly just felt grateful that, okay, this is not just something that I'm gonna have to live with. It's not this nameless thing. I know what it is, and you know, maybe I didn't personally know what to do about it, but I trusted that the medical professionals in my life would know what to do about it. So then you get married, how old were you when you got married? I was a baby. I was 25, but we met when I was 20. So we had actually been together for a while. And at that point. Did you know him from your town? No, I didn't. We went to college together. We were we were summer, summer orientation leaders together. So we gave all the tours and stuff. How wholesome. Yes, very wholesome. Where'd you go to school? University of Missouri. Okay. Is that mizu? Yes. Okay. Go tigers. So you get married at 25 and how old are you when you get proud? How old are you now? And 36. Okay. So when did you become pregnant? When I was 34. Okay. Walk

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