Before I begin I’d like to give credit where credit is due, so here’s a newly-established Awesome Blogger award, which goes to revdebmatt @ Suddenly Bipolar for this great concept.
As many of you know, healthcare professionals will often advise people to draw up a plan for their care if they should become incapacitated due to a medical condition and can’t speak for themselves. This is, of course, best done when the patient is well and able to make good decisions for him/herself.
My fellow blogger came up with the brilliant idea of asking her readers to let her know if/when they see suspicious changes in the tone and content of her posts which could indicate an impending mood swing. I think this is a very smart move, so now that my own illness is stable, I’d like to ask MY readers to do the same thing for me.
Please feel free to call me out if you see a pattern of any of the following in my posts:
1) Verbal incontinence, e.g. multiple posts in one day, AKA “help, I’m writing and I can’t shut up!!”
2) Oversharing—if I start writing about my sex life, it’s time for me to call my doctor.
3) Disjointed and/or run-on sentences; thoughts not completed before moving on to the next one. As in “I was in Safeway getting cat litter, and then later I was watching TV news and this infomercial was on that advertised this stupid stool that you put your feet on when you’re sitting on the john so you’re in a better position to drop a deuce”.
4) Outright hostility toward others. Sure, I bitch and moan just like everyone else, but when it devolves into personal attacks and rants full of heavy-duty cursing, there’s a problem.
5) Speaking of profanity: when manic, I use the F-bomb. A LOT.
6) Overuse of metaphors and descriptors. Check out my post After the Whirlwind for a marvelous example of this type of writing.
7) Obsessive thoughts and paranoia (“I can’t do this job, I’m hopeless, I’m going to get fired” or “They’re just trying to spoil my FUN!!”).
8) Denial that I could possibly even be hypomanic, let alone manic.
1) Overemphasis on the negative in life. Most common during the fall and winter months, but can happen anytime.
2) Dwelling on the subjects of death and dying. I have always been fascinated with the morbid, and of course as a nurse, I’ve seen a lot of lives end. It’s when I start talking about it longingly that somebody needs to start worrying.
3) Endless self-reflection on all the failures in my life.
1) Severe anxiety as evidenced by catastrophizing everything, even minor issues such as receiving negative feedback at work. I’m a total stress-monkey and can become overwhelmed in a matter of hours to days. These situations are the ones that have brought me closer to hospitalization than anything else, so if you see this sign, tell me to get help STAT.
2) Confusion as to whether I feel manic OR depressed means a mixed episode every time.
3) If I talk about missing meds more than once in a while, you can be sure that the shit WILL hit the fan. It’s only a matter of time. Needless to say, this is to be avoided at all costs.
Naturally, this is not an all-inclusive list, but these are the major indicators that my little choo-choo is going off the rails. Thank you, Constant Reader, for your assistance…..just in case. 🙂