This is a letter that A wrote, addressed to her diagnosis. A became pregnant after a long journey of trying to grow their family, alongside her wife. A healthy baby was born during COVID-19, and then mania set in about a week after the birth. With the support and care of her wife in addition to friends and family, A was able to find supportive treatment from skilled providers. The mania subsided after about a month with appropriate medication, counseling, and a return to healthy sleeping habits.
A couple months later, a bout of depression set in. This was A's first time experiencing mental illness, with no history of bipolar disorder or a postpartum mood disorder in the family. A and her family believe it is likely that if the mania had persisted without the correct treatment, it would have developed into full blown psychosis and required hospitalization during a critical time of bonding with her newborn. A shares her story in the hopes that families and providers will learn more about the wide range of postpartum mood disorders, and that someone will find comfort and connection in this story.