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.