At the heart if the matter I am mentally ill. Today I am hypomanic coming off a manic energy that had me buzzing so hard I thought I actually might drive myself to the hospital or call the doctor. Instead, I adjusted my meds and waited it out. Slowly it has simmered to a slight shimmer instead of a loud intense blaring buzzing inside my head.
I have been manic since the beginning of the month of December. This has been a strange episode. First episode on the new cocktail of medication, the Risperdal, lamictal, temazapam, Ativan, Benadryl, and Topamax. In fairness, the Topamax and Benadryl were added once the mania started to build.
I saw the psychiatrist right before thanksgiving. I was doing okay. Nothing really to speak of. We added a small dose of Topamax to help with the binge eating and extra mood stabilizer. It was helping with that. Then, the something strange started to happen.
I began to get irritable.
Out of the main four symptoms bipolars get: depression, mania, anxiety, irritability, I never get irritable. But low and behold I was hit with a wave of disgust and hatred of all things human. The sound of breathing bothered me. It was a chore to do my job at school and listen to children be children.
I had to closely monitor my mood because I knew it was a symptom and I was not myself. I just felt off. It was, as I said strange. I also just felt this anxious feeling of dread. Not quite depressed but it wasn’t dread. I didn’t feel like something bad was going to happen, I felt weird and uncomfortable. I felt paranoid. Like people were watching me. I knew that this was a symptom and nobody was watching me but it was happening.
I had not had these kind of symptoms before all mixed together.
When I drop low and get depressed, I feel like I am catching a cold. My body starts to hurt. I feel sick. My head hurts. I withdraw. I lose my appetite. I lose interest. I can’t concentrate. Things become grey. My vision becomes darker and out of focus. I get tunnel vision. I can see myself moving slower and slower. Like time stops and I’m caught in a dream or a trap. I can’t see myself in the mirror. It’s fogged up. I feel this monster coming for me. It sneaks up on me and traps me in its claws. I’m a prisoner for an unjustified amount of time until my mind sees fit to release me. Then the fog lifts and like steam after a shower the fog fades and I see my reflection in the mirror.
This episode was different. I had shadows of feelings of all different feelings. Anxiety, paranoia, some depression, mania, irritability. It was strange because it had never really happened before so I didn’t know how to label it or how to process it. I didn’t’ know what to expect.
I started to sleep less. I didn’t know if it was a mixed episode. I didn’t know if I was going to start losing my shit and start hurting myself and need to be hospitalized or if I was just going a little manic. It was a new sensation. In reflection, I think it was the start of a mixed episode that ended up being a manic episode.
The irritability and paranoia left but the mania began to stick around. Sleep lessened. Restless sleep. Waking up each hour or two then asleep and hour or two getting a total of four or five hours of sleep a night. Looking back over my monthly sleep this has been the chart for the month of December.
Mania scares me in a different way than depression. Depression scares me that I could me so far gone that I could really want to kill myself but mania scares me that I could be so high up that I could hurt myself and not know that I have done it.
I have learned that I need to focus when I am manic. Sometimes sitting and doing nothing is the safest thing to do. The energy is unfocused. It is dangerous to unleash it. Once it is unleashed it only manifests more energy. Laws of physics and all.
If I start to clean, I only find more stuff to clean and soon I’m clean with a toothbrush on my hands and knees scrubbing the grout on the floor. Or painting the wall with a one inch brush. It all leads to another project.
I try to do small things. Find things with a beginning and an end.
Right now writing is that tiny bit of focus. I have a little bit of focus for that.
I am not a religious person. I am not sure what I believe in but what I have found in this manic episode is a peace in going to church. I don’t know why but I have gone to church every day for the past 6 days. Haven’t missed a day since vacation has started. I think its part of the mania and the compulsion to do things that I have found comfort in the church. Who knows what will happen in time.
The mania has been happening for a month. In this month, my aunt has died and a student has died due to suicide. It has been challenging. Due to the mania, I have not been quite processing the sadness of these events in a way I would normally process them. I feel them but not to the rock of my core. The suicide made me feel suicidal and thoughts of self-harm for a short while. I worked past that but I quickly worked my way back into a manic state and stayed there.
Went back to the doctor during semester exam week and he upped my meds on the Topamax and wants me to take the benadryl to sleep. I upped the Topamax and still nothing. Was zipping and buzzing like lightning. Christmas eve, I upped to 100 mg. When I woke up the buzz was muted but still there.
The buzz is still there. The lack of focus is still there. I’m still hypomanic. Not full blown mania but hypo.
Oh and during the mania- I shaved the dog. Poor thing. Better the dog than my own head like a Britney Spears moment.