Bipolar Thoughts

I’m writing this with one basic goal in mind: balance.

There is a lot of negative content on this site. People who don’t know much about psychology, or people that believe in a certain silly level of self-determinism, love to tell me that my negative content is fueling the disease.

So while I am feeling good, even though it is harder to write interesting content (if it ever is good), I want to write content about that, in the interest of fairness I guess. Or maybe, on the odd chance that the people who believe in magical mood thoughts are right, extending my good mood.

Bipolar Thoughts

A long long time ago, in the early 1920’s, dimensional ideas about mood disorders started to formulate. Schizophrenia and Bipolar both got put into spectrums (not the same one) and people thought about them in terms of their severity and intensity as opposed to a simple ‘yes/no’ diagnosis. These models were massaged and changed over the decades as our understanding grew and this continued until the DSM was created. The DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) was first published in 1952, and has since had 4 (and two sub) revisions. DSM-5 was published in 2013.

And none of them have defined bipolar or schizophrenia as a spectrum disease, like autism for example.

The DSM is used in a ton of countries (over 60), even though it is written by the APA. There is a counterpart out there called the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems ICD-10, which is put out by the World Health Organization. For whatever it matters, on an international scale, professionals prefer to use ICD-10 for clinical diagnosis, while the DSM-IV is considered better for research. Here in America, DSM is the standard and is used for everything, and is necessary for insurance coverage.

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Bipolar Thoughts

Well, the good news is that my mood has continued to remain up, but has not gotten any higher.

I feel amazing.

I am still getting less sleep, like 4-5 hours a night. I am only eating one meal a day. And those things are things to keep your eye on. But let’s be honest, those are like the good symptoms. Those are like what everyone wants, right? Oh I can go to bed at midnight and get up before 6 and also wake up a handful of time during the night and still feel AMAZING in the morning? Yes please. Sign me up. Oh hey, you will lose a couple pounds because you aren’t eating as much garbage? Boy, sounds terrible.

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Bipolar Thoughts

Well it happened.

Just days after writing an essay about how good things were going, I get my first signs that maybe I’, manic right now, at least hypo.

Last night I didn’t sleep. I laid down for about an hour, maybe I snoozed for half of that or so. But that was all. And it wasn’t just insomnia. Insomnia is a fairly common thing for me, it I why I take a sleeping pill. But this wasn’t insomnia because I wasn’t sleeping, it was insomnia because I wasn’t tired, at all.

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Uncategorized

Lately I haven’t really written much.

Actually, that isn’t entirely true. I have probably started the same amount of essays I write every week. But I haven’t finished a single one. Today I have written three. And aside from one I wrote a couple weeks ago, these are the first three I have completed since March.

I mentioned earlier that I was in a good mood and being that way leaves me with less to say. That is partially true. On my happier days I tend to write more about the medical side of things. I like to do research and spit that out onto a page with my own thoughts.

But the big thing is that I simply haven’t had time. I have been very busy at work, working some extra hours most days. And I have been busy on the weekends with helping friends do some things as well as spring cleaning and yard work of my own. And my wife has been having a difficult time with her back for the last few months, so I have had to do a lot more around the house and with my daughter.

So lack of time plus lack of motivation = no blogging.

It couldn’t have come at a more inopportune time either, seeing as my Facebook ‘likeship’ has approached 200 people and my essays were reaching nearly a thousand people a day, and now I might have to build that back up again. But such is life.

Funny story, I started writing this almost a month ago and couldn’t finish it. But I will start again tonight.

Things are pretty much the same as everything I wrote above. My wife has had even more trouble with her back, so I have had more time doing the multitude of things she normally does, on top of working a lot, and being busy on the weekends with friends and family events.

Blogging isn’t the only thing I have put on hold, either. When this good mood started for me, back in March, it was fueled by a change up in my therapist and eating a better diet and getting exercise 4-6 days a week. None of that exists right now. I am having a hard time making the time to do those things (not diet, I have time for that). And normally, not doing those things is really bad news for a bipolar. Diet and exercise are extremely effective ways at combating the disease.

But here I am, in the most prolonged non-symptomatic period since my ECT a little over a year ago. And actually, this might be a more consistent regular mood than even that. This might be the best place I have been in since everything started to unravel in summer 2012.

Here is the deal: this is the best time to work on your psychology outside of your disease, right? Think about it, if I am not being symptomatic, then I can work on all the other issues going on that usually feed those symptoms. So this is actually the most critical time to be in therapy, to be writing, to really be analyzing.

But god damn if it isn’t really hard to do.

Just like when times are rough, I am trying to remain level-headed, take things one day at a time and keep the longview. I have been working very hard on the way I process my world over the last four years so that when I finally got to this point I would be prepared. And I feel exactly that, well prepared. It would be silly now for me to change it all up and think everything is going to be rosy forever and just abandon everything. Now is when it matters. So I hope to really get back into it.

Hopefully this post is the start.

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Bipolar Thoughts

Here is a list of top five of ways to beat the summertime blues!

  1. Avoid Swimming, anywhere, beach or pool, family friends or strangers!
  2. Avoid BBQs! Eating too much, drinking too much, avoid it all!
  3. Avoid Bonfires! Staying up late can get you down!
  4. Avoid Dating! (s)he may want to go to any of the things mentioned above! Plus, summertime is the most common time for being manic! So maybe your summer love has some extra juice in there from being up. Avoid the inevitable crash!
  5. Avoid Concerts, Bars, Clubs, Breweries, Live Music, Art, or anything that provides mind altering substances and couples them with ideas that challenge you!

Well obviously, that was a fake list because I hate that shit.

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Blog

In 1996 an album was released that completely redirected the course of my life.

Okay, maybe that is overselling it a bit. But I was 11 years old and starting to really put a lot of my interest into music. Greenday’s Dookie turned me onto masturbation (or at least gave me a name for something I was starting to practice regularly), RATM had me quoting “rally round your family with a pocket full of shells” as an anthem, and the news of Kurt Cobain’s death was the most impactful news story of my life so far.

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