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.
Just a quick update. Bipolar Whispers blog is fully back up and running. As you can see I have changed the theme/layout, all blog posts have the updated signature, some have been edited and some have been deleted.
Dealing with some anxiety here tonight, first time I felt like this in quite some time. I was watching something on tv and I guess some of it hit home with some things that I was and have been going through in life.
I just started to feel like I couldn’t swallow and then my heart was fluttering and my whole body started to tingle.
In all honesty I should try to go to sleep since its close on 5 am………
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.