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Aaaaagh everything is fucked

My hpomania has been building this past week.

The approach of summer is possibly my biggest trigger, and every single year as the days start getting longer and brighter, I struggle with sleep and rising mania.

I’ve gone from reduced sleep, to very little sleep, to last night 5am coming and going, and not being able to sleep.

Add this to seizures, and life is…interesting!

Today I had my most intense aura for seizures ever, followed almost instantly by seizures, big ones. I was irritable, then exhausted, then felt ill. I was okay a few hours later, now here I am feeling intensely fucking manic, which I’m 99.9% is a side effect of seizures and not actual mania….because it came out of nowhere and followed significant seizures.

Very confusing XD

AAAGH SO MUCH ENERGY WHAT DO I DO *proceeds to bounce off walls*

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I’m a mess…oh wait, I feel okay

This mish mash of symptoms is driving me crazy. Literally I guess.

I’m dealing with so many bloody fluctuations a day I can’t cope. What one hour might seem like a good day the next seems like the utter worst.

This isn’t down to Bipolar symptoms entirely, as my Bipolar mood swings tend to last weeks or months. It’s a combination of Bipolar mood swings, psychosis, anxiety, sleep and medication side-effects.

At the moment I think my Bipolar mood is tilting towards hypomania, which means I’m antsy, bored and wanting to spend more. It also adds towards my irritability.

My psychosis leaves me on edge, but at its’ worst it can make me entirely zone out and become unresponsive or leave me too panicked and terrified to talk. I also struggle to concentrate and can get antsy because my brain’s fried and trying to do too much at once.

Anxiety obviously always makes things ten times harder, but thankfully this hasn’t been *too* much of an issue recently.

Lack of sleep leaves me in a variety of states, ranging from utterly exhausted and unable to do anything, to pissed off and hating the world, or manic. The worst thing is, because I’m so bad at sleeping, catching up on sleep takes a long time and napping is impossible.

And then we have medication side-effects. A weird out-of-touch woozy head (dissociation), often tinted with a far away rage and inability to calm myself.

Ah, joy.

All this spinning around madly inside me, fluctuating by the hour. It must be so nice to be able to react normally to things and know who you are as a person…

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And depression follows mania

Gog here.

The worst thing about Anon having bipolar is that every single time she feels something, we both zero in on it and are terrified it means the opposite episode is approaching.

Now let me make something clear, this IS NOT like when Anon’s parents immediately ask “are you manic?” whenever she cuts her hair or buys something, oh no.

We worry when we notice such a symptom / emotion, as nine times out of ten, we are right.

Because Anon is never stable, this means she bounces immediately from one episode to a next…depressed,manic,depressed, hypomanic,depressed,manic,depressed, hypomanic,depressed…etc etc…

These episodes last anywhere from 2 weeks to 6+ months, the average is probably 1 month for a manic episode and 1-3 month for a depressive. She goes straight from being manic to depressed, straight from being depressed to manic, it is NEVER ENDING.

Can you imagine? I live with her and I can’t imagine how difficult, how scary, that must be.

Anyway, today Anon had a moment where her thoughts and feelings were low. She zeroed in on it, I zeroed in on it, and we were both scared.

I reassured her. We will cope with whatever happens, it might not be a low episode, you might just be tired because you haven’t been sleeping etc etc…

But as the day’s progressed, that depressive episode is certainly incoming.

Both episodes are devastating, in different ways. Manic episodes mean no sleep, lots of activity, wild ideas, anger, and trying to talk Anon out of spending £1000’s, moving house etc.

Depressive episodes mean sleeping 16 hours a day, struggling to find the energy to brush her teeth, crying, lashing out, and the almost inevitable suicidal feelings.

Neither of these mood episodes are easy, but we have to live with them, because we don’t get anything else.

I really wish people could understand quite how devastating an illness bipolar can be

That is why we started this blog – it’s all well and good people can have high functioning bipolar and live successful lives, but it is not fair to think everyone with bipolar can live like that.

As ever it would be nice if we had medical support now, and Anon had medication to help stabilise her or medication could be added to try prevent this low episode…but thanks to the good ol’ NHS this isn’t a possibility.

We’ll keep living, we’ll keep loving each other. We can get through this together.

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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.