Before & After

moodswings

This was life before Zyprexa……

moodswings2

……and here’s life since Zyprexa.

Looks different, doesn’t it? This is the mood chart from Psych Central that I use daily in addition to Optimism Online. I do this one because I visit the site daily anyway, and sometimes it picks up the subtler changes that Optimism doesn’t. But no matter which chart is the best in a given situation, one would have to be blind not to see that the first screenshot looks like a bad road map of California, and the second looks mostly like a long stretch of interstate highway. It may not be as exciting, but in my experience the ride on a smooth, straight road is always better….not only for me, but for everyone around me.

The pinkish-gray line represents my anxiety levels (there’s always some of that hanging around, even on my best days), the blue represents depressed mood, the green is for sleep, and the yellow, mania. As you can see, the anxiety was out of control, sleep was iffy, and the term “manic depression” is obvious in the yellow and blue tracings.

I don’t want to make that trip again, even though I’ve learned to my sorrow that it’s as inevitable as the tide and the best I can hope for is longer and longer periods where the lines converge. For now it’s enough just to see them grow straighter, and to know that even the hardest, bumpiest road has an end. 🙂

 

Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

6 thoughts on “Before & After

  1. Thank you all for your comments. Yes, it does help to be able to see the concrete evidence that what I go through with this disorder is REAL, but also that it can be controlled and my life doesn’t always have to be chaotic.

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  2. Thank you for your post. I would like to share it on my site, moodsurfing.com, I am always looking for good demonstrations of the value of mood charting and I think your two screenshots would be helpful. Since you have been doing more than one mood chart you may not have any thoughts about this… but I would love to get your thoughts about what makes mood charting hard… why do so many people avoid it?

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    1. Thank YOU for the follow. 🙂 You have an interesting site too, and you are welcome to share my blog.

      About mood charting: I think a lot of people avoid doing it because it reminds them that they have an illness, and who wants to be reminded of that every single day of their life? It also requires some semblance of routine, and as I’m sure you know, bipolar people tend to be resistant to routine. I started doing mood charting when I was first diagnosed because I was desperate to find out if there was any rhyme or reason to my mood swings, and even though my psychiatrist and I have learned my pattern, I still do it out of habit.

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