A few of my personal Depression signs.

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.
  • Weight gain: I eat my feelings. Enough said.
  • Deep emotional pain.

Guest bloggers, and an update

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.

I have added my social media information:

Email: bipolarwhispers@gmail.com

Interested in being a guest blogger on Bipolar Whispers, email me at bipolarwhispers@gmail.com

I did this a few times in the past and am interested in doing a few more guest posts again in the future. If this is something that interests you feel free to email me at bipolarwhispers@gmail.com .

In the blog post I can add an image or two, your blog address, social media or anything else that might be relevant.

Finally, is there something you would like to see me blog about? Comment below with any blog ideas and I will do my best to write about them.

Zoloft Crazy?

That moment when…

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.

So Scarred (Trigger warning – Self Injury)

*Written about 16 years ago*

A time when pain was easily mistook for something different, a time when scars were internal not external, a time when I could explain the scars, but that time is long gone, that time has left, that time is no longer with me.

A time when I never had to wear long sleeved shirts to cover all the pain,  pain that is trying to escape

But escaping through that cuts that appear on my arms

A time when I did not need to feel that touch of the cold blade, or see that crimson red that flows from the deepest pain inside…

A time when I never had to carry a blade with me all the time, just in case, just in case something happens and then that blade is there,

A time when I never needed to sit and hold that blade close to my skin

When I never had to sit and just stare off into space and wonder….

A time when pain was something easy to understand cause it was not trying to escape through open scars…

A time when I could understand the world around

But now suddenly that world has grown so cold…so heartless…..

So Scarred!

Uncontrollable Urges – Self Injury Trigger Warning

Old writing from years ago, right in the very midst of the worst parts of my self injury.  Written on November 5th 2000.

Uncontrollable Urges

Sitting here Knife in hand
Not expecting you to understand
That the pain I have will never leave
I know it’s hard to believe

It has controlled me for so long
I don’t think I can stay strong
I feel like I am doing a nosedive
Beginning to wonder why I am alive

Sitting here lighter heating
Starting to learn that he is beating
He has hid and ran, and I don’t understand
How he is getting away with this…what a man

Sitting here blade to skin
Fighting the urge to push it in
Losing the battle, beginning to shake
Its one more decision I cannot make

Shaking, rocking slowly talking
Thinking, sinking even walking
Blade in hand weary slicing
Lighter in hand very enticing.

Self Injury – A Taboo Topic – My personal Experience *possible trigger warning*

Self Injury is defined as the intentional, direct injuring of body tissue most often done without suicidal intentions.  It often includes cutting, self-mutilation, or self harm.  It is an injurious attempt to cope with negative emotions such as extreme anger, anxiety and frustration.  It is repetitive.  Often people who injure themselves are survivors of traumatic events during childhood.

Self injury.  It is a hard topic for people who deal with it, and an even harder topic for people who do not.  It is hard to understand, it is hard to explain.  For the most part, self injury is a taboo topic.

These are my personal experiences.

I was 13 years old the very first time I self injured.  I continued to do so until just 2 weeks before finding out I was pregnant with our first child.  Call it mothers intuition: I have no idea why I was able to stop then, I had tried over and over before but failed.  I have had a handful of “one time slip ups” over the years.  Until February of 2012 when I started self injury all over again and continued to do so for about 7 or 8 weeks. Since then, I have for the most part, been self injury free.

Do I still struggle with the urges?  Yes.  Do I act on them?  No, I try very hard not to.

There is something I want you to know about someone who Self injures:  It is not a cry for attention, it is not a suicide attempt.  In fact, for me, I spent the entire time hiding it.  I hid it from everyone.

For me it was a release, it was control.  I had taken part in different types of self injury, but it always went back to cutting.

I had tried several different methods (all recommended by mental health professionals) to try to stop. Marking myself with red marker – did nothing for me.  Writing when I felt like self injury – I did a lot of this, I wrote and wrote and wrote until I couldn’t anymore.   Elastic bands on my wrist and snapping them when I felt the urge served no purpose for me, just bruised my wrists but I never got the release I was looking for.

Sometimes the frustrations built up inside me were so bad, I would be physically shaking.  I felt like if I did not self injure I was going to physically and mentally blow up. The pressure was extreme. The pent up emotions were raging inside me and I needed to let them out.  And the only way for me to get even minimal release was through self injury.

Sure I had other ways of expressing myself especially through writing.  But the urges were so strong and I was so weak.

In the end I was cutting numerous times each ‘session’ on a near hourly basis.

My then boyfriend – now my husband.  Was the only person other then my Psychiatrist and therapist who knew the extent of how bad it had gotten (only because it was kind of hard to hide it from him).  He was afraid to sleep because he was afraid I would get up and do something.  He was terrified that i was going to end up cutting too deep, or do something even more drastic.  He slept (if you can call it that) with his foot/leg always touching or anchored over mine, so if I got up he would know and would be able to check on me.  He had a key to the bathroom hidden away just in case I would lock myself in there.

I, in turn, had hid things too.  I hid razors, I hid anything I could possibly cut with in places he would not suspect.  I knew it had gotten extremely bad one particular day, I was sitting in a mall bathroom and was cutting.  I began to shake, and cry.

It is hard for someone who has never dealt with self injury within themselves to even begin to understand the release that comes from it.  It is also hard for me to explain where the release comes from.  You probably wouldn’t understand.  Trust me I have tried to explain it.  I have written, I have talked to therapists, psychiatrists, doctors.

Sometimes as I struggle now the urges become so strong and the emotions are so pent up that I feel like the only way to get through it is to partake in more self injurious activities, it feels like that is the only way I will be able to release some of the pent up tension that is building just under the surface.

But I know that there are better coping methods.  And I try each and every one of them until the urge subsides.

For me self injury was something I could control when so many aspects of my life – were uncontrollable.  I felt like I could release the pent up feelings that my emotions were causing.  I could control how often, how many times, what part of my body, how deep, how big, how small.  Control. It was the one thing in my life that was constant and I thought I controlled it.

But the cutting had gotten so bad that it was out of control – I was out of control.  The control that I tried so hard to exercise was completely gone.  Things began getting worst, and fast.  More pronounced, harsher and I was beginning to make mistakes.  I had always cut where I could cover it with clothes.  I began cutting everywhere on my body.  I began cutting deeper.  I have a scar on my arm, it would have needed stitches had I seen a doctor.  That was part of my turning point.  I was unable to stop myself, the control, that I thought I had, was gone.

Although self injury might feel like control, it might feel like release, it is only temporary.  It is an unhealthy coping method.  If you find yourself controlled by your self injury, please seek medical help.  A doctor, therapist or psychiatrist will be able to lead you into some more healthy coping methods.

This is my story – I am not proud of it, but it is a part of who I am.

20 Raw, Honest Confessions

I wanted to write out some confessions. Maybe some of them are not really confessions but facts in my life.  Maybe it will help you get to know me a little better.

They are things that I deal with, that, well maybe you do too.  Maybe some of these will make you feel less alone.  And maybe, just maybe they may help me feel a little better by writing them out.

When I was first diagnosed I was somewhat hypomanic.  I had been in hospital for 5 1/2 weeks with severe depression.  I came home in a sorta mixed episode, mostly down, a little up.  I clawed my way out of the depression and into a more stable and then up mood.

I saw my psychiatrist who gave me my diagnosis of Bipolar – most likely type 2.

The following is the root of  confession #1 and #2.  I came home sat down to the computer and wrote the following on my Facebook page:

“I have Bipolar disorder, but Bipolar disorder does NOT have me, It does not control my life, but I can choose to control it, and I refuse to let it define who I am as a person.”

Confession #1:  I wrote it because I wanted the world to know I was out of hospital and there had been a reason for being there not just “She’s Crazy” as I thought people were saying.

Confession #2:  Even thought I wrote that quote on my Facebook I do Sometimes feel like Bipolar disorder does define me.

Confession #3:  I sometimes wonder if past childhood trauma had a hand to play in my mental health problems.

Confession #4:  I am afraid of the dark….well not quite like it sounds.  But I get anxious if I am alone in the dark.  I know the reason behind this but am not ready to share it.

Confession #5:  I self injured for 7 years, starting when I was 13.  In the end I was self injuring numerous times, almost hourly.

Confession #6:  I attempted suicide when I was 18 years old.  I realized after that I did not want to die, I just wanted all the pain and hurt to stop and I was fortunate to have been able to get help.

Confession #7:  My husband literally saved my life.  I know without a doubt that I would not be here today if I had not met him when I did.

Confession #8:  When I got pregnant with our daughter I was in a bad place.  That pregnancy changed a lot of things for me.  The song by Martina McBride Sums up how I feel about that:

But the truth is plain to see
She was sent to rescue me
I see who I wanna be
In my daughter’s eyes

Confession #9:  I hate, and I do mean HATE to the point of FEAR – Cabbage Patch Dolls, they are a huge trigger for me (yes I know why), I get anxious, my heart beats fast, I feel weak and get tingles going up my spine when I see one, or even a picture of one.

Confession #10:  I have an almost identical fear of Ants – yes little crawling ants, black or red does not matter.  I have had panic attacks over this little small bug – And yes I know why I have this reaction as well.

Confession #11:  I sometimes like the hypomanic buzz that I get.  The productivity.  Being able to complete tasks quickly and more efficiently.  New projects and researching things.  (Until it gets really bad)

Confession #12:  I do still have thoughts of self injury and have had slip ups since stopping.  In fact the 5 1/2 weeks of hospitalization I spoke about earlier included self injury.

Confession #13:  I hate odd numbers.  Except 1.  1 is cool.  The volume of anything has to be on an even number.  If I purchase things it has to be in even numbers, unless I buy 1.  Any more then 1 of anything is bought in even numbers, I prefer 6.

Confession #14:  I have premonitions.  I am serious.  I get a thought, and if I do not act on it, something bad happens.

Confession #15:  I have had eating issues all my life.  When I was a child I barely ate, I was taken to drs but they said “She will eat when she is hungry”.  Now I am a big woman and I go from binge eating, to eating very little several times a year.  When I was in hospital I refused to eat.  I lost 50 pounds (some was right before going in and a few after) and was very close to having a feeding tube inserted.

Confession #16:  Sometimes when I look in the mirror I feel like I have lost myself and I do not recognize who is looking back at me.  There was even a block of time when I refused to look in a mirror.

Confession #17:  I was first diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Severe Depression, Suicidal idealization, and Self Injury tendencies when I was 18 years old.

Confession #18:  I have used Alcohol in the past as an escape….but it almost always made things way worst.

Confession #19:  Very few people know the circumstances behind my mental illnesses.  I find it extremely hard to talk about.  But typing or writing is much easier for me.

Confession #20:  I am terrified that one of my children will have a mental illness and I fear that it will be my fault.