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Slowing down with mania

Gog here again. I seem to write a lot when Anon isn’t doing so well. Helps me feel like I’m pulling my weight with this blog.

Anon’s thoughts are speeding today which ironically often makes her much slower at talking and typing. It can take several hours to write a blog, if she’s able to concentrate long enough to write one at all.

Sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it, mania slowing her down.

But because Anon’s head is racing so fast she can’t pluck the words out as they rush past, and she can’t focus on conversing – she once described it by saying “imagine you have a bowl of earthworms, all wriggling about and identical. You are looking for one specific earthworm, and you only have a short time to find it…it’s impossible!”

She quite often talks in analogies when she is ill, it makes it easier for her. Maybe it’s the writer in her. Some of these analogies are hilarious, some are amazingly clever.

One time she said her brain is like a sponge saturated with water because of all the racing thoughts and hallucinations, and trying to concentrate on the TV or what people are saying is impossible because she can’t soak up anymore information…I love her analogies, they’re clever and they help me to get a glimpse into how she is doing too.

Anyway today at points she has really really struggled to talk – earlier today it took her several minutes to manage to form one sentence, but she did it. “You know I……read…that……when – no, with….Mini Lops…” etc.

THIS IS YET ANOTHER WAY SHE STRUGGLES TO COMMUNICATE WITH PEOPLE.

Yet the benefits system says she “just” talks fast?? She’s manic right now, so in the best place she ever is for talking with others as long as her psychosis isn’t too bad, but she couldn’t talk to anyone right now.

Thoughts keep getting stolen from her head which unnerves her too. Halfway through a sentence she will stop talking and the entire sentence, topic, whatever, has just completely vanished. She thinks her thoughts have been stolen from her head, and then worries that if people can take her thoughts they can insert their thoughts into her head too.

Nevertheless we’re in a much better place than we usually are, we just need to stop this mania from rising any higher.

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Listen: it’s mania

Gog here.

It can be so hard to get the person with Bipolar disorder to understand that they’re manic.

I’ve found that with Anon, if I point out why I think she’s sliding into a depressive episode, she can recognise the symptoms pretty easily and admit she’s falling.

When she’s in a really intense manic episode, the worst of the worst, I can get her to recognise symptoms even if I can’t get her to understand she’s extremely ill…it’s kinda hard to ignore the fact that you’re sleeping less than two hours a night, I guess.

Hypomania or lower on the mania front is harder for me to explain to her.

When she’s hypomanic it honestly is easy to mistake her for just being a happy / energetic person. It really is. It’s only the persistence of the mood and when I’m falling asleep trying to keep up with her that I know for sure.

Milder mania, I can tell she is unwell, but she really can’t.

Her sleep is reduced but not drastically (down from 10 hours a night to 7), she is on the go all day, she is impulsive, extremely irritable, she wants me to be on fast speed like she is, and she will spend more money – but usually on things that she does want, or is interested in. It’s not like when she’s sky high and will buy absolutely anything.

At the moment Anon is on the upper end of hypomania.

Reduced sleep, terribly energetic, spending, active, irritable, productive, creative…tiring!!

The other tricky thing is that going out too many days in a row often triggers a manic episode in Anon, or worsens one she’s already in. I don’t mean going out and partying all night, I mean literally any time she leaves the house it pushes her towards mania…shopping, doctors appointments, visiting family, anything.

When she’s manic I try to limit her to two dog walks a day, and nothing else. We’ll go out and do things twice a week, but I try and encourage her to stay as calm and chilled as possible.

Of course this is really difficult when a person is manic, because all they want to do is go out. All. the. time!

I am a carer; it is my job to care for Anon.

A lot of people do not understand this, my dad asked just the other day “you not thinking about getting a job, then?” They don’t understand: I have a job. My job is to keep Anon safe, happy, and as mentally well as possible.

It’s a full-time job and I throw my all into it; I love Anon, she loves me, and to say how ill she is we do well. Even hypomanic, which is her least severe mood episode, I have to be there.

I have to persuade Anon to stay in, and keep her entertained without letting her be too active / stimulating. I have to watch her, prevent her from buying things online, remind her to eat, try help her sleep, try prevent the mania from climbing.

All the while I have to try keep up with her and match my sleep to hers’.

I love her so much. Bipolar is such a fucking ball-ache.

 

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Up or down? Low or high?

Gog here.

For all the world it feels like Anon has to be having a mixed episode…either that or she really, really doesn’t have Bipolar disorder anymore.

She’s switching so quickly, especially a few days ago; for hours she would be hypomanic. She was energetic, active, she would sing, laugh, train the dogs, work on them with all sorts…and then she would be low. Maybe not truly, seriously depressed; but certainly angry and with some sadness, triggered by all sorts.

The lower spurts don’t last too long, rarely more than an hour, and as I said it’s usually anger over actual despair…we’re so confused by her moods at the moment.

Her psychosis is back with a bang.

Looking back at her mood chart we had over a week where she rated her psychosis 2/10 or less – several days were even a 0! That hasn’t happened in close to a year now 🙂

Then the stupid guy tried to talk to her on the phone, and since then her psychosis has been really bad…her paranoia seems worse out of everything, and brings with it a lot of racing thoughts and, of course, intense anxiety.

That’s another thing, are her racing thoughts caused by the paranoia or mania? Or is the paranoia caused by mania, or is the mania caused by the paranoia? It’s all very confusing…

Basically, we’ve been struggling.

We took everything right back to basics – if Anon had any doubts about leaving the house, she had to stay home. No walking the dogs, no trips to the supermarket, no appts, no socialising, nothing.

The result? The last few days her mood has been noticeably more manic than low-manic-low-manic-low.

Her daily physical pain (which is a huge issue when her mood isn’t good, and something NO professionals take seriously) has gone from being between 8 and 9 out of 10, to firstly a 1 and then 0’s 🙂

Today she surprised me by turning up on a dog walk (bit of a shock and slightly concerning, but it was nice!) and she’s also done some training with our dogs we’ve wanted to do for months but never got round to.

Hopefully we can keep this manic episode fairly manic, fairly predictable, in the hypo stage rather than full blown mania…

And we’ll the stress as low as possible.