My First Mixed State

My First Mixed State

My First Mixed State

I’ve been struggling with bipolar II for sixteen years now and while my hypomania has become more and more tame over the years my depression has been worsening. Normally they are two separate states I am either depressed (from moderate – severe) or hypomanic. Depression is near constant but every once in awhile I get a “break” from it and experience a hypomanic episode which generally leads to me being optimistic and motivated to fix some area of my life. Lately though I’ve had the worst of both worlds for the first time in my life that I know of and it is horrible.

My mixed state is so debilitating. I sleep too much, do absolutely nothing yet my brain is absolutely flooded with racing thoughts and I am overspending like crazy. Everything I am buying is intended to help me get over this. Crystals, books on bipolar II or changing your core beliefs, aroma therapy oils and a diffuser. I haven’t showered in weeks but, I’m creating spreadsheets and a binder for my healing crystals. It is so frustrating and I just don’t know what to do. How do you make yourself do something (other than shopping)? That may seem like a silly question to someone without mental illness but for me it is and has been the most important question there is.

I can be organized and productive but usually it is due to hypomania and comes with a cost; irritability, going broke, realizing my hopes and dreams are unrealistic, and the inevitable depression that follows. I can’t be sure if I’ve ever been well and productive but if I have, if it wasn’t hypomania, it taxed my body and mind so much that I crashed and burned eventually. This worries me. What if I can’t be well? Have I ever really been well? Is this my first mixed state or am I just noticing it this time because I’m out of work? Are there any foolproof plans for overcoming this? Can I ever learn to manage my bipolar II? Am I ADD or is it my bipolar?

I am looking into answers to these questions and one approach I’m interested in is to get myself a full neuropsych evaluation. I’ve never had one and I think/hope that it will illuminate which of my issues are chemical and which are learned, which stem from PTSD and which stem from genetics, which disorders I really have. Have you found solace or help in neuropsych testing? The other option is DNA testing. From what I’ve read understanding my DNA is an easier way for a prescriber to figure out which medications work best for me. If you’ve had experience with this, positive or negative, I would love to hear from you. I don’t know what else I can do. I am in therapy, taking my meds, and I’m in an Intensive Outpatient Program and yet I am still a mess. It’s never been this bad in fact.

I need to get back to work for my sanity and to become more financially comfortable but I am in no state to apply for and interview for jobs or work for that matter. I can’t even brush my teeth or eat a well balanced meal how can I go to work everyday? I’m terrified to go on disability, I feel like that has a stigma attached to it that I’ll never be able to wash off. I mean no offense to anyone on disability and would love to hear your experiences. Does it hurt you when you’re trying to find a job? Can employers tell you’re on it? I don’t intend to be on it forever. I want to go back to school and get a job I love and I am afraid it will hurt me. I haven’t even researched it so please forgive me if I sound completely ignorant on the matter because I am. I’m terrified to research it. I don’t want to accept that it’s inevitable.

Does it have to be inevitable? I know people can hold a job while having bipolar. I know people can lead full lives but, I can’t seem to. Are there people who just can’t? Mixed states don’t last forever do they? There has to be some relief coming, right? There has to be some help I haven’t thought to ask for. I know this post raises far more questions than it answers but, that sort of sums up how I feel. My head is swimming with questions that I can’t answer yet. I suppose it is more that I won’t find the answers. I won’t do the work. I can’t do the work. If you have any answers I would appreciate your feedback very much. I hope this post finds you well or on your way to wellness.

All or Nothing (the bane of my existence)

All or Nothing (the bane of my existence)

All or Nothing (the bane of my existence)

I have always had an all or nothing attitude which has held me back in so many ways. I am either kicking ass and taking names or I am slowly becoming a part of the couch. It is very rare that I allow myself to do part of something or to do a mediocre job because I am a perfectionist. If I can’t do it perfectly I won’t do it at all. This leads to me putting so much pressure and importance on a project that I either stress about it all day long (even when I’m not working on the project) or I crash and burn and leave the job half done. I also tend to get analysis paralysis (can’t take credit, my therapist calls it that); I plan things so intricately that I never get to them. I want to make sure I do the task as efficiently and expertly as possible so I think and plan and think and plan and never get around to the doing phase. I’m not sure which one of my many mental illnesses are responsible for this but, I’m leaning toward the ADD, bipolar II, and maybe even the anxiety. Read more

Naming your Disorders

Naming your Disorders

naming your disorders

I got this idea from @Davesoapbox; name your disorders so they really feel like something other than yourself which is what they are. They may color your personality but, they are not you. So this is going to be a short piece where I just name all of my disorders. It could have been a tweet but, it would have been too long.

So, here are all my disorders and their names:

Bipolar II – This is a tough one I’m trying to think of a name of someone who is turbulent…oooh Ursula. Yup Ursula the sea witch from The Little Mermaid. I’ll try to make the rest less Disney.

Depression – I think I’m going to name this Debbie after Debbie Downer, the SNL skit and my Mother.

Adult ADD – Addie sounds like someone whose hyper and flighty.

PTSD – Patsy, the name of the tortured, abused child actress from Jessica Jones who goes by Trish now.

Anxiety – Hmm, almost forgot about this one. Nelly? You know the phrase nervous Nelly.

So I am going to try to call my disorders Ursula, Debbie, Addie, Patsy, and Nelly. To prove to myself that they are separate from my true self. Thank you for the inspiration @Davesoapbox!