Home > bipolar, depression, employers, insomnia, low, meds, ocd, sex, sleep, symptoms > Status Report #8 (And a Segue into Mood Swings)

Status Report #8 (And a Segue into Mood Swings)

Sorry I haven’t been posting much to the blog, but it’s been hectic the past two weeks at work. I’ve even been bringing work home. I’ve already used up my three sick days for 2012, plus a fourth day (which was unpaid). The problem is I’ll have my OCD nightmares all night, then in the morning I won’t be thinking straight and I’ll call in sick just for a few more hours of sleep. Well, not any more. I can’t afford to lose any more days’ pay.

In other news, I had a bit of a down time in the past few weeks, but it was so mild I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t even sure if it was there. Mostly it has just manifested itself in a greater need for sleep, a decreased need for self-expression, and a decreased need for sex. In the past few days I have noticed less need for sleep, an increase in self-expression, and an increased need for sex. It’s a faster cycle than I am used to. I think I had a downtime at this same time last year, but coincidentally, I had my Modecate injection three weeks ago. I am due for another one on Monday. If I have another dip in my mood, next week I’m really going to wonder about a correlation with the Modecate.

My downtimes sometimes follow a predictable pattern, but often don’t. I always have a big (and severe) downtime in the middle of October to some time in December. As far as I know, nothing has to trigger it; it just happens. In 2011 it was pretty bad because I was losing my job, but I’ve had it pretty bad every other year too. That one has never been mild.

I think the January, March, and the July/August downtimes are pretty regular, too. They are of varying severity (in past years severe, but this year not so much) and length. Yet, I also have lots of little comparatively fast swings throughout the year that come and go at random. I am actually keeping a mood chart right now, so maybe I’ll finally get an accurate map of my moods.

I think part of the problem may be that I abuse my up times. I don’t sleep any more than minimally necessary, and I work like a workaholic. I accept being disabled, but when I’m hypomanic[1] it is such a treat that I feel like I have to make up for lost time. The problem is I just drive myself right back into disability by abusing my hypomania. I know this is true, but I can’t help myself. I probably artificially shorten my up times by provoking a crash, then I have to deal with a downtime afterwards.

[1] Even hypomania is far from an idyllic state, but it’s as close as I’m going to get. I wouldn’t know normal if I stepped in it.

  1. March 24, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    I wouldn’t know normal if i stepped in it
    Awesome. Funny. True.
    I love my hypomania when it manifests as SUPER PRODUCTIVE WOMAN. The other times it manifests as INCREDIBLY MEAN PERSON it sucks.
    WIshing you the best.

  2. March 24, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    I usually have a major down episode from October to December. It’s the period of time when the days get shortest at the fastest rate. And I typically have a low mood from mid-January through mid-March as well. I believe that’s what they call “seasonal features” with a bipolar diagnosis.

    I’d been “abusing” (taking advantage of) the up times too, but the downs were getting so much worse that it wasn’t balancing out and I had to do something about it. That’s what led me to getting diagnosed and into treatment.

    But I agree with Sara – I wouldn’t know normal if it hit me in the face. Repeatedly.

  3. March 26, 2012 at 2:34 am

    The idea of having a status report sounds great. I can relate so much and would do it myself when enough people care.
    For some reason, I haven’t been getting any downs in the past year. Only ups.
    By the way, I think that getting only minimal sleep serves to elongate hypomania and increases the risk of slipping into mania. It’s probably your extra high unmaintained does of modecate. Think of asking to get a lower daily dose than a weekly high one.
    And don’t abuse your hypomania. The lows you get after highs are lower than those you get after flats. The higher, the lower!

  4. March 26, 2012 at 2:48 am

    I know how you feel! The problem with me is that I convince myself the “hypo mania” is my normal productivity and then hold myself to super high standards. Just make sure to take care if you during these periods….go to the gym and listen to chill music…this usually slows me down enough to avoid a major crash. Good luck!

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