I’m feeling a bit down these last couple of days, sleeping a lot, probably a letdown from the really successful first week. I hope it’s that and not my moods crashing.
Being bipolar (bipolar II — without full-fledged mania), I worry about these things. I’m pretty stable on my meds, until I’m not. There are a number of triggers that can knock me off balance — not enough sleep, stress, certain medications (pain meds and Benedryl for example), missing a couple doses of meds, more than a tiny amount of alcohol … some of these things I have control of; others are out of my control.
Too much sleep is a sign of a downturn, and I’ve done a lot of sleeping the past couple days. On the other hand, I stayed up late Saturday night, and — did I mess myself up there?
Probably not. There’s such a thing as temporary sadness, or a down mood —
That’s one of the problems with having a mental illness — having moods, even normal ones, is seen as a chargeable offense. Admittedly, losing control of bipolar can result in mania, which if full-fledged scares others with its unpredictable behavior. Depression is its own disruption — it looks less scary on the outside, but can result in suicide. It’s really hard for a bipolar person to know they’re in one of these states because they feel real.
However, even in a bipolar episode, there are things I’ve learned to do to keep me functional during upturns and downturns. The biggest one is to contact the doctor for a medication adjustment. Making sure I’m getting to bed at a consistent time each night, using cognitive journaling to separate moods from real life, and getting to work every day helps until the med adjustment takes hold.
So if this ends up being a depressive episode, I know what to do, and that is to manage things as if this were any other illness.