Archive for the ‘mental health’ Category

Mania

October 30, 2014

Since I’m in a manic upswing right now, I thought I’d take this opportunity to write a bit about how mania manifests – at least in my case, but from listening to others describe their experiences at the manic pole, I feel pretty sure that at least some of these symptoms will apply to most bipolar people.

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Harnessing The Power Of Mental Illness

October 28, 2014

So… still firmly in the grasp of an upswing: devouring that manual I got; been scouring Scribd for anything on mentalism and stage/street magic and packing out my library; even managed to figure out an impressive effect by David Blaine. It’s been pretty much the default setting for my brain all week…

… which has culminated in my wife commenting:

“If you put as much effort into our business we’d be millionaires.”

ah… touché

Just Another Manic Sunday

October 26, 2014

I had a bout of depression last week, it’s been on and off since then. Yesterday was another culmination, I couldn’t pull myself together to perform even simple tasks – let alone change the dressings on my eldest son’s arm after he’d slid and fallen from his bike in the rain. I felt like crying, like my head was stuffed with cotton, like sacking the whole day off and staying in bed (not possible; needed to look after youngest son). In the end I took some meds and had a bit of a lie down until they kicked in.

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This Is A Low

October 13, 2014

Feels like treading water fully clothed; all that waterlogged weight pulling you down and your heart gripped with the fearful certainty that you’re going under, knowing there’s nothing you can do to stop it.

Since the recent episode, I’ve not been particularly well. Compared to how I was  three weeks ago, the difference is quite marked: lack of resilience, tiny things magnified to unmanageable size, circling intrusive thoughts mobbing and ravaging my mind like swirling crows, simple problems turned into Herculean tasks, all bound up in that pervasive sinking feeling.

It’s affecting my ability to work, overshadowing my interactions and relationships, accompanied by a feeling of fragility – that I might crack at any moment, the slightest knock reducing me to tears.

Perhaps I need to start carrying Lorazepam (Ativan), just in case. This is the first time I’ve ever felt that way.

Medication

October 11, 2014

As I already mentioned, I have rapid cycling bipolar disorder. On the downswing, in addition to intrusive thoughts and self criticism (including replaying of events and situations from many years ago), this leads to deep, dark depression – even as far as suicidal thoughts. On the manic upswing, symptoms include obsessional behaviour, emphatic (even strident) tone in conversations, suspicion and jealousy, magical thinking and intense narcissism. Unchecked, very little time is spent in any kind of level middle ground, the switching between the two poles being sudden and unpredictable.

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Knock-On Effects

October 6, 2014

I should probably tell you that I have Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder, since it’s a large part of why all of these events are happening. I was first diagnosed at 17, then spent the next ten years denying that it was a problem. This was seriously in error, so I spent the following ten years trying to control the outbreaks through controlling sleep, exercise, food and the avoidance of triggering situations (such as TV news, getting drunk or stoned etc). Finally, after a great deal of torment and violence, I admitted that I should give medication a try. It has certainly improved my situation, but there are still episodes where my symptoms have erupted… as you have been reading about.

This week, for instance, I have been displaying manic symptoms such as obsessional behaviour, emphatic (even strident) tone in conversations – pushing them into arguments, circling intrusive thoughts and self criticism, and intense irritability – being prone to flare-ups of shouting and anger.

Basically this is the aftermath of having been a) devastatingly drunk b) having lost control of my waking self c) having been violent which d) caused a severe ruction with one of the friends we were staying with… he has refused to speak with me, even be in the same room, opting out of coming for lunch with a group of us the next day. I did offer to be the one not joining, but even that was unacceptable. So, I’ve had that hanging over me as well.

That’s why, when we got to the restaurant for my Mum’s birthday, my wife quietly suggested that maybe I should take a day off from OctSober and have a drink, because she couldn’t handle my being so wound up and irritable out with the whole family.

She was right, having a drink did ease things, made for a more enjoyable day, but it also became symptomatic when I found it easy just to keep drinking after the meal, ending up on single malt right up until bedtime.

Needless to say I’m feeling pretty hungover today. I must have slept pretty badly too because I’m dead on my feet.

OctSober is back on, as is the no sugar thing (i had a dessert at the meal. Yesterday was a total wash-out), hopefully I can make it through to Samhain with only one black mark in my copybook.