Here's a question for folks who have been cursed/blessed with the lovely "gift" of bipolar disorder: Have you ever had a "mixed" episode, where you felt both hypo/manic AND depressed at the same time?
This is what psychiatrists must've been thinking of when they gave this illness its original term "manic depression": I could literally be laughing one minute and screaming the next. I still can't sit still or concentrate on anything longer than a bird can stay on one twig. I've been nervous, jumpy, agitated, and without an appetite. I've also been cleaning everything in sight and weeping uncontrollably while I scrub the gunk out of the tiny gap between the wall and floor with an old toothbrush. I don't do housework.
And I actually was wide awake at 0130 this morning exfoliating, of all things.
It's like bipolar on crack!!
After almost two weeks of this rather exhausting battle, I finally gave up trying to fix it on my own a few days ago and called my doctor, who urgently advised me to double my antipsychotic medication and then proceeded to give me 20 minutes of free therapy over the phone. Funny, I'd thought the hysterics and feelings of desperation were symptoms of depression,
but I had signs of mania too, so he called it something I'd never heard of before: "dysphoric mania".
Now, I recognize this phenomenon because I had a couple of episodes like it at different crisis points in my life, long before I was diagnosed. But now my dx is changing because what I've been experiencing was actually full-blown mania
instead of hypomania, which seems weird to me because I haven't lost touch with reality and I thought BP 1 always involved psychosis. Oh, HECK no---this is much too
real. I'm used to the euphoric
kind of hypo/mania where I feel like I'm over the moon; this puts a much nastier spin on things and I am NOT happy. I've been writing a lot---it's the only thing I can keep my mind on for five seconds---but otherwise this whole thing STINKS and I am protesting it through channels
So does anyone else have these distressing episodes? How do you figure out if you're manic or depressed or both? When do you call your mental health provider? And what on earth do you DO with yourself during that dreadful period between realizing you're in trouble and getting relief from your med changes? Any words of wisdom would be appreciated!