Archive for depression


Kiss Me

I didn’t take my bipolar medication over the weekend. It wasn’t an intentional thing, I just didn’t take it. I never reached up into the cupboard and took it out. Out of sight, out of mind I guess. Needless to say, I didn’t have a very good Sunday; and today was rough. I went into severe depression mode yesterday, manic depression if you want to term it. Two days without medication and I was a complete wreck. I’m completely, 100% dependent on these medications and it frustrates me to no end.

I’ve always known that I have depression. I would freely admit that to anyone who asked. I’ve always known too that I suffer from severe anxiety. It’s part of the reason that I so enjoy spending time online; I don’t really have to “talk” to anyone. Talking is too intimate for me. Even with my own husband I get anxious about talking. Sometimes calling a friend is even too much.

So, four months into my medically induced “happiness” (which quite honestly it’s more like being sedated than anything) I finally realize that I’m never going to be able to stop taking medication. For as long as I am on this planet in my current form I will need medication just to help me cope with the day to day grind. Even things like getting up in the morning, or having to go to the grocery store will require me to be medicated. Having a relationship with my husband that is not stressed or angry will require medication. Being able to enjoy my children to the fullest extent will require medication. It bothers me to no end.

I don’t want to spend my life in this sedated sense, but quite honestly, I don’t want to spend it being depressed, angry and moody. Sure, I’d have my good days where I’d fly high like a kite, but I’ll pay for those good days in the form of very, very dark bad days. Days when I’m sure no one wants to be within 100 square miles of my person. Days when even I can’t stand the thought of being in my own head.

It’s disturbing to me that I’m this other person without medication. It’s disturbing to me that I’m a completely different person on medication. I know which is better, but at the same time I miss myself too. Four months ago I didn’t know any better. I didn’t know that people don’t constantly hash and rehash the same thoughts a million times before sinking into depression and not knowing which way to go because the ‘perfect’ idea had holes in it. I didn’t know it wasn’t normal to get a grand idea and then become depressed because the task was just too ‘difficult’ to handle. I didn’t realize that one could go to the grocery store alone without wondering what another person has just thought of what you were wearing, looking at, purchasing and on and on and on. I didn’t think I was all that different from other people, that was my normal. That was how I’d always had to deal with my world. Now, I have to wade through my world in a sedated reality.

And in this sedated reality emotion isn’t the same. It’s like seeing a vibrant picture without any color. I still have base emotions, but things like pure joy or raging madness escape me. Even if I know that I should be absolutely pissed off about something I can’t actually be it. And if I actually do get really mad about something, it’s gone almost as quickly as it came. I’m sure that doesn’t make much sense, it’s a hard concept for me to grasp even and I’m living it.

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Scrolling Saturday #1 Diagnosis: Bipolar Disorder

Scrolling Saturdays

Diagnosis: Bipolar Disorder

A little background….

In November 2007, I was diagnosed with severe bipolar disorder and anxiety. Since then I’ve been on a daily medication regimen to help me regulate my mood and to deal with the anxiety issues. It’s been very difficult to get used to the idea of needing daily medication and even harder still to get used to the idea that I have a very severe and often misdiagnosed disorder like bipolar. For many, many years I’ve been told that I just had depression with a little anxiety or anxiety with a little depression. Until I really spiraled no doctor ever took the time to ask really detailed questions about my life history, my medical history and my mental history. It is a relief to finally not feel the way I used to, even if the cost of that is excruciatingly painful each month. I’ve chosen Diagnosis: Bipolar Disorder as my first Scrolling Saturday because I want to get the word out about what Bipolar Disorder really means. It’s taken me at least 15 years to get a proper diagnosis. Perhaps I can help someone else get a diagnosis sooner.

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Life Uncertainly

Ever feel like the only certain thing about your entire life is that you are entirely uncertain what will happen next? That life is uncertainly what you make it? That’s a bit how my life has been for the last couple of years. Every time it seems the sun will break through the clouds, the next catastrophe hits and once again I’m back at the beginning. And I really don’t believe in luck. I don’t think I’m so entirely unlucky that everything I try to do will backfire, I just don’t think what I try to do works. Like I’ve been trying to reinvent the wheel and have been completely unsuccessful; get what I’m saying? Not that I’d literally try to reinvent the wheel, but well…you know….

So, I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because it seems no matter how hard my husband and I work towards things we always end up going backwards more than we go forward. And when you are trying to work towards better things for yourself and your family, that’s easily a frustrating way to have things turn out. I can’t even count the number of times we’ve thought, “Well, at least this will be a good month” and then BAM….something to blow a good month right out of the water. That would frustrate you too right? I’m not just a big whiny baby am I?

Besides money being a real pain in the ass, it just seems that life in general never goes how we’d like or the way we plan. If we want A it’s almost assured we’ll have to settle for C or even D. Why is that? I really wonder if maybe it’s some kind of cosmic thing…bad kharma possibly? Whatever it is, I’m not liking it much. I’m ready to throw in the proverbial towel and just sit back and watch it all crumble. Then I’ll rebuild because perhaps I’ll get it right then.

I know that every choice that’s made, every action that’s taken leads to something else; cause and effect. That makes total sense. I just don’t know why all my actions and choices are not leading to the effects I’d like to see in my life. I see it working for others all the time. When, however, shall it be my families turn? I mean do I really need to sit down and pray? Some would say I do. (And speaking of prayer, I never did go to church...I’m a sassy girl…I chickened out!) Should I donate more to others, help people more in need with volunteer time? I’d love to volunteer but only if they like small children. And, if I had more (insert here) I’d gladly donate it to a cause, charity or person. I give my clothes to Goodwill. I let the kids drop spare change in donation buckets. I’ve gotten toys for Toys for Tots. I really am a nice person who wants to help others. Now, if I could help myself…well then, I’d be quite happy.

I guess I really have no point to this. I’m just purely frustrated at moving one step forward and three steps back. I’m sick and tired of it. I’d like things to go more smoothly and I’m not quite sure how to make that happen short of taking over someone else’s identity. And, that I do believe is quite illegal and I’d prefer my future didn’t include any jail time. I would prefer to meet my grandchildren without bars.

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Diagnosis: Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is not a single disorder, but a category of mood disorders defined by the presence of one or more episodes of abnormally elevated mood, clinically referred to as mania. Individuals who experience manic episodes also commonly experience depressive episodes or symptoms, or mixed episodes which present with features of both mania and depression. These episodes are normally separated by periods of normal mood, but in some patients, depression and mania may rapidly alternate, known as rapid cycling. The disorder has been subdivided into bipolar I, bipolar II and cyclothymia based on the type and severity of mood episodes experienced.

Also called bipolar affective disorder until recently, the current name is of fairly recent origin and refers to the cycling between high and low episodes; it has replaced the older term manic-depressive illness coined by Emil Kraepelin (1856-1926) in the late nineteenth century.[1] The new term is designed to be neutral, to avoid the stigma in the non-mental health community that comes from conflating “manic” and “depression.”
Onset of symptoms generally occurs in young adulthood. Diagnosis is based on the person’s self-reported experiences, as well as observed behavior. Episodes of illness are associated with distress and disruption, and a relatively high risk of suicide.[2] Studies suggest that genetics, early environment, neurobiology, and psychological and social processes are important contributory factors. Psychiatric research is focused on the role of neurobiology, but a clear organic cause has not been found. Bipolar disorder is usually treated with medications and/or therapy or counseling. The mainstay of medication are a number of drugs termed ‘mood stabilizers‘, in particular lithium and sodium valproate ; these are a group of unrelated medications used to prevent relapses of further episodes. Antipsychotic medications, sometimes called neuroleptics, in particular olanzapine, are used in the treatment of manic episodes and in maintenance. The benefits of using antidepressants in depressive episodes is unclear. In serious cases where there is risk to self and others involuntary hospitalization may be necessary; these generally involve severe manic episodes with dangerous behaviour or depressive episodes with suicidal ideation. Hospital stays are less frequent and for shorter periods than they were in previous years.

Some studies have suggested a significant correlation between creativity and bipolar disorder. However, the relationship between the disorder and creativity is still very unclear.[3][4][5] One study indicated increased striving for, and sometimes attaining, goals and achievements.[6] While the disorder affects people differently, individuals with bipolar disorder tend to be much more outgoing and daring than individuals without bipolar disorder. The disorder is also found in a large number of people involved in the arts. It is an ongoing study as to why many creative geniuses had bipolar disorder.[7]

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Who’s Life Is It Anyway?

I guess the whole reason I’m writing this is that I feel emotionally detached from my life. My medication may be working a bit too well, but who am I to say. I still love my children and husband. I still love my friends and my family. I like being at home and the challenges it brings me during the day and evening hours. I’ve found my creativity in scrapbooking and card making and I’ve been reading the romance novels I’ve always had a secret fondness for. But, for all that’s good in the world, I feel detached from it. As if I’m merely a shadow going through my day on a mission until my head hits the pillow at night. And, as if that weren’t bad enough I’m finally “seeing” that nothing has really changed and I’m still facing the same challenges, but with no real attachment to their meaning or significance. It’s like I’ve stopped caring, even though I know I would definitely be bothered without the meds, in fact, pissed off; but because of them, I’ve stopped fighting. And, I do still care, but things no longer have the same importance as they once did.

So, who’s life is it anyway? Is it really my life? Is it the “new” me who will have to trudge onward and try to make sense of the detachment? Will the detachment turn into another emotion? I don’t know. I just don’t really know.

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