Depression rears its ugly head in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes our depression isn’t obvious. You don’t have to be stuck in bed for days to be considered depressed. Unfortunately we don’t always know we are in a quasi depression until it’s over, and we look back and recall the signs that we might have missed. Hind sight is always 20/20 but if you pay attention to slight changes in your behavior you might be able to better manage your mental health.
I was quasi depressed about a year ago. The quasi depression was written all over my body. I found myself wearing the same clothes everyday: torn jeans with a rotation of the same shirt just in different colors. I stopped keeping up with personal maintenance like waxing my eyebrows or plucking unwanted hairs.
Before I was diagnosed with hypomania I lived a life of extremism. I found myself running around like a Tasmanian devil, however, once I was diagnosed and properly medicated I really didn’t have excuses to do anything so excessively anymore. But, sometimes behavior doesn’t change despite medication to help curb symptoms. Does it come done to intensity that accompanies mania, or am I just exercising a behavior that is simply a part of my personality; a behavior that no pill can manage or reduce.
You are something or you have something. What is the difference and what does that mean to you and the world we live in? How do people respond to language that communicates a mental illness and what is the difference between you are X or you have X? For example, I am diagnosed with Bipolar II. Some people say “Oh you have manic depression” or “Oh you are manic depressive.” Recently, I pondered this slight twist of diction in a sentence because there is a difference. When someone says you ARE something it tends to define you. You tend to think of yourself as the disease when really it is simply one aspect amongst a long list of attributes that constitute our being.
Whether it is big or small, most of us experience anxiety. It can be a long dark anxious cloud or a short moment of piercing anxiousness but, whatever form it takes, it’s terrible.
Here are 20 things that cause me anxiety:
What causes you anxiety?
Anxious man image available from Shutterstock.
We rely on Doctors to scribble our life into a notebook then come up for air and say: You are Bipolar, you have Major Depressive Disorder, you are Hypo Manic, you have this, you are that.
Some of us are misdiagnosed or, we are undiagnosable. The education of mental health is not concrete. There are new illnesses being studied and formed on a constant basis. This can cause years of strain, stress, frustration, and anger. Anger, especially when you finally get a correct diagnosis, and then you have to find meds to temper that diagnosis, which is a whole other story, and an entire new battle.
One of the symptoms of Hypomania (Bipolar II) is trouble sleeping. Fierce insomnia can torment the mind, burn the eyes, and interrupt the daily life of an individual. Even with medication, an individual that suffers from hypomania will have an acute memory of the history prior to medication that can be hard to forget or shake from the mind. This can cause anxiety, confusion, and turmoil that influence the ability for a mood stabilizer to properly work.
Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and my mind goes straight to food, which results in me getting up and walking to the refrigerator looking for something to eat. It’s really annoying cause I’m not even hungry but it has become a habit that I am trying to break. Everyone knows that eating late, or God forbid, in the middle of the night, is a bad idea, especially when it comes to maintain a healthy weight.
When we turn on the TV often times the commercials that depict depression show a person in the dark, resting in emotional turmoil, sadness, walking in a forest alone and secluded. I find some of it comical yet sad that society gets fed these images that inaccurately depict depression. Stereotypes unfold visually on the screen, and it is not always indicative of the feelings and/or experience of depression.
It’s a triple threat, and hard to manage when all three take hold of your brain and make it hard to fall asleep, stay asleep, and try and manage to get up and face the day without unbridled exhaustion. Hypomania can be at the core of these symptoms of Bipolar II disorder and can seem impossible to manage when all three attack. But there are small things you can do to help yourself overcome those nights.
1. Racing thoughts: Acknowledge they exist. Whether it is focusing on one thought or a stream of thoughts both are crippling and demand attention and deflation. Try and pin point what the thoughts consist of, what’s at the root of the thoughts, and try and redirect your brain to a calm place. Some may call it meditation. Meditation is an exercise similar to the practice of yoga. You have towork at it.
I am a concrete thinker. When someone tells me something I believe it. No matter how outlandish it seems, sometimes when someone says something in jest, there is a moment when the information enters my brain and takes it as truth. This may often be met with a laugh by a joker who might remark “You’re so gullible.” I’ve come accustomed to it cause concrete thinking spreads itself throughout my day. I see things with acute detail and this often makes it hard to see the big picture. I have trouble seeing the forest when I am looking at the bark of one of the trees in the forest. Such mental behavior can cause struggles in life.