Bipolar Thoughts

Nothing I Can Do

I have been in a slight upswing for a couple of weeks now and there is really nothing I can do about it.

The most interesting thing since I have had my ECT is not that I have not yet been down (although that is impressive), it is that I have been so up. This is now the second distinct time that I have been in an elevated mood. I have never once gone back to back up cycles. Now, neither has been manic. Both have been hypomanic but they have both been very prolonged.

It is a new experience in more than one way, first, just the back to back thing, but also because my manic cycles are usually very short. A full manic cycle for me, of which I have only had maybe four in my life, will last two to three weeks. A hypomanic cycle, of which I have had dozens and dozens, can be shorter, like from four days to two weeks. So experiencing this much elevation in mood is bizarre and becoming difficult to deal with.

Here’s a question: how do I know the difference between being hypomanic and being in a good mood? I don’t always. I am not very good at understanding that yet. I only heard the word hypomanic for the first time a couple years ago. I am experiencing some psychosis. My wife has had to tell me that I am being irritable. I have a strong desire to spend some money and I have found myself inside a book store twice in the last three weeks although I only bought one book. I have been sleeping less and I have had a harder time going to bed, even with my sleeping pill. I had to take a klonopin for anxiety last week for the first time in months, and it felt great.

Any of those things on their own wouldn’t necessarily scream manic. But taken altogether I think they begin to paint a picture.

The thing that worries me most is the sleep. Sleep is a big deal for me; it is very important to remaining healthy. I need between seven and nine hours of sleep consistently. And the closer I get to nine the better. The reason it is a big deal is that I have documented in the past a correlation between lack of sleep and oncoming depression. Now there is a bit of misinformation in there, lack of sleep is usually happening during a manic cycle which is more likely to shift to depression. But I have also found at times that lack of sleep through other means, just normal insomnia, the baby, busy with whatever, can lead to depression. So I try to keep it in balance.

Since my sleeping pills are not working right now, I have, at times, begun to augment them with alcohol. I find that just one or two drinks will really do the trick. It is a risky game for a number of reasons but the riskiest of them all is that alcohol can be a major trigger for my depression as well. I’m playing a game of chicken I suppose. But there is nothing I can do.

Before the ECT, when I was taken off of anxiety medication, I would take a klonopin or xanax with my sleeping pill and that would really work well. But now my wife hides the klonopin and I only have a limited supply for emergencies.

I am hoping that I can bring everything back into balance with some good sleep (not alcohol coaxed) and relaxing with a book or taking walks and such.

I am scared that the psychosis is back. I don’t think that is a good sign. But, I never know.

There is nothing I can do.