Monday, September 14, 2009

Bipolar Blogging and Depression (Part 1)

It's difficult for me to know if I just need a small respite from blogging or whether I'm experiencing the beginning of a depressive episode. But, tonight--after more than 640 posts--it suddenly seemed more like a chore to write this rather than a pleasure.

I do know that when I feel depressed, I don't feel like sharing my thoughts and feelings with others. I also know that I had a very busy weekend and I'm tired. I am aware that the weather has been changing, and I can feel it.

But, I also know that depressions have triggers.

Am I feeling slightly depressed because I'm worried about my son who is having LASIK surgery on Tuesday? Possibly. Despite the fact that he's very excited about the procedure because he's worn glasses since he began reading when he was five years old (and he's now 20), I'm quite nervous about it. Somehow, elective eye surgery is something I personally wouldn't do.

Or am I slightly depressed because I've had a tremendous amount of energy for the last few months, and after a while it's exhausting? That could be the case as well. I'm pleased because I've monitored my behavior very well. Still, I've taken on a lot of projects, and I'm trying to take those things off my plate that others can follow through on, and just work on the things that I find relaxing.

Are there other triggers? Possibly. Do I feel like figuring them out? Oddly enough, "no."

(to be continued)

20 comments:

Paul Bright said...

it sounds like you are almost ready to embrace the depression, which is why you don't really care about the trigger. But I'm sure through your own personal experience you have a way of handling it. I am curious as to what you do for support during depression since you have suffered over 100 episodes.

Paul Bright
bipolarlovedones.com

Tamara (TC) said...

Susan,

I could have written this post today as I have been feeling some of the same overwhelm and don't know if it is depression or normal tiredness. We are in between seasons with still too much summer for me but, I suspect, too much fall for you! I know how having something you are worried about can really take over your mood. I would not have elective eye surgery either. However, I have many friends that have had LASIK with phenomenal results. I don't know anyone, personally, that has had a problem with it.

The other part of what you wrote that I, myself, find so frustrating is when I feel good, I begin a bunch of projects full of enthusiasm. Then the depression, exhaustion, overwhelm kick in and, once again, I have to cancel some things instead of following through. I used to let this really upset me. I am trying, these days, to be easier on myself about it and just flow with my internal rhythm the best that I can.

You are very aware of how you are feeling and your triggers so I have every faith that you will find the perfect answer to pull yourself through this.

Take care and be good to you. You deserve it!

Hugs,
Tamara

WillSpirit said...

You are no doubt also aware that hypomania often leads to a follow-on depression. I don't know if your excess energy rose to that level. I am not even sure whether you feel you are bipolar or just prone to recurrent depression. But I do know that very often after I've had a run of high productivity and great energy, I crash. Not always into a full-blown depression, fortunately, but often into a 'slump'. Just a thought.

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Paul,
Thanks for your comment. The questions you pose are all good ones, and I'll answer them in tomorrow's post.

Susan

marja said...

Hey Susan,

Maybe you're worrying more about it than you should? Maybe you're just tired and need a little holiday from excessive activity?

I liked what Tamara said: She said she tries "to be easier on myself about it and just flow with my internal rhythm the best that I can."

Just try to go with the flow, Susan. I think the worrying just makes it worse.

But I'm one to talk. I know I tend to do the same thing :)

Love,
marja

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Tamara,
I'm so sorry you're feeling the same way. And you're absolutely right about the seasonal change. I've been feeling fall coming on for a few weeks, and I've felt an energy shift for a few weeks.

It's so interesting to me that you and I are have opposite reactions to the seasons. And I do feel the "in between" way that you are feeling now.

And you're also right about canceling things. I used to feel terrible about that too, but I've come to grips with it as well.

I did take on a few too many projects, and there are a number of things I've worked on that others can complete. There are a few that I'm going to cancel because they're just too much. And there are some I'm keeping because they either give me pleasure, or they're doable--just on a lesser scale.

Thanks for telling me about the LASIK surgery. It makes me feel much better.

And thanks for sharing your feelings on this. It's very helpful for me to know that others experience it and how they cope.

With love,
Susan

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Will,
Thanks for your "thought." Of course, you're right. It is true that depressions follow hypomanias. And, even if I have learned to control hypomnias (or energy shifts) to a far greater degree than in years past, there is still a residual effect.

The problem as I see it that my energy shifts to high during the end of July, August, and part of September, and it begins to downshift about now (although this is a little early).

If I could afford the medical tests I want, it might be possible to control this. (I plan to write a post about what tests I'd like to have, and I'd be interested in your perspective on this).

Anyway, I took 10 mg. of Adderall this morning. I'm feeling much better, and I'm now well enough to meet my friends at the elementary school, which we plan on helping to landscape.

Susan

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Marja,
I'm handling all this better than I ever have. Because of my therapy I'm less judgmental and more accepting. And I'm still doing all my wellness activities, and I took a very small dosage of Adderall this morning. So, we'll see how it all plays out.

Thanks for your comment on this. Clearly, it's a very important topic to me, and I appreciate the input.

Susan

Wendy Love said...

I am praying for you Susan as you enter into your season of dread. Maybe this year will be different....

Annie said...

Susan,
I related to your post and then read the comments. It seems as though you are processing your feelings about depression as you interact with the comments. When I get a little depressed the primary feeling is fear and anxiety and they seem to fuel the depression.If this fits for you it might be helpful to look at the fear itself and the role it plays in you getting more depressed.
Peace,
Annie

KJ said...

Thinking of you and hoping all is well with your son and his surgery. I have friends who have loved it.

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Wendy,
Thanks for your comment. I appreciate it. Hope you're feeling well too.

Susan

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Annie,
I used to be terrified about the depressions and worked hard to reduce my anxiety. I felt I had accomplished that, but then a part of me remembers that my depression last year was the worst I've ever experienced.

And when I awakened this morning and felt so low, I was very disappointed. But the Adderall made a huge difference although it presents other problems. I went on a gardening project with a "new friend" and didn't stop talking. Yikes. If it's not one thing it's another!

Susan
P.S. Thanks for your empathy and advice.

Wellness Writer said...

Dear KJ,
Thanks for letting me know. It makes me feel better.

Susan

sallyo said...

It could be a combination of all of the above. And it could be that you just need to slow down for a season and be rejuvenated. There's nothing wrong with taking a breather from extra activities. (I need to remember that one myself.)
For what its worth, I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the projects that I really want to do, too. I have to keep reminding myself to take it one step at a time. I like the idea of working on the things you find relaxing.
Good luck in dealing with the coming seasonal change.

Wellness Writer said...

Dear sallyo,
Thanks for your comment. It probably is a result of all of the above. And, it's good to remind myself that I can take a breather, and not feel like I'm failing.

Susan

Emma said...

Dear Susan,
You are so very much in my thoughts.
It is so encouraging to read such wise, wonderfully supportive comments, to know that others wish you well, and understand the sense of concern and perhaps dread around changes in energy, mood and lightness. You have prepared as much as possible for any shift. I have been so impressed by the strategies you have put in place over the past months. Now, take a very deep breath, and be gentle with yourself. I know you will be managing whatever may arise from a much stronger, solid place than say last year, or the year before.
Wishing you so much, especially a dash of bravery and patience, but also sending much love Emma

NOMOREPENCILS said...

As soon as I started reading your post I thought that after 640 post it is not at all surprising that you might be feeling a bit jaded.

We are winding down from summer - I feel it. I am sure we all do.

I hope your son's surgery goes wonderfully well.

All the best,

David

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Emma,
As always, thanks for your encouraging, thoughtful, and supportive comment. I have felt good about my strategies as well. I just hope they work!

After talking to my son's surgeon last night, I awakened with far more energy this morning. So, perhaps it was just stress. We'll see.

Love,
Susan

Wellness Writer said...

Dear David,
Thanks so much for your good thoughts on my son's behalf. I genuinely appreciate them!

Susan