Family, Marriage, Mental Health, mental illness

Mania: Way Beyond Happy

2017-0804 bipolar CycleI emailed my psychiatrist after my therapist cancelled our appointment for this week. I was looking forward to the appointment, but she was sick.

I’ll see her next week and I’m glad, but it won’t be until after I see my psychiatrist. I was looking forward to running some things past my therapist first.

As I wrote about earlier, I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately. And recently, I’ve been feeling a little impulsive. It was hard for me to accept that I, once again, needed help. I thought I could get through it alone. It would pass.

When my therapist had to cancel, and I couldn’t talk to her about how to cope with the impulsivity, I messaged my psychiatrist.

She said it is really important to get my sleep under control. She gave me suggestions about over the counter medication and how to use the benzodiazepine (anti-anxiety medication) that I have prescribed for PRN (as needed). She said no naps during the day. I could not keep my eyes open yesterday for a long time regardless of what I tried, so I set my alarm for 15 short minutes and took a nap. I felt okay afterwards. I went to bed late that night.

Sometimes a VERY LITTLE, TINY bit of hypomania feels really good. I don’t think this is really classified as “hypomania”, really. It’s just such an upswing from my norm. (I’m not a doctor.) Most of my life, my VERY SLIGHT hypomania has been pretty enjoyable. I get things done. I don’t feel as sad as typically. If I felt that way all the time, I’d be pleased.

However, usually, my hypomania means irritability. Sleeplessness. Increased libido. Fewer inhibitions. Impulsive decisions that hurt me and the people around me. I like feeling happy and having energy. But I am not willing to risk hurting my loved ones for it.

I spent so much of my life since I was about 14 feeling so depressed, every time I start feeling good, I really take stock of how I’m doing: Am I sleeping enough? Have I acted irritably to people around me in between bouts of happy? Could I be hypomanic?

I check – every time. And I almost never have decided that I need help. I have had more bouts of “normal” moods than hypomanic symptoms, but because so much of my time has been spent so down, I feel the need to evaluate for safety’s sake. Until the last few years, it was really unusual for me to feel pretty good for a long time. After all this time, I feel the need to explain to people and evaluate for myself.

And this time, I was worried enough. I have been decreasing my mood stabilizer because we would like to try for a pregnancy sometime in the near future, and because of this medication change, I’ve been extra vigilant at keeping track of my moods.

I feel like things are just going pretty swell for me. I am enjoying life and then I want to keep living it; I don’t want to try to wind down for bedtime and sleep. As I type this, I can feel that my bladder is full, but I’ve been working so hard on Jamberry stuff that I haven’t gotten up to empty it; and now I’m writing this. I’m so busy having a good time that I’m literally neglecting my body’s basic needs.

I see my psychiatrist on Monday, and we’ll talk. She had great suggestions on sleep, plus, if it comes to it, I’ll adjust medication as needed.

Sometimes I wish this was easier. It was just last week I was writing about how I have been given this gift of empathy…. but sometimes it’s hard. Even when I feel great, I worry, and due to past events, I think the worry is for a legitimate reason. What if this is too great? Will I slip into such an unfiltered bliss that I make poor decisions again? I don’t want to hurt my loved ones. I want to be happy, but also healthy and safe. I’m working on it.

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