9th Mood Shift in 5 Months

After my last post, I ended up in the hospital again with suicidal depression – mood shift #8 in 5 months. I’m so tired of having to go in the hospital. The reality is that my mood is shifting quickly. Perhaps since we found baseline in April, we are finally able to see how quickly my moods are changing. Perhaps I’m having a bad year. Others are having bad years too.

I got out of the hospital on Friday after Thanksgiving. The holiday in the hospital wasn’t the best, but the patients and staff made the best of it. We pulled tables together to eat as one group. We played games and watched a movie. The day’s schedule was that of a weekend, but there was a festive air. I had been stabilized by Wednesday and ready to go, but in consultation with my doctor, we decided to have me stay in the hospital for the holiday just in case not having anywhere to go would result in relapse. By Friday, I was ready to go and pushed the issue. And I got out. I had plenty to do over the weekend, and friends accommodated when needed. Thank you!!!

Then Sunday I felt a mood switch begin with moodiness and a slight mood dip, but then a delusion started and it grew. It was the one that I usually get at Christmas time, and this time it was 3 1/2 weeks early. I had premonitions of it for 1o days or so too. A mystical experience of the divine – God coming into the world and I had something big to do with it and a sense of euphoria and connection to everything. If you are religious, this might sound like a nice, healthy, or enviable experience. It Is Not! My brain tingles, my senses are heightened, and reality begins to break. The delusion can easily turn psychotic. And always, always, there is the crash afterwards into a depression, suicidal depression the last few years.

I called the next day – Monday – to get an appointment with my psychiatrist that day. By the time I saw her, it was an dysphoric mania (irritability, racing thoughts and so forth) with a growing delusion. When I saw her, she said we had a little time since I still knew my thoughts were a delusion. She boosted up my mood stabilizer and anti-psychotic, despite a history of not responding well to higher doses. We can always go down, “But,” she said, “We need to stop the mania.” I don’t think she’s seen me with a delusion as full blown as this one. Yay for me that it hasn’t been this bad in 3 1/2 years?

My therapist reminded me of the same things my psychiatrist said. Focus on good sleep, good food and exercise (hard exercise, from my therapist – more than I might otherwise do). And No Big Decisions. Get my friends on board with that one too, which I did.

So, 9 mood changes in 5 months. I think I officially qualify as a Rapid-Cycling Bipolar Disorder, Type I. Have to say though… I want off this roller coaster! I want out of being in the hospital! I want to stay away from the poles of suicidality and psychosis!

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6 responses to “9th Mood Shift in 5 Months

  1. Hi there – I’m hoping that this reply is helpful to you. Just to say that I’m in the UK. I’ve read some of your blog pages. The roller coaster is horrid and tiring. I hope you find some sleep and an activity that helps you thought stop. It’s not easy, I know. Keep listening to the pro’s. They sound helpful. Catherine

  2. Hi Deborah. Thanks for being so deeply honest about what you are feeling and thinking in dealing with this very unpredictable condition. Too often people writing these blogs just sugarcoat their experiences and seem in strong denial of what it truly costs them to stay well. I am sorry you have to deal with illness and are finding it such a struggle. I think I understand your struggle. I am 55. I was diagnosed at the age of 22 when I underwent a psychotic break in college. The next 20 or so years, I refused to accept the diagnoses and marched forward through mood swings to go through college and work a successful career. At 50, the illness took over. I lost my career, landed on disability, and have been much like you – crashing about. Each of the past three years has brought psychotic breaks. The last one entailed a bizarre public display of lunacy in which the police picked me up off the street and forcibly took me to the hospital. Not exactly the life I envisioned, and not exactly the out come one would had hoped to see after being as dedicated as you to staying well for a number of years. And so it’s natural to ask where does one go from here? And, talk about fear? Those who don’t suffer from this illness haven’t a clue. I’m often astounded when someone compare it to having cancer. Such idiocy. It’s a sobering reality to know I can lose my mind, and become so completely delusional at what feels like virtually any time ahead. No one with cancer fears losing their mind and committing criminal acts or public displays of nudity or who knows what else! Scary thoughts indeed, as you note. After this last horrid round with psychosis, I had to admit that I had been living in fear of this illness from the very first psychotic break in my 20s. I ran from it then. I guess I out ran it until the age of 50. I”m happy about that. But then it caught up with me, and all the kings men couldn’t put me back together again. (Wow, you should see the meds and associated side effects I’ve gone through in trying to control it. I deserve a PhD on BiPolar meds) And now what? So now what do I do? What can I do? And I’ve recently concluded absolutely NOTHING. I’ll stay on my meds, regularly check in my beloved doctor, etc, etc. But that’s as good as doing nothing in my book because it hasn’t worked. I’ve done all I can do from praying to special diets to mood charts and more. You name it. Except one thing. That huge ball of anxiety you keep referring to inside of you. The fear of OMG where is this roller coaster ride going to take me next? And I know it’s coming. This illness doesn’t ever just go away for good and disappear. Well, my friend, after the police took me away, I’ve just concluded I was at a dead end. So I have nothing to lose, nothing more to fear. This last episode was so bad, so outrageous, so dangerous, so upped the fear ante of what could possibly happen to me the next time, I just had to give up. I don’t know if this makes any sense to you or not. But I’ve given up looking over my shoulder in fear. I know a big huge tsunami is on its way. I just don’t know when. So I figure I’m just looking to be grateful for whatever time I have right here and now in my life, a life that 10 years ago would have been my idea of a living nightmare. But, I still have enough to find to like about it. I still have my two dear dogs, for example. The are right here next to me as I write. I sat outside today just being grateful to feel the sun on my skin, and was thankful for that. And tomorrow, who knows? I can’t live for tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow, I’ll be one of those mentally ill people we see on TV being shot by the police. Or maybe I’ll do something that lands me in jail. A lot of us are there. In the meantime, I”m out to enjoy whatever this minute holds and put aside my biggest enemy in doing that. That enemy is Fear. Anxiety. Worry. Stress. I’ve been living with that white knuckled anxiety you describe so elegantly in your blog for the past five years — OMG where is this mood swing taking me… OMG what’s coming at me now…OMG what mood is this.. And here’s what I hope to pass on to you that I hope might help you. This illness is not optional. I come to know that anxiety is. And I believe anxiety fuels this illness, feeds the beast, causes us to slide faster toward that big whammy. (I am not saying my resolution to say goodbye to fear and anxiety and that stress will keep me well. I doubt it.) But in training my mind to let go of the fear -which wasn’t all that hard once I realized the worse is likely to happen and it’s out of my control – I am able to more often find a greater peace and a greater enjoyment life. I do hope it might help me stay well too. Anyway my precious BiPolar sister, I wanted to share my story with you as I was moved by your blog, your honesty about how hard you fight to stay well. I hope that perhaps you might benefit from hearing about what I’m doing not to stay well, but live well. There is a book I might recommend that’s helped me keep fear and anxiety at bay. It’s called The Mindful Way Through Depression by Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal, and Jon Kabat-Zinn. Big warm hug and love to you. Thanks for being brave enough to be so honest about who you are and what you face with this illness. I hope you can find ways to overcome the fear of where this illness is taking you, and just relax and try to enjoy what there is to enjoy in your life. Jeanne.

  3. Pingback: A Mid-Winter Post-Xmas Depressive Episode | Suddenly Bipolar

  4. Pingback: Residential, Part Three – Making Progress | Suddenly Bipolar

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