I’m smiling, but I just can’t see it with all the tears running down my cheeks.
What is bipolar disorder? Despite being one of the most known mental health disorders many people still don’t exactly understand what bipolar disorder is. That person really liked me a few hours ago and now they hate me, do they have bipolar? That person is talking really fast and they wont stop, do they have bipolar? That person seems depressed half of the time but they sometimes seem normal, do they have bipolar? In this article I’ll take a look into bipolar disorder.
What Is Bipolar Disorder?
Someone with bipolar disorder will experience extreme mood swings. There are two distinct periods or episodes. One is the manic episode which is a period of over-activeness and excitement, the other is the depressive episode which is like depression where you will feel low, worthless or hopeless. People with bipolar disorder will shift between the two different episodes with stable times in between, but these episodes can last for several months. Some people will experience more frequent or longer episodes than other people with bipolar disorder, and some will experience more severe episodes of mania or depression.
Manic Episode… Not Mechanic Episode
Mania is often described as a period of at least a week of elevated mood. Common behaviours of someone having a manic episode are being easily distracted, speaking rapidly, feeling restless or agitated, having racing thoughts or participating in risky activities. These include misusing drugs, increased sexual activity or spending. Most people who are going through a manic episode will not show a majority of these behaviours, so don’t expect your friend with bipolar disorder to start taking drugs just because they are going through a manic episode. The manic episode can be less obvious in many people which is why bipolar disorder can often be misdiagnosed as depression at first.
Depressive Episode Is Like Depression, Right?
Someone suffering from depression and someone going through a depressive episode of bipolar disorder can essentially show the same symptoms as each other, however like the manic episode it is possible that two people going through the same phase can show different symptoms. Like with depression, someone who is going through a depressive episode may feel constantly sad, unable to enjoy things, worthless, hopefully or irritated. Everyone may feel these feelings throughout their lives but someone with depression will generally find these feelings are much worse and last a lot longer than usual. Suicidal thoughts and feelings might also increase during a depressive episode.
Oh No! It Sounds Like A Have Bipolar Disorder!
Don’t panic! Bipolar disorder has only been covered briefly in this article and there is not enough information in here to be sure whether you can the disorder or not. Remember only a doctor can officially diagnose you so if you are worried or concerned you should book an appointment with your GP to discuss it further. You can research bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses on the internet for more information, but you cannot be sure until you see a doctor.
My Friend Or Family Member Has Bipolar Disorder, How Can I Help?
One of the most important things you can do is support them, make sure they start or continue to receive medical support. Medication and counselling can help to lessen the effect of both manic and depressive symptoms. Besides medical support you should talk to them and see what they want from you, they may not know or they may not want help but respect their wishes, knowing you have someone to talk to is one of the greatest things you can have when suffering from a mental illness. If the friend or family member is going through difficult times, or you think they are a danger to themselves or others, you should tell someone to make sure things do not escalate. Their health is very important, but make sure you do not get too obsessed with helping them as that will be bad for your health.
This post is part of my Blogging A to Z April Challenge. The theme today was “bipolar” as today was the letter “B”. Tomorrow I will talk about my experiences with CAMHS counselling (and that counsellor I talk so much about), so follow and come back tomorrow for the post!
After months of up and down emotions as well as increasing suicidal thoughts (including a sort of attempt) I have some news that all of my readers will have been hoping for… I’m having less suicidal thoughts! This is something which is great news for me as I don’t want to get as close to suicide as I did last weekend, or take another overdose which I’ll decide I don’t want to do half-way through. Some of my readers will know be thinking, come on Depressionless, this wont last, next week you’ll have another post about how you want to kill yourself again, be realistic. Well, I want to be happy about this, I hope I can be happy like this for the rest of my life but even this is better than the everlasting depression state I have been in.
I spoke to my GP a few days ago, and we talked about a few things such as medication, my counselling, and if there could be a different diagnosis. Basically, we talk about what I want to talk about. Firstly, I will be talking more about medication next week as we look at trying something different to Fluoxetine. The Fluoxetine is wearing off, which is probably why I’m feeling less suicidal, and I will be able to start a new medication at any time. I will have to see what is recommended, I presume it will be another SSRI. All of the possible mental illnesses that people are suggesting at the moment can be treated with SSRI’s.
Counselling? I talked to my GP about getting a new counsellor. One of the most mentioned topics on my blog is my hate of my counsellor which may sound mean but someone who turns me away when I tell them I have a suicide plan deserves my hate. They don’t give advice, just papers for me to read through, which will magically make me less depressed. Note, that doesn’t work. My GP said I might get the person I spoke to at the hospital as my counsellor, but that might not be possible as it depends on when they work. Anyone will be better than my current counsellor though.
Next, cutting! The days leading up to the events of last weekend as well as this week my cutting has been more random. There have been days where I have cut a lot, but there have been days where I haven’t cut. A similar thing happened around the time I took the overdose, but this time I seem to be cutting less afterwards. I’m not sure whether this will keep up as I might feel more depressed next week with the college tests I have. If stopping cutting makes me more suicidal I wont stop, but if I can keep my sessions as short as possible and my cuts as shallow as possible it will be manageable.
Finally, I have been more organised this week. I wrote a to-do list for my life this week which has helped me be more productive. I recommend it, although it made me realise how much I actually have to do. I will keep doing this each week. You might have noticed I’ve been publishing more posts. Well, on my to-do list I wrote that I would publish more blog posts and when I started writing one I had ideas for many, so expect a few over the next few weeks.
Oh wait, this is finally. I want to mention a few people. I do this sometimes, just to thank people who help me out during my low times. Obviously I want to thank every reader who has liked, commented and reblogged my posts. KBailey374, I Run This Mind and NorthernRose all reblogged my last blog post! All Things Chronic pingbacked it too! Wow! Anyway, I keep having strange conversations with DeepBluesAndSeaFoamGreens (I love the long name!) and they cheer me up whenever I see one of their comments. They are also one of the blogs not totally related to mental health or poetry that I follow, check them out! AmandaQuirky keeps commenting on a few of my posts now, and they commented on one of my poetry posts with a poem. I kind of told my readers to do that but I love it, and it was so good too! Siouxsie also deserves I mention for being so helpful to me when I was suicidal, I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before but they were helping so much, trying to figure out about hospital procedures for me and trying to get me there. It’s amazing how kind some strangers are, I haven’t been on the Depressionless twitter account still the hospital event so I haven’t spoken to them, I need to soon though. I could mention all of my readers, I read all of your comments I try to reply to them too. I think I made this paragraph too long, what do you think?
Anyway, I have forgot what I was talking about. Something about it being a good few days for me… Yeah, it has been, and I hope next week is good too! I doubt it will be since I have a few college tests but I will try to be optimistic, at least for now. How has everyone else’s week been?
My readers know I love poetry. My mood often influences my poetry greatly from my depressed rhymes about cutting and suicide to my excited on-the-edge political verses. Although I often publish unedited poems on my blog, almost all will follow the theme of depression or mental illness. As I ay have mentioned before I carry my book of rhymes with me, so I thought I would share some random rhymes that have come to me in the past. I do not make notes on them so some may have been written months ago and I may not have been completely sane when writing them so do not expect normalness, if that is a word…
“Hey, how are you today”
“Not bad, what about you”
Clearer than the sky to see there’s dismay
Hope this chat doesn’t blow too
“So what you been up to recently”
“Oh just mountains of school work to complete”
Really her little brother who was only just three
Has now been scarred from head to feet
“Did you catch the latest episode of One Man Grenade”
“Oh I think it was really great”
The only thing she watched was the military parade
Then its lights off at quarter to eight
I can tell by the way I wrote this that it was written roughly a year ago, just look at the mess of syllables! Some of my readers will be thinking what am I on about, but I can see it. The scribbles in my notebook suggest I was going to write a well-crafted poem but I must have given up, I don’t know why. It looks like it could have been very clever. For those wondering (any stalker-like readers may remember) I do have a friend who lives in the Middle East which this is based on, fortunately her brother has not been hurt, it is just part of the story!
I don’t want to epitomise the devil
Nor be your knight in shining armour
I can’t even sit here and revel
So this is what they call karma
I honestly can’t remember what I wrote this about, it sounds like I upset a girl though… which doesn’t sound like me at all. I don’t know what I would be sitting and revelling about, and “epitomise” is not a word I would normally use. This rhyme is making me want to create a whole poem from it, so if you see me use the word “epitomise” in a few days you know what I have been doing.
I hear you play your guitar melody
Sense the young wisdom that flows out your mind
Hope to learn how you became heavenly
As well as your faith on love and mankind
This is why I don’t write love poems. Young wisdom? I have never heard that to be a compliment before. The rest of it looks quite good though, and it would make even more sense if you knew who I was writing about. I think I will leave this one here…
We got politicians setting up their religious business
And see they got prophets flying through the roof
It’s all sick and nun on their shoes
Oh man! Politics! We should steer clear of the meaning behind this one. For those wondering, this is actually some rap rhymes instead of poetry I would normally publish on my blog. Prophets through the roof, nun on their shoes, see the clever word play? I remember writing this as I walked through the park, it is not a political park or anything, I guess that is what I think about. When I look through my rhymes I realise how much I hate my own writing, I think I am too critical. I do particularly hate the choice of words in the first line though.
I don’t believe in God but I believe in the devil
Cus you see in terms of evil I’m on the same level
He traps rapists and murderers for eternal damnation
While I batter thug kids for my own recreation
Another rap rhyme! I like the flow of this one, which is important for my raps. There is quite a bit of meaning behind this too. Who is more evil, the man who locks up rapist and murderers, or the man who fights other troubled men? I don’t really know, do you? If I was to seriously use this I would need a stronger word than “batter” too, have Americans even heard this word used before? Do my British readers even know of the word? I’m not sure if it is slang or normal.
Shot by my own ambition
This line stands on its own in my book of rhymes, and I thought it would be a good one to leave on. Shot by my own ambition… it was meant to go in a rap about suicide, but I never finished the rap. You may have guessed by now that I don’t finish a lot of my poems or raps, but I guess that is who I am. I am unfinished work, I am still being written.
So, lovely readers, you have entered my mind through this post. You have seen some unedited work on topics I don’t normally talk about on my blog, I hope you have learnt something about me from this. If you haven’t, you should learn to analysis poorly written poetry by teenagers! Poorly written? I meant amazing! Yeah, I’ve told enough jokes for today. Why don’t you share a rhyme with me? I would love to hear what my readers can come up with off the top of their heads, or from their book of rhymes…
Yeah! I have finally been given some medication to fight off my illness. You might remember I was previously prescribed an anti-anxiety drug, Propranolol, to help calm me down on which I took a small overdose and received absolutely no help. I even said I was going to do something similar again and still no help. So what’s the solution? Give me something that is easier to overdose on (guess what it is while you read the post, a lot of my readers on anti-depressants may have heard of it). This is a win-win situation for me as it could make me feel better, or it will make me suicidal. With the mood I’m currently in I don’t really care which one happens.
It was my CAMHS counsellor (the one I hate) who prescribed me the medication. I am not yet sure whether I have been officially diagnosed with depression but everyone treats me as if I have. That’s why it was a shock to me that they told me today they believe I have social anxiety, and to combat it they will give me a drug that has a common side-effect of anxiety. The drug doesn’t seem to be used to treat anxiety (well it is, but I heard they use other methods first) which confuses me even more. Have I ever told you I think my counsellor is crazier than me?
Anyway, anxiety? I strongly believe that I don’t have social anxiety despite the odd panic attacks I have. If I do have social anxiety disorder it would confuse me even more as it does not explain any of the symptoms I have noticed except for avoiding contact sometimes (and the panic attacks). Depression still seems to fit most of the symptoms. From my knowledge of mental illnesses I might possibly have bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder but I doubt it for either. I don’t really have much of a manic phase and my depressed/angry/anxious/kind-of-happy mood swings are very unpredictable. I don’t know much about borderline personality disorder so I wouldn’t want to say I have it, I could ask my GP but I’ll probably want to learn more about it first. Readers, fire information at me! So yeah, I still believe I have depression, I don’t believe my counsellor.
The medication (keep thinking what it is) is being kept by my mum. I don’t really talk to her but people want to make sure I don’t overdose. The medication is in liquid form for two weeks, then I will start on the tablets of higher dosage if there are no horrible side-effects. I’m not sure if being a liquid form makes it easier or harder to overdose (I wouldn’t have enough to overdose anyway) but they wont let me take care of it. I find liquid easier to swallow than tablets or pills.
At the moment I am in a “oh, I can’t be bothered to do anything” mood. I was listening to music and playing video games when I suddenly turned very depressed. I cut myself, then I regretted it so I started writing this post. Interesting life, right? From my terrible dancing in my room I have somehow learned a great dance move that I need to show someone… but everyone is at college so there is no one to show. It is one of those moves where you either do it perfectly or you fail and everyone laughs at you. Why am I talking about this?
So here is the medication.
Well… I am on 10mg/2.5ml a day (which isn’t a lot) of Fluoxetine, which some of you may know as Prozac. They will up the dosage in two weeks if, like I said earlier, there are no strange side-effects. Dead or alive, I can’t feel as bad after I take this drug than before. Surely not…
2 months of blogging already! I’ve brought to you my troubles, my poetry and my opinions but quite interestingly I have brought some helpful advice along with me. This post will show you my “most helpful posts” so far based on the view numbers of my help articles. I hope you take something useful out of this, the advice I give is tried and tested by either myself or professionals. Enjoy!
5) Unusual Methods To Combat Self-Harming [Part 2]
Views: Dominoes in a standard set (28)
Fifth on the list is the second part of my three part series where I looked at unusual methods to combat self harming. I am someone who self harms so I understand the reasons why someone would self harm, but also why they would want to stop. This post looks at four methods to distract yourself or remove the urge to self harm, including things you can do with other people or by yourself. In fact, two of the four methods on this post I still use from time to time so they can work for some people.
Click here to view the post.
4) Unusual Methods To Combat Self-Harming [Part 1]
Views: Number of studio and compilation albums by Elton John (47)
One of the first posts on my blog, and since my blog was so small at that point it surprises me that this post made it onto the list. The first part of my unusual methods to combat self harming series looked at four methods to stop yourself from self harming. While they are unusual methods, many people who have tried to get help with self harming will have heard one of the methods on the list. Ice…
Click here to view the post.
3) How To Sleep… For Insomniacs
Views: Age of boxer Mike Tyson (48)
Who remembers when I kept writing posts related to insomnia? Well, I think I only did three but this was one of them. This post takes advice from professional self-help books as well as my own experience, so that anyone with sleeping difficulties may find it easier to get some rest. While it may be a slightly shorter post than most others it does include a poem at the end, either you will enjoy it or it will be so boring that you will fall asleep. Win-win situation.
Click here to view the post.
2) How To Help Someone During A Panic Attack
Views: Number of countries in Africa (54)
This post attracted a lot of people to comment on my blog as well as reblog the post on their own blogs. What are the symptoms of a panic attack? How can you stop them? Should you see a doctor? This post answers those three important questions so that you can help yourself or someone else during a panic attack. Anyone can have a panic attack, be prepared!
Click here to view the post.
1) How To Tell Someone You Are Suicidal
Views: Traditional retirement age in the UK (65)
This blog is no stranger to suicide posts. To me it feels like I write a post about it every week. My readers will know I often feel suicidal, so I have been in the situation a few times where I have to tell someone. Telling someone is the hardest part of getting help which is why it is so important, and I am not surprised that this is my most viewed help article. This post does answer a lot of important questions. Bookmark it, print it out, just stay safe.
Click here to view the post.
Three days away from my blog to refocus my mind and get my mental health back on track. It has been a strange last couple of days which I can perfectly sum up in some weird and wacky haikus. In short I have seen my last CAMHS counselling session, the results of my blood test, and some interesting news regarding medication. Plus a few extra notes.
Thunder and lightning
Enters the king of writing
Returns to his throne.
The blood test… Well, I went for my blood test on Tuesday but got my results back on Thursday. Apparently it is meant to take a week so I guess my GP sped up my results for me. I was hoping that something would come back with my results, for them to find something wrong with me. I am looking for the reason of my depression, the thing that started everything off, but I can’t seem to find it. A lot of things have happened since my depression started, but I don’t know what started it. I guess anyone else would be happy with the results I got, but when I found out there was nothing too high or too low in my blood, that just made it worse for me.
Tiny disk floating
Holding the key to the cure
Counselling? Have I told you that I hate CAMHS? Yeah, probably. So to tell them I don’t want to see them again is great, and that they didn’t want to see me again is even better. The plan was there to have a final meeting in March with CAMHS, my parents, the college counsellor and me, which I am fine with. The meeting would be the last time I see them. But then CAMHS rang my college to tell me they want to see me again, but only for medication. Providing I don’t have to talk to them anymore, I’m happy to see them for medication. Medication should help me… hopefully!
Saint versus dragon
Sword drawn, slashing blood filled hearts
Dragon tears drop, drop…
Recording my mood. I should have really done this earlier. I could guess when I feel the worst, and I can guess how long my depressive state lasts but they are only guesses. This is why I set up a short questionnaire I can fill in every hour or two on my phone asking me how my mood is, and I after a few days I can sit on my laptop and analyse the data. So far I have been doing it for about 24 hours, and this day was one of constant mood swings overshadowed by my depression. I’m now questioning myself whether most days are like this, but I just notice the depression as that stands out the most. I don’t know, which is exactly why I am tracking my mood. I will post more information on this at a later date, when I have more data to analyse.
Up, down and sideways
The blindfolded passenger
On mood swing express…
On a totally unrelated note, I am creating a computer game. I may have mentioned before that I really like computers, and that I love to program. I noticed a UK competition for under 18’s, where you have to create your own computer game. I have until the start of June to complete my project, but I want to focus on it now before the serious exam revision starts. You won’t get updates on this unless it makes me suicidal (how would that happen?) or the game becomes depressing (I hope not…), but its nice for my readers to learn something about me.
Have you ever tried
to write a haiku but then
your mind just goes blank?
I know there is a lot more I want to say, I just cannot think of it right now. Maybe it will be posted tomorrow, or maybe I have a poem stored up to unleash havoc on the simple minds of some of my readers (simple? I meant beautiful). I might disappear for another three days… Who knows?