So I'm 12 weeks pregnant and had my first appointment with the doctor and I went out of my way to go to a different doctor so That I would not have to tell them about my bipolar disorder due to my treatment in my last pregnancy. Do you think I have made the right choice? Have you done this?
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08-02-2012 09:17 #1
Not telling medical staff about youe mental illness
08-02-2012 09:28 #2
Can't comment from personal experience, but are you on medication? I imagine that it would be important for your dr to have an accurate indication of your medications
08-02-2012 09:40 #3
Hon, you're not obliged to tell them of your mental illness. The only reason they usually ask is to get an idea and a history of your physical and mental well being and that of your families. It helps them to work out whether you may need additional supports both before, during and after birth etc.
In terms of your medication, you can tell them what meds you're on (if you want to) when they ask the generic 'what medication do you take etc'. I know this could potentially give away your mental health status though, so that is another consideration.
If you're concerned about disclosing or not disclosing, you can ask to speak with the Hospital's Social Worker, as they can help support you in those situations and also help you to get a ante natal card which is written confidentially.
Last edited by Mod-Uniquey; 08-02-2012 at 09:43.
08-02-2012 09:41 #4
Nope I don't think so, you know you have other support and have it under control.
08-02-2012 10:02 #5
Depends.. Are you on meds? Are you stable? And are you likely to stay stable?
If not.. Then you need to tell the Dr.
08-02-2012 10:05 #6Senior Member
- Join Date
- Mar 2009
I think it's important to tell them, I made sure my doctor was someone I felt 100% telling everything to, and that I felt would handle everything the way I felt was good.
08-02-2012 10:12 #7
With all due respect MamaFour, as I realise you're not intentionally meaning any offence or malice, however I don't think 'stable' or not 'stable' is appropriate in this instance,as it just perpetuates some of the stigma and myths that surround mental illness.
Nobody knows how they will fare in pregnancy whether they have a 'diagnosed' mental illness or not. Some women may sufffer post natal depression and yet have no 'signs' or 'risk indicators' before or during pregnancy.
If the OP is on meds, then I am assuming she is being medically supported to manage her Bipolar.
08-02-2012 11:08 #8
I think it's extremely important to tell your doctor! Pregnancy is such a difficult time and can stuff up even well-managed mental illness. They won't be able to help you if they don't know. It sounds as though you had a bad time in the past but please try to find a doctor you trust and get their support.
I don't know what medications you're on but lithium and epilim are both category D in pregnancy.
P.S. I personally don't think there's anything wrong with the terms stable/unstable. It's not a derogative term. It indicates how well managed or unpredictable bipolar illness may be at that time.
Last edited by Piffle; 08-02-2012 at 11:11.
08-02-2012 11:45 #9
I personally hate the terms stable/unstable and we don't use them in mental health care anymore because they are not consumer friendly. I completely understand your hesitation OP as stigma within the health system towards mental health diagnoses can be terrible. I have experienced it myself as a consumer and a mental health nurse. You are under no obligation but it really depends on what support you need. If you are managing with external supports such as a psychiatrist and you feel confidant then do what you feel happy with. How did you manage in your last pregnancy caus that's prob a good indicator of how this one will go? PM me anytime if you want to chat, I feel for you, there is nothing worse than being judged for a common health complaint.
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08-02-2012 12:40 #10
Ahh PC jargon, we meet again. What terms ARE "consumer-friendly" to describe if someone's bipolar is well controlled or unpredictable and erratic?
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