About Us

about us

Motherhood is busy and stressful for any woman.  But for those of us who have bipolar disorder, planning to become or being a mother can bring its own, unique challenges.

With mental illness still a bit of a ‘taboo’ topic, you may not feel comfortable talking about your condition with other mums you’ve met through playgroup, kinder or school networks.  For some of us, it’s difficult accepting our diagnosis – let alone finding the courage to talk about it with others.

In the past, those within the medical profession used to advise women with bipolar disorder against having children.  But with the right support and the marvels of modern medicine, it’s possible for women like you and I to successfully juggle raising a family with the unique challenges that this particular mental illness brings.

In fact, for many of us, we’re not only ‘managing’ to raise a family – in most cases our families are thriving under our love and care.

The idea behind ‘bipolar mums’ grew out of my desire to see women, like you and I, support each other through the ‘ups and downs’ that are inevitably part and parcel of being a mum with bipolar disorder.

My prayer is that – as this online community unfolds – you will find ‘nuggets of gold’ within the stories that are told here, and the comments of others in similar circumstances, to help you in your journey as a mother with bipolar disorder.

24 thoughts on “About Us”

  1. This is such a great website right here. I’m not a mom, but I fear the thought of being one in the future, because of all the emotional turmoil happening inside my head. I’ll make sure to go through all your posts.
    Since my little new blog will be about bipolar (and mental illness in general since I’m a Psychology student), would it be okay to perhaps share information from your blog sometimes? Crediting you fully of course will links back to the articles from here.
    Thank you. 🙂

    1. Hi! Yes, very happy for you to link to anything on the site – the aim is to help as many people as possible. I’ve checked out your blog and it’s very helpful too!

      Kind regards,


  2. I have nominated you for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award. I chose this blog because it is inspiring to me. I am a new mom living with Bipolar Disorder Type 1 & I struggle with my illness every day, but I get through, and I make my health & parenthood my priority. The true stories here are great, and very relatable. This award is just a fun way for bloggers to honor other bloggers. If you want to accept it, see the guidelines here http://nectarmadness.com/2014/06/13/very-inspiring-blogger-award/

    1. Thanks! Sorry for my late reply… I’ve been caught up and hadn’t had the opportunity to look at my blog for a few weeks. I’m really, really touched that you thought of me.

    2. Thanks so much for nominating me! That’s really nice and such a compliment. I also have Bipolar Type 1 and have three small children. It’s not always easy, but I find that – with the help of medication and a great hubby – I can still be a great mum. My kids don’t even realise I have a mental illness… if they see me taking medication and ask why I just say “mummy takes medicine to keep my brain well like Daddy takes his puffer for his asthma”. Please don’t ever doubt that you are the most important person in your child’s life and the person most perfectly suited to the job of mothering your little one. xx

      1. Hi im a mother of one little boy 15months old. I have bipolar 1 and are struggling at the moment and have been unwell a few times the past year and also post sons birth. I’m so happy to have found this website for as im not open about my illness and need more support. Thanks kate

      2. Hi Kate, I’m so sorry for not replying earlier… your comment somehow slipped under my radar. I hope you and your little boy are doing ok. In my experience, sharing with others can help… even though it’s hard to open up. How are you doing now? Mariska xx

  3. Mariska, wonderful site. Love the site’s look. Beautiful, soothing, hopeful and happy layout and graphics. Informative. Keep up the great work! (By the way, your “Contact us” link is not working, returning a “Nothing Found” error message.)

  4. Hi Mariska. Just heard you on RN. You were very articulate. I was devastated to hear that your experience was like mine because mine was 45 years ago and you would have expected more improvement by now. I did have to put up with my breasts bound up to stop the milk flow…. My mania was also because of lack of sleep but with my second child I was allowed sleeping pills even though breast feeding! I rose to very high levels in both the public service and academia and sometimes think I have benefited from my experience. It has made me more self aware. Well done and keep up the good work. Meredith

    1. Thanks for your comment Meredith – it is lovely to hear from you! It’s a real shame that things don’t seem to have progressed as much as they should have by now. Women are in a vulnerable position when they are suffering from mental illness, and I believe that in situations like this we need separate wards for different genders. Thanks for sharing your experience with me and the readers of bipolarmums.com The more of us that speak up about what we have endured – and injustices in the mental health system – the more likely we are to see real change.

      Mariska xx

  5. I have just been diagnosed with bipolar events leading up to my diagnosis has meant I have lost residancy with my son. He now lives with his father and gf and I have pretty much been thrown out the window. I now only see my son once a week and it tears me apart just because I have this mental illness. Im looking for some kind of support group where I can connect with other mums in this situation as although I have support from some of my family, it would be great talking to some people who really understand what I am going through! Look forward to hearing from you 🙂 many thanks for taking your time to read this

    1. Oh Sarah… Your comment makes me want to cry. How awful to be separated from your son at the moment. Please know that you can get through this and things will get better. Once you get stabilised on your medication and a bit more used to managing your condition, I’m sure that you will be able to be reunited with your son. Just because you have bipolar doesn’t mean you can’t be a great mum. In fact,I find being a mum givese extra on entive for staying on my medication so I can remain well. It sounds like a tough time right now… But hold on, things WILL improve. Mariska xx

      1. Thank you, I find it very sad that there is a lot of stigma over mental ilness and whether its my bipolar telling me this but from my experience it just seems that we get labelled a bad parent so his gone to live with the good one…. The court has even said I have to do a parenting course which of course I will do if it means I get to see my son more but its not about parenting skills this is about coping with a mental illness! Before i hit crisis stage this year and when my son was a baby I personally thought I was a great mum. He used to cling to me and was only settled by me. The love we had kept me strong but my ex has been doing his best to deplete that for revenge after we broke up and its torn me apart – now i feel he has won. We always new i could be bipolar i just cant understand how anyone can use that to their advantage. Sometimes I dont know how to carry on but the image of my son appears and I find that strength to move forward. I know it will get easier but right now is where I am and kinda loose patience and just break down, im so grateful for your reply it really helps talking to people who understand!

  6. Hi, I am considering adopting a baby whose mother is bipolar. I understand that there is a risk of the baby inheriting the condition. Does anyone who is a bipolar mum mind sharing if this was a concern when they chose to have a baby, or what the risks are? Thanks

    1. In my opinion, living with bipolar is just one part of my life… I live a fruitful, wonderful life. Bipolar doesn’t always pass directly down.. I inherited mine via my Aunty. Mariska xx

    2. Yes, I can say the same. I live a wonderfully rich life full of friendships, hobbies and family fun. I am not remotely concerned if my son has the condition as I have the tools to help him and teach him about it. As long as you read up as much as you can this will help support him/ her throughout their life alongside professional help.
      Bipolar illness is a spectrum – some have it more pronounced than others. Please don’t forget that we are individuals like everyone else with our own specific traits, we are not our illness.

  7. Hi Mariska
    It’s so great to be dipping back into Bipolar Mums. It’s so fab knowing you are here. I have a question for you. Dyane mentioned that she knew of Prof Kilkarni through you. I am wondering whether she is one of your health professionals. I have found her knowledge and expertise more healing than anyone I’ve worked with in 11 years. The hormone therapy that she suggested, alongside other (reduced) meds has given me greater stability than I’ve previously experienced. I’d love to hear your, and other women experiences. The hormone model makes such sense to me.
    I’d love to hear your thoughts,
    With thanks

    1. Hi Roe, sorry for not getting back to you earlier! I had a difficult year and somehow your comment slipped under my radar. I haven’t tried her hormone therapy, but will look into it. She’s such a talented woman and we’re blessed to have her here in Australia. Mariska xx

  8. Hi. I love your positive sentiments about children hardly noticing that mummy has an illness. But i notice those kids are young. I am high functioning bipolar 2 but now my eldest has hit 8 he is noticing things about me as primary kids are known to be perceptive. This is not to discourage u but to say be prepared to go to resources such as COPMI and have some good conversations with your children as they become more aware of mummy’s moods and behaviour and can start to blame themselves. Get in early for a good outcome!

  9. Hi all

    I have battled with my mental health for years. I was diagnosed with “Situational Major Depression” 15 years ago, and have endured some very dark times, usually every 3 years or so. It turns out that due to my reaction to some stronger antidepressants my diagnosis may have been wrong all these years, that that it may actually be bipolar type 2, with a tendency towards the lows. This has caused a huge amount of relationship strain lately and I’m also worried about the impact on my little ones (5 and 8). I’ve made an appointment to see my GP, as hubby thinks I have been manic lately. It’s the extremes in energy he can’t handle. This upsets me greatly. I can’t get in to see my Psychiatrist for 3 weeeks, and I’m desperate to come off this toxic antidepressant. The challenge is that I am naturally a creative, bubbly, energetic person and in some ways it feels as though people around me are criticising things that are core parts of my personality. I feel very upset and alone. Has anyone else been through something similar? Thanks in advance

    1. Sorry for the late reply – I somehow missed your comment. It can be hard when it seems loved ones are criticising you. In my experience, manic episodes can make you more irritable than usual. As someone who is around you a lot, I find husbands can be quite insightful as to when a manic episode may be starting. I hope that you and your husband have come through this tough time – it’s never easy. Mariska xxx

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