I had another swing recently. I think it was due to the med increase. This time it was a depressive episode with self-harm. It was a short episode but it was intense.
I had upped the Topamax to 200mg. I had been slowly increasing the dosage. When I first bumped the dosage, I felt a slight down but nothing too significant. I just felt a little down. I barely even registered it. The sun just didn’t seem so bright.
The day I upped to the 200mg dose I didn’t immediately feel anything. The next day, however, I felt it. I felt sluggish and low. I was tired. I felt heavy and drained. I felt foggy. I didn’t brush my teeth. I wanted to cry.
It was the last day of our back to school staff development days. I was surrounded by my coworkers. I do not have a poker face. Whatever mood I am in, is reflected in my face. I was asked by several people if I was feeling okay. I just played it off as I was tired and explained that I had been adjusting my meds. They accepted that explanation. I accepted that explanation.
We did an activity where we all ended up walking around the room. For some reason, we all ended up on one side of the room. I was squished in between a large group of people. I got claustrophobic. I began to have a panic attack. I quickly got to the bathroom. I closed myself in a stall and began to cry.
I cried silent tears and hoped nobody heard me. I wanted to cut myself and release some of my tension. I took an Ativan and tried to calm down. I counted my breaths. I open and closed my hands. I wiped away my tears, washed my face and returned to the staff development.
We moved on to the next activity. I participated. I was foggy and don’t recall much of what was going on. I just went through the motions.
Pretty soon lunch was called. I went out and had a cigarette. When I came back, all the people from my table had gone elsewhere to eat. I was all alone. I sat and ate by myself. I felt abandoned. I looked around but it seemed like all the tables were filled. I’m sure I could have found a table to sit at but in the depressed mind it seemed impossible.
I went to check in with my friend who is my emotional barometer. As soon as she say me she asked what was wrong. I burst into tears trying to explain that I was just a little down.
She said I was more than a little down and could not go back to the training. I needed to go home. She asked why I was holding back my tears. Why didn’t I just cry and let them out?
I didn’t know why. I just didn’t want to cry. She told me I was like a pimple that needed to be popped. She sent me home.
All the way home, I just cried. I could not be consoled.
I got home and the first thing I did was cut myself. It released some of the pain I was feeling. Seeing the blood made me feel better. The tears stopped and the heaviness in my chest lifted for a moment. It did not last.
Unfortunately, I had to go out in public. I had dinner plans with a friend who was visiting from out of state that I had not seen in a long time. We went to dinner and I cried on and off throughout dinner. She just talked to me like a normal person and didn’t flinch at my tears. It’s great having friends that just accept me.
I went home and continued to cry. Pimple popped and oozing. I couldn’t really focus on anything. I just watching mindless TV. I had tons of America’s Got Talent to get caught up on. That just made me cry even more. I cried myself to sleep.
I dreamed weird dreams. I dreamed about my brother. I dreamed sad things. I dreamed about being lost. I woke up crying.
I got a message from a friend about our lunch plans and seeing if I could change them to breakfast plans. I warned her I was in despair and may not be good company. She said to come anyway.
I cried on and off throughout breakfast, just as I had through dinner the night before.
I realized I just needed to be in bed and do nothing. Before going to bed, I cut myself again. It released a bit more tension. I felt a little bit better. I knew it was not a solution but I felt better. Something in my brain wanted me to hurt myself.
I stayed in bed and did just that, nothing. I didn’t eat anything but a snack for dinner and took my meds and went to bed.
I woke up very late the next morning. I had slept for fourteen hours. I woke up and the sun was shining. I think the birds were chirping. I felt great. All glimmers of sadness and thoughts of self-harm were gone. I felt great. The depressive episode had vanished completely. I made it through with only a couple of scabs from the self-harm.
I’m seeing clearly now a few weeks out of this episode. We upped this med to be proactive against the mania that has been plaguing me. I haven’t had any depressive episodes in a long time and none like this, so intense with crying and self-harm.
I don’t know what the pattern is, but the episodes are coming on quickly and leaving quickly. I’m not cycling into another one. There is a respite in between cycles. The episodes hit hard, fast and mean. There does not seem to be a trigger, other than the meds this time, possibly.
I’m puzzled by these new events and concerned. I avoid stress and my triggers to keep episodes at bay. If episodes just start to appear at random, then my whole system is shot. This has me on edge a bit. I am waiting in anticipation for another episode to hit at random. It’s a little unsettling to live in the unknown.