Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Bipolar Irritability (Part 1)

One of the symptoms of bipolar disorder is irritability. In my case, irritability follows a hypomania. For me, June and July are usually hypomanic months, and thus, if it's August I tend to feel irritable. And when I'm irritable, I have less patience with people although I try really hard to remain patient with my friends and loved ones. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I don't believe there is any excuse for "bad bipolar behavior."

In terms of irritability, what I also find is that I have less interest in helping others when I'm irritable. So...when I review past posts, I find that it is usually around this time of year (or after other hypomanic episodes) that I decide I'll no longer write my blog. And when I realized that I haven't felt like returning from my blogging vacation, I tried to figure out why.

For the first time, I realized it's not the "posting" I don't feel like doing when I'm irritable, it's responding to comments. And unlike some other bloggers, I always respond to comments because I believe that if people care enough to comment, then they deserve a response from me.

Having said that, I also believe that I need to do whatever it takes to feel well. So...I have decided to come back from my blogging vacation, but to stop responding to comments until I truly feel like it.

My question to you is: Would you prefer that I "turn off" the comments capability or would you prefer to leave comments, knowing that I don't plan on responding...for now?


GirlBlue said...

In as much as some people (this includes myself on occasion) see no response as a slight against them I would turn it off if you have no intention of replying. Of course in my own journal the comments are always on but I don't always respond depending on how I am feeling. Does that make me sound like a hypocrite? Its totally up to you, but with the amount of responses you get I could imagine it would be a bit difficult to keep up if you are not feeling up to it

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Girlblue,
I must admit that I have to smile at your response when you say it's a slight if a person doesn't respond to you, but that you don't respond--when you're not feeling well.

I believe we're all hypocritical at times, but few people are honest enough to admit it. I appreciate your candor.

And, I also appreciate your point of view on this.


KJ said...

I think you should leave the comments on because we can still learn from each others thoughts and ideas until you are up to commenting again!

Gianna said...

I have never found it possible to answer all comments. I figure I'm doing a lot of communicating in my post...if people want to respond great...but if I don't then feel inspired in turn to respond I don't force myself too...

that doesn't mean I don't deeply appreciate any given comment...sometimes there is simply nothing to say...for me anyway...

for me forcing myself to respond feels unauthentic, though I do like the idea, in theory, of trying to answer everyone...it's just not possible for me.

In any case...I think you should do what you want...people leave comments regardless of whether people respond or not on many blogs, so it's really your call...

oh and just so you know, I do really like that you respond and always look to see what you will have to say...but I don't think you should feel like you have to respond!

welcome back and I hope you feel better soon....

I'm very irritable these days too.

Bradley said...

I'd prefer you kept them on. It's disappointing that you won't be able to respond, but I think you are making the right decision for you. However, I presume you'll be reading the comments as I hope most bloggers do and it's always nice to put a comment regardless of whether you receive a response.

I find it confusing when people have comments off and assume they must have done it by accident or don't care about my opinons.

catatonickid said...

Irritability is such a pain. It feels futile to try and work through it by its very nature. It makes everything so very blah.

Anyway, as to your question I'd probably leave them on, were I in your shoes. I mean just on the off chance that something someone says gets passed the irritability and has a real impact on your day. It might help with buoying your mood, somewhat. I know they can for me sometimes but like Girlblue says - totally up to you.

If you do maybe post a little note where everyone can see it, above the comment box just saying you may not respond but you are listening...? That way people will know the score before they post.

Robin J Foote said...

You make a good point. Irritable with 1-on-1 interaction, comments and with me even writing posts and other documents my language and tone of writing tends to be 'off centre'.
I usually go back a day or 2 later to check my work, do any editing and then publish or post it off to the intended recipient.
My blogs are intended to help others but not with bipolar and as such I have no trouble keeping the tone positive. If these were personal blogs I think I would have problems with the comments on my personal sharings.
Love 'In Fellowshp'

Wellness Writer said...

Dear KJ, Gianna, Bradley, and Robin,
I will be responding to comments today, but I had minor surgery yesterday and have two doctor appointments this morning. So, I won't be responding until later this afternoon.


Tamara said...


I am like you, I feel if people are wonderful enough to leave me comments then I want to respond. However, when I leave a comment and do not receive a response I don't take it personally. I figure each blog owner needs to take care of themselves and do what they are able to at the time.

Obviously turning comments off/or not is completely up to you. In my opinion, it would be nice if you left them on so that we can learn from each other, so that a response someone leaves might be helpful to you and because when I am on a blog and cannot leave a comment I feel a bit shut-out for some reason. I am aware that this is my problem to deal with though and if someone wants to turn their comments off, I am back to you need to take care of yourself first.

marja said...

Please leave the ability to comment on. Even if you don't reply, I like to have an opportunity to respond to your post if there's something there that I feel strongly about.

I often don't respond to comments on my blog because sometimes I just don't know anything more to say. I try, but if I have to try too hard - like someone else said - it's no longer authentic.

I do love it when we get a good discussion going, though, something that goes on a bit, with everyone contributing their thoughts. I can handle that.

Wellness Writer said...

I've written another post about this and will leave comments on because my "moment of irritability" has passed.


Nancie said...

Dear Susan,

I just read through all your posts for this week and want to let you know that I really appreciate your writings and the comments of your readers. I am learning a lot.

When I was hypomanic I could write, comment and reply to comments readily. I greatly value and appreciate comments on my blog and have tried in the past to respond to them as much as I can whenever I am well.

But in these recent months after I plunged into depression, my blog is pretty empty most of the time. I didn't have the energy to write, to visit other blogs, to comment or reply to comments. Even now in the path of recovery I am still finding difficulties visiting and commenting as much as I would like to. I also have difficulties replying to comments because I didn't have much energy to do so and most of the time I also do not have anything to add anymore.

I greatly value all the comments and now I try to respond by visiting my friends' blogs and commenting on their post instead, whenever I can.

Just want you to know that I really appreciate all your kind visits and encouraging comments and hope you will forgive me whenever I am not able to reply to your comments or visit your blog and participate through commenting. You are a dear friend and I thank God for causing our paths to cross so wonderfully.

You are in my thoughts and prayers always. May you continue to be a blessing to many!


Wellness Writer said...

Dear Nancie,
I know that you've been depressed and I certainly wasn't referring to you. When I don't comment on your blog, it's because it's religious and that's not something I comment on. But always know that I think of you and wish you well!


Nancie said...

Dear Susan,

Thank you for your kind response! I really appreciate it. It takes away all my fears that I might have hurt you. Thank you for your friendship and understanding. Thanks for thinking of me and your well wishes. They are much appreciated and I wish you well too!


Wellness Writer said...

Dear Nancie,
I appreciate your response. Hope you have a lovely weekend!