Are you finding yourself not enjoying things that normally bring you joy? Is your sadness deeper than usual?
Here are a few of my personal signs that the depression side of Bipolar Disorder has arrived for me.
Hopelessness: I feel like everything around me is hopeless, everything I do is hopeless, my future is hopeless.
Dread/Disinterest: I have this deep down dread of doing anything outside my home. I have no interest in doing things with my friends, no interest in going to gatherings, and no interest in doing things that I normally take part in.
Irritability: I am irritated. Different irritation than manic irritation. Everything is bothering me and playing on my last nerve and I usually hold it all in until I end up exploding over something and letting it all bubble to the surface.
Sleep: Normally I am sleeping more than normal, but there have been times when I have had the opposite effect and have slept less than normal. More often than not its the sleeping more.
Inadequate: I always feel like I am not enough. Not enough of a wife. Not enough of a mother. That I am not doing a good job at anything. I feel insignificant. Like a speck of dust.
Anxiety: Worry and anxiety over things I normally wouldn’t worry about.
I haven’t been feeling myself for a while. There has been this nagging voice that something is just not right. And no matter how quiet it is or how much I try to completely silence the voice. I can still hear it and it is working itself into a louder and louder sound that is getting harder to ignore.
I am not quite sure what it is exactly that I am feeling. I tend to lean towards the fact that it is probably some sort of depression. But I feel like it is much more than that.
No signs of mania or even hypomania. I just feel emotional, sensitive, down, and I feel taken for granted. I feel hopeless, and tired, emotionally tired, my soul is tired. And I wonder so much if there is even any room for me. There is not enough space for me to peacefully occupy. (I am NOT suicidal)
I am sleeping, might be some weird hours, but there is sleep. I am having some anxiety and some sense of dread.
I feel like there is something coming towards me at full force but I just cannot figure out what it is, or care enough to step out of its way, that I am insignificant enough and don’t matter enough to even step to the side so the collision doesn’t happen.
I know that all these signs point to something. They tell me that something is wrong. This is not my ‘normal’ thought process.
Well the sleep that has eluded me all this time with this current mania came last night. With all the meds, mood stabilizers and sleeping meds, and more mood stabilizers and more sleeping meds and Seroquel added to the mix (all prescribed and taken as prescribed) I slept between 12-13 hours. Seriously that long.
I feel sluggish this afternoon, since I did just get up long enough to eat lunch. I still feel the need to move quite a bit, like shake my legs etc. I still cannot talk properly, stuttering and mmmmm ing a lot. But I slept, so it has to be a step in the right direction….Right??
The mania has been calmer for a few days, not good, but calmer.
When your Bipolar diagnosis gets moved from BP2 to BP1, does that mean its upgraded to 5 star accommodations or downgraded to 1 star accommodations?
And more so I wonder how long my doctor knew this tidbit of information….
Thursday over night and Friday were bad. I was talking fast, then pressured, then stuttering and not able to get words or anything out. I ended up in the Er, then transferred to a Mental health hospital. Where to be honest I met the best Psychiatrists I have ever seen.
Tegertol increased to 200mgs, with being told to go to 300mgs if the mania did not begin to calm in a day or two (which I increased last night after the night before barely sleeping any). Trazodone 50mgs added for sleep.
First night all that along with the Zopiclone 7.5 managed to get me about 8 hours of sleep. Second night, nothing touched me again. Slept maybe 2 hours of broken sleep and woke yesterday with the major speech issues again, and feeling like I could not sit still and all the other lovely classic bipolar stuff.
Last night I managed to get about 2 hours of broken sleep in the night and about 2 hours of broken sleep sometime between 9 and 12:30. Still having some speech issues but I would say its cleared up about 80%, seems the more I talk the worst it gets.
Seeing my own doctor tomorrow sometime to get meds situated and probably something better for sleep. (Just a tidbit of info, all this happened 4 hours away from home for me and we came home on Saturday which is why I never saw my regular doctor before but Er and Mental Health Hospital.)
I don’t know what it is but there is something about music and mania. Almost every time I am manic I like to listen to music and write.
Its like the music keeps me focused enough to be able to write something that makes more sense that the jumble that is inside my mind.
Sometimes I feel like the music is seeping into my soul.
I sit and I write and the constant movement of my hands flying across the keyboard and my leg shaking is somehow satisfying. Fulfilling.
Its like, I cannot even explain the feelings that I am feeling at the moment. It is truly bliss. I love the feeling of my fingertips flying over the keys. I love the sound of he soft clicking just under the sound of he music in my ears.
Right now I have absolutely no time to deal with the hypomanic episode that my body/mind is trying to unleash on me.
I cannot deal with it. I must not get it.
I am hours away from my normal doctor, days, hours and minutes removed from his care.
In a strange place, where I would have to see a strange doctor, to deal with something that I really do not have the time or patience to deal with right now.
I have not been hypomanic or manic in over a year and I am currently not medicated in regards to my Bipolar disorder at all.
And it could not have come at a worst time for me.
I have had a conversation with a child psychiatrist about what is happening, and the right route I need to follow and which hospital to go to in order to be seen in a timely manner. But I am beyond nervous about taking that step.
I am pushing it off until tomorrow to see how I feel then. But as of right now its on a downward worsening slope that I can already see a difference since this morning.
Normally I probably wouldn’t notice this early in the mania but I am so hyper aware because of another situation and trying to keep that under control that I began noticing the signs late last night / early this morning. Its been lack of sleep for weeks. Weird broken sleep that has gotten way worst over the past few days up to a week.
I have some of my personal signs, the tingly feeling, the agitation, the rapid thoughts, the not being able to sit still at all, lack of sleep, the talking fast, not being able to talk proper because my words are jumbled. The wanting to write.
A Bipolar journey is one of extremes, one of differences, emotions, opposites. To me, in my eyes it is a spectrum. The spectrum of someone with Bipolar Disorder can be so vast that many times I feel like no two of us are alike.
Yet I know we are alike. We have similarities. We follow similar patterns. We do similar things. But at the same time we are different. We do things at different levels, different planes.
Bipolar Disorder consists of so much, it is complex in design. It is not just the adjective that today’s society has made it out to be. It is not the the descriptive word often used in every day speech to describe someone who has a mood swing caused my something small or a remark that made someone angry. It is not just “oh he/she is so bipolar”. It is not just a snappy mood, or getting angry, or teenage rebellion.
For me, it is many different things at many different times. It is flying, soaring like a bird, free. Yet is is Chaos and frustration, destruction and despair.
How can it be all of these things, good and bad, you ask?
Anyone diagnosed with Bipolar disorder understands what I mean when I say that. You know what it is like to feel all of those things at different times and sometimes even at the same time.
I can describe my mania with good and bad words. I can explain the euphoric feelings of the “good” mania and then in the same breath I can describe the chaos enriched mixtures of the “bad” mania.
I can explain how in a mania or hypomania induced state I was able to go weeks on as little as 20 hours of sleep. How I took my cupboard doors off all of my cupboards (I have a very very large kitchen), repainted inside and out, put all new hinges on them, re hung them and changed the color of the doors, and scrubbed the knobs then then replaced everything into my cupboards in 2 days or less, when I had never done anything like that before.
I can tell you I spent hours in a mania writing some of the best writing I have ever created.
I can tell you how I made raised garden beds and planted carrots, peas, beans, potatoes, and pumpkins and I wanted to raise chickens.
I can tell you that during mania I cannot stay still. I clean, I cook and I move around my house doing things at alarming rates.
But I can also tell you that I had to keep shaking my leg and moving my hands just to sit to eat, just to check email, just to write. Because I had to move.
I can tell you that I drove around for hours to keep my kids from seeing how bad the mania was getting, even when I truly should not have been driving. That a friend drove around with me for hours in order to try to keep me focused enough to be able to drive. In order to keep me in check so to speak.
I can tell you I talked so fast that my husband and closest friends were unable to understand me. That I jumped all over the place in my conversation that my conversation was not even able to be followed.
I can tell you that I couldn’t read a book because I couldn’t understand what I was reading…but I could research raising chickens for hours on end, or whatever else I was fixated on during that particular mania.
I can tell you that what starts as the fun life of the party mania always turns into more damaging mania.
The one where the paranoia creeps in, where people on cell phones, even complete strangers are out to get me, they are being devious and are plotting something against me.
The one where those two people sitting at the coffee shop table, whom I do not even know and are sharing a laugh over a memory are really (but of course only in my mind) laughing at me. Making fun of me.
I can tell you about the heightened senses. About the times when colors and lights are super vivid. When my eyes hurt because everything around me is over sharp, over focused. Or about the times when everything is loud, even the thoughts inside my head sound like thunder. I can tell you about the times I am so perceptive I can almost feel the earth turning.
And those…..they are just the bits and pieces of the mania. Just the tip of an iceberg.
I can also tell you about the depression. Not just a passing sadness, but the deep dark hell hole of despair that I am unable to dig myself out of.
I can tell you about the times I want to go to sleep and never wake up, even though I didn’t want to actually die.
I can tell you about the times I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror because I hated, loathed and despised the person looking back.
I can tell you about the times I held blades or hot lighters to my skin just to feel. Just to get a release. About the times I pulled my hair or scratched my arms and legs while hiding because I needed to feel but I was unable to cut or burn at that particular moment in time.
I can tell you about the times I sat contemplating suicide. Just seconds away from downing more meds than I even care to mention, or slicing a knife across my wrists, or jumping in front of a moving transport truck.
I can tell you about the actual suicide attempt, about the hospital stays when the mania or depression gets too bad.
I can tell you about the countless medications I have taken to try to tame the Bipolar Beast.
I can tell you about the times I don’t want to get out of bed and the times I don’t want to even get into bed. About the times I don’t want anyone to touch me and about the times I need someone to hold me tight, to hold me together because I am falling apart.
And these are just some of the things I can tell you.
There are mixed states and manias, depressions, medication changes, hospitalizations, complications to medications (scary ones), times I drink alcohol just to feel, times the anxiety is so bad I feel like I am dying and the times I actually feel crazy.
But even though all of these things are a part of me, a part of my disorder…..they are not all of me. I am so much more.
I have periods of “normal” mood, no mania, no depression. Periods where I work and become a functional part of society.
For me Bipolar Disorder is a spectrum with extreme mania on one end and extreme depression on the other. But in the middle of the two are milder forms of the mania, hypomania, milder forms of depression, mixed episodes and of course the “normal” periods.
Because I am not just made up of the adjective Bipolar that people like to use. Bipolar disorder is so much more. So the next time you say “I am so Bipolar” or “She is so Bipolar” perhaps you should take a moment to read some information on what real Bipolar disorder is all about, because I am fairly certain you won’t use it as an adjective after that.
the depression is so bad you feel like you have failed everyone and everything and as much as you want to go to sleep and not wake up you have to keep on breathing.
Such was me a few weeks ago, me before coming off the Zoloft.
The Zoloft that made life worst. The Zoloft that made me feel crazy. The Zoloft that made me want to harm myself. The Zoloft that made me put the breaks on while driving because I thought someone was crossing the road and when I blinked no one was there (among other stories), The Zoloft that made me dream dreams that I thought were real, absolute. The Zoloft that did not mix well with alcohol. The Zoloft that did not let me sleep but yet made me feel like I wanted to go to sleep and not wake up. The Zoloft that made me paranoid. The Zoloft that changed me.
Now I am off the Zoloft, and in just a couple of weeks I already feel a ton better, not ‘normal me’ better, but not Zoloft crazy.
Back one one of my old faithful medications, Tegertol.
New one for me. I may have taken it for a short while when I was hospitalized back in 2012, but I am not completely sure as I was hospitalized for 5 and 1/2 weeks and went through so many med cocktails at that time and I was so sick I don’t know half of what was going on anyway.
I am a little nervous because it is a SSRI med and I am not currently on any mood stabilizers or anti psychotics to combat any form of mania that may or may not rear. I cannot remember the last time I was on an Anti D without a stabilizer…..
But I would take the beginnings of mania any day over what I feel right now.
The beginning is always fun, wild…..but we all know where that ends up.