It’s been a long, long while. I have been suffering with bipolar depression in a very extended way lately. Some people who don’t understand bipolar have the misperception that we suffer both the depressive side and the manic side equally. We don’t. Also, we’re all different in our levels of functionality at the various phases of the disorder. So I’ve been down and out of the game. I am on a new medication, Latuda, and I think it may finally be kicking in. I certainly hope so! It is supposed to relieve the symptoms of Bipolar Depression which is a very big deal for me as I have never had relief from this phase and it is the phase I suffer from the most frequently as well as it being the most catastrophically impactful for me.
Anyway, the picture above was put together back in December at the beginning of a manic phase which I will be sharing with you very soon. During mania I have many brilliant ideas and am extremely active. Unfortunately the mania does not last long and when it burns off suddenly my activities cease and my plots, plans, schemes come to an abrupt halt. For instance, this article had the headline written and the picture uploaded, and even a link to some statistical data but no body. Fortunately, I know my main intent was to go over my 4 “personalities” (for lack of a better description) that I am constantly trying to adjust to and live with. However, the switch got flipped, the lights went out and nobody was home for many months. So I am now going to do my best to complete what I had started.
Left to Right:
- Deep Depression. This is where I have been for the last several months. My days in this state consist of sleeping (escaping my problems, but also I am exhausted physically and mentally), crying uncontrollably for no specific reason, staring at the ceiling or blank wall sometimes with no thoughts registering in my head and other times inundated with only negative recriminations for being this person (something I cannot control) that suffers this chemical imbalance of the brain. I’ll get up to pee and return immediately to bed. I mostly drink my calories during this time as I have no energy or desire to even pour cereal into a bowl to eat. I will bathe once a week but don’t remember to brush my teeth and do not bother brushing my hair or changing my clothes. I am completely shut down. Inhuman. Some days I am afraid to be alone because I fantasize about killing myself. I know that is not the answer and it is really not an option. Besides, in this state I am frozen in grief and depression so I do not act upon thoughts. I “just” terrorize myself with them over and over again. Visualizing myself killing myself. It’s not fun, believe me. It scares me and heightens my depressive state.
2. “The Blahs” This is where I live the majority of my life. I still have difficulty with hygiene most days. I am messy and tired. I have zero focus, zero attention span, zero interests, zero motivation , and zero drive. I do nothing but zone out on the computer or Netflix day after day. My mind is chaotic and so is the environment around me. It’s better than the deep depression but it is no life. A waste.
3. Happy/Balanced. This is my goal persona. It is who I long to be. I enjoy friendships and can hold onto a job. I feel like I am pursuing goals and making real change in my life toward becoming this person authentically. I consistently bathe every other day. I pick up after myself. I eat and sleep in a normal pattern. I have a life and recognize the blessing that it is. I may even be able to have a romantic relationship again!
4. Mania! I am awesome! You are awesome! Life is awesome! I have big plans and they are, no matter how far-fetched, attainable! I have just got to follow my plans step by step and I’ll do it! I will succeed at anything I try and I will try anything that interests me! The world is my oyster, my cake, my playground!
So who is susceptible to Bipolar Disorder? Statistics sourced through Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance says that:
I wrote a rather lengthy response and WordPress apparently did not like it, at any cost it’s disappeared. So to sum up and be brief: Thank you for sharing these stages of the bipolar roller-coaster and the fact that up and down aren’t 50/50. I have bipolar II which is (apparently) a milder version of the full blown bipolar disorder. More depression is evident in it too and one is never fully ‘manic’, we get “hypomania” instead. Anyway I never knew why, time to time, I’m less vigilant about my hygiene than at others and today you provided the answer. Sometimes I’ll go one or two days without a shower, in my ‘normal’ phase I like to shower every day. I was dismayed by the development too, but couldn’t raise any enthusiasm for DOING it…now I know why. Bless you! And thank you, if I might, I’d like to share your link with a friend of mine who would get a lot out of reading about this. Let me know. Thanks again! 🙂
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I probably replied in length, knowing me, privately when you left this comment. Just in case I didn’t, my website URL is memeesmusings.com and she can easily find it (because of that long hiatus I took) by looking for The 4 Faces of Memee in the Thoughts Treasury (archive). She’ll spot it right away!