Words

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Some words that have the power to change your thinking, the power to pull you up by your bootstraps, the power to pull you out of the seemingly bottomless hole that is depression and anxiety:

RESILIENCE, that is what we have, what we are to recover over and over again from black depressions, from the mean reds. We get up over and over again and brush ourselves off and go on! How resilient is our spirit, how resilient are we! I marvel at this ability.

PLASTICITY, this is what our brains do in learning or after any experience. An experience leaves a mark on our brains, good or bad. But this is not permanent. Our brains have the ability to form new connections and lose old ones. This happens between neurons. Once it was thought that an adult brain is like a structure made of stone. There is nothing further from the truth, the brain is undergoing changes all the time, whether it be in repair, or neuronal cell growth or growth of axons and dendrites. This all makes our brain very adaptable and repairable and changeable! So if we have undergone bad experiences, our brain can recover from those through plasticity!

HOPE, well what can I say about this word? This is the little, four letter word my world rests on. It is so powerful that even in the darkest of circumstances, just say it and things will get brighter. Your heart will get lighter. You will breathe easier. Take it away and , oh no I can’t even fathom taking it away. Always have hope, as long as you live and breathe!

STRENGTH, we with mental illnesses all have to be strong. We go through hell so many times that the word hell sort of loses its meaning. My muscles are getting stronger because I have a FaceTime personal trainer and that is just fab. But my mind has to be strong, my heart has to be strong, my will has to strong to withstand this sick disease. We all do. And we all are, that is why we are still here. We are strong for our children, for our friends and loved ones and we are strong for ourselves!

OVERCOME, when I am in a very depressed state or manicky phase, I do have lucid moments when I tell myself that I will overcome this too, just like I have been doing since 1985, yes I will overcome.

and a sentence: THIS TOO SHALL PASS, everything passes, good, bad, indifferent things pass. So of course whatever phase you’re in, it will pass.

Take heart my friends and stand tall and strong, easier times are ahead. I am sure of it!

Maybe, maybe not…

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Don’t really have anything to say. Tired. Very low energy. Low mood. Beginning of a depressed phase? Don’t know. It’ll become apparent soon enough. If It’s hard to wake up in the morning, if it’s hard to get anything done, if I don’t even want to get anything done, if I have lost interest in activities that were pleasurable, such as taking pictures, or singing, then yes it looks like the beginning of a depressed phase. These things have been happening to me in the past few days, but only the past few days so it’s still too early to tell. It may just be a blah period and not the beginning of a real depression. At least Zumba is still FUN! If that stops being fun, then I am in serious trouble…

Also if I do go into a depression, there is one big problem this time: No Zoloft. My psychiatrist will not let me take Zoloft or any SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors), because he says that they make people with bipolar disorder cycle more, and apparently research supports his claim. But this is pretty scary for me, because until now, whenever I felt a depression coming on, I would startĀ taking Zoloft and it abated. This time I don’t have that option, that safety net. If I truly do go into a depression, I don’t know what I am going to do. And just this fact is causing me a lot of anxiety and stress.

The drugs he has recommended I go on all have given me very bad side effects in the past. For example Abilify literally gave me Parkinson’s like symptoms, with very stiff muscles, a shuffling gait and muscle tremors. When I took Welbutryn in the past, I thought i was going to burst because of an insane level of anxiety. Latuda gave me blinding headaches and Saphris also gave me a lot of anxiety and severe headaches. Provigil, which is a stimulant is also one that he has suggested, but I will not take it as it can push people with bipolar d/o into full blown mania. I don’t understand how he even suggested that, given the fact that this is a side effect! So there we have it. The one medication I can take without side effects is now forbidden to me and all the ones I am allowed to take are ones I cannot take because of awful side effects. The fear, anxiety and stress of what’s going to happen if I do go into a depression are quite enough to send me into a depression šŸ˜¦

Going to NYC for Thanksgiving. A lot of close and extended family will be there. Hoping I will be fine. I was so looking forward to this trip to NYC with my husband, my son, my stepdad, my brother, my sister, my cousin, her children and many, many others. And now I don’t know. Oh well, all I can do is hope for the best.

Also wondering if it is time to find another psychiatrist. But what if what this one says is true… then it would be unwise to find someone new… going around in circles and have no idea what to do. Even deleted a whole post I’d written because I thought it was garbage… simply going around in circles. Not so bad that it is definitely a depression, but definitely some symptoms, and maybe on my way to a depression.

Oh yes, bipolar strikes again, as usual with its impeccable timing, and all it does is make my life a living hell. Tired, so tired of this. Of fighting depression, of fighting mania, wtf bipolar d/o, leave me the hell alone.

Bipolar Post 1: Mixed Phase Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder.

One thing not commonly known about BPD is that it comes in many varieties. There is the straight mania/depression variety. There is the “Mixed Phase Rapid Cycling” variety. This is the one I suffer from so I can be the most informative about this one. In this mixed phase rapid cycling type, you can go through many cycles of manicky/normal/depressed in one day. When you are manicky, you can be talkative, take risks you wouldn’t normally take, don’t sleep, have lots of energy and lose weight. It can be exhilarating, but it also comes with a LOT of anxiety. I know, sometimes I feel like my heart is going to burst out of my chest or I am going to die. In the normal phase, you are perfectly normal, no one looking at me in the normal phase can say I am cycling. The only bad thing about the normal phase is that you realize all the crazy things you have been doing in your manic phase and it can be quite devastating. In the depressed phase, you have no energy, you cry a lot, the bottom just falls out from under your feet. I just stay in bed. Can’t function. So no one knows what I look or act like when I’m depressed. It’s kind of like like being a yoyo whose strings are controlled by someone else. Imagine you not being able to control your thoughts and emotions. Just going on this involuntary, sometimes devastatingly painful emotional roller coaster ride. Until finally either you realize in one of your normal phases what’s going on and call your psychiatrist to prescribe you some extra lithium or one of your loved ones does. The increased dose of lithium miraculously brings you out of this mixed phase and gives you back normal. And you have never been so glad of that six letter word than the day you aren’t cycling anymore!!! So this is one of the things that happen to people who have bipolar disorder.