Mixed Features

Well, it’s finally happened—I’m in the middle of a good old-fashioned mixed bipolar phase. I’ve been anxious and irritable for weeks, then depression and agitation joined the merry mix about a fortnight ago. The fact that I am currently unstable disappoints the hell out of me…I’d been doing so well for so long that I even thought I might never have another episode. Well, as they say, pride goeth before a fall, and my pride has fallen… straight down the toilet.

This is nowhere as bad as previous episodes have been. I’m not on my knees in the middle of the night washing the bathroom tiles and sobbing. But my sleep is wonky and my temper is surging and I feel speeded-up on the inside, like wanting to jump up and run as fast and as far as I can until I remember I can’t run. In fact, I have no motivation whatsoever, which is the depression manifesting itself while my mind is racing at 200 MPH.

What’s really weird is my sleep patterns. I’m always up till at least one in the morning, but sometimes I’ll doze off briefly in front of the TV, then wake up with a second wind that ensures I’ll be awake till at least 4. I make myself go to bed at that time, but I lie in bed for a minimum of 30 minutes wide awake while my brain churns. Finally I drift off to an uneasy sleep, and THEN I sleep through the alarm and don’t open my eyes till noon.

I think to myself that it’s no wonder I’m close to losing it, there has been an astounding amount of stress in the house and I don’t respond well to situations I have no control over. I need to be a steadying influence, and all I can do is wander around in a state of confusion, like everyone else in the household. But if truth be known, this episode started before the shit hit the fan, so I have no idea where it came from. Yesterday was my birthday, and I was a wreck all day; then my sister called to wish me a happy one and subsequently proceeded to dump all over me. She had a few bones to pick with me over things that happened years ago, plus claims that I never tell her anything about the family. Which is true, because the family doesn’t want to share certain information with her (or anyone ) and I never betray a confidence. I also hate being stuck in the middle of other people’s shit! Still, I can see her side of things, it’s not pleasant to feel left out, and I’m going to lean on my kids to get them to pay her more attention.

Obviously, my current circumstances are not ideal, and my psychiatrist, Dr. Young, took it very seriously when I called her on Tuesday. She sussed out the manic parts (agitation, racing thoughts, irritability) from the depressive side (low mood and anxiety) and proposed a treatment plan. She told me to take Klonopin every night for a week or two instead of using it infrequently like I do, and if that doesn’t work, she’ll increase my Zyprexa. So far it hasn’t worked, but I’m following up with her next week and I want to give it every chance. I don’t WANT to go up on Zyprexa. But I want to be over this interruption in my general stability and if that’s what I have to do, I’ll do it.

So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Thanks for reading!

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.

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