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OMG, what a week! I went into a really bad mixed affective state! Crazy, crazy, crazy bipolar woman.

One the first day I was flying high as a kite, the bouncing off the walls experience of hypomania. I remember that everything was hilariously funny and I was laughing at things that were probably only mildly amusing, if that. I was alone too, so no one was triggering my hilarity. I laughed until I was breathless and nearly vomiting. Next I was rushing around the house doing seven things at once (achieving nothing in the chaos) and swearing my head off. I’ve got nothing against swearing but I was spewing out vile phrases I’d never normally use and loudly expressing socially unacceptable views that I don’t even hold! I know what I was saying because while in this state (like something out of “The Exorcist”) I obviously thought it was very clever to write down all my thoughts … ?? … what, for the novel lurking inside me? Yeah right, some bestseller that would be full of my incoherent, psychotic, totally out of touch with reality, evil expulsions.

Following the fruit-loop-woman came the blackness of depressed-woman, complete with intense crying. Yet by the time my other half got home I was way up again, although I don’t think he noticed. He is so used to seeing my different moods that he just tunes them all out and settles on the much more middle-ground thinking of “oh she’s happy/not so happy”. I don’t blame him. It is easier to deal with me that way than to actually see the reality, besides he’s not an observant person anyway.

That night I went to dinner with a friend and managed to talk over the top of him, loudly and fast, all night … whoops. I knew I was running on fast-forward but I think he took it as me being unusually exuberant, which he prefers in a friend to the desperately hopeless state I am usually in. It was a fun evening in many respects but I was so up that I didn’t get much sleep later in spite of my dose of Rivotril.

Next day I crashed badly, absolutely in the pits. I’d accepted an invitation to go out to lunch with some friends and acquaintances. I struggled with whether or not I should cancel. I wanted to cancel but had done that for the last few lunch arrangements, so I made myself go. Oh God it was so hard. I hated being there. My head was spinning in a downwards spiral of despair and I had trouble keeping track of anything said. I felt so numb and paralysed. After I got home I had an email from the lunch organiser and she asked if I was OK as she and a couple of others had thought I was really quiet and down. How come women are so much more observant than men?!!

This up and down has continued and today I saw my psych. As usually the “H” word was mentioned but I have commitments and can’t go to hospital right now, instead he has increased the lithium and added in a small dose of Zyprexa — nooooooooo!!!!!!!!!that is the drug that made me put on a huge amount of weight. I must have looked horrified because he said “wait, listen, listen to me, you won’t put on weight on such a low dose for a short time”. I’m hoping he’s right because I’ve lost 20kgs and want the loss to continue.

I also mentioned that I’d had a sore throat and swollen neck glands but that I hadn’t felt ill. This often happens when I’m having a bad episode. Chicken or egg? Psych said that a virus stimulates the secretion of Interleukin 6 (IL-6) which stimulates an immune response http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interleukin_6 and http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-interleukin-6.htm. He said that IL-6 is associated with the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder – see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20832177 — and that my generally inefficient immune system makes me sensitive to any mild virus which leads to a greater secretion of IL-6 which then is a trigger for episodes of hypomania and mixed affective states. So I need to see my GP for a check up.

In lieu of going to hospital I have to see the psych again in a couple of days to make sure I’m ok for the upcoming long weekend. The way I feel right now I’m not sure I will be, but I hope I am.

4 Comments

  1. So when were you diagonised for bipolar disorder? Did something in particular set it off ? I salute the good intentions of your heart that you’re sharing all these details with readers:-)

    • I was diagnosed in 2006, however, my psychiatrist believes that I have had bipolar affective disorder since my teens. At that time I was diagnosed as having episodes of major depression but I never spoke to anyone about the periods of time when I was “up”. Those times felt good!! On piecing together my history it became clear that I had experienced quite distinct episodes of depression and hypomania. Recently I have had a couple of episodes of mania rather than hypomania. My psychiatrist has told me that this change is not unusual.
      Nothing in particular triggered off the start of my mental illness, or at least nothing that I can identify. Now, although my mood changes are usually independent of any environmental stimuli, they can also be triggered by having a virus and by certain medications (ie antidepressants can switch me into mania).

  2. What a ride you’ve been on lately! I haven’t had that in a while but I think I’m getting there. So I’m bracing myself for impact.

    • The wild ride continues, waiting for the extra lithium to kick in. Am I about to fall off or continue the up and down journey on the rollercoaster?


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