Mania, depression, mixed episodes, and ultra-rapid cycling circle around me like the music notes of a wind ensemble. Mood swings cycle through my head in crescendos and decrescendos. With psittacotic waves of psychotic encounters, on most days I either have hallucinations, delusions or paranoia.
In the wind ensembles of mental illnesses, mania sounds like the trumpet, the oboe, and the piccolo dancing together. They dance to exhaustion. The bass clarinet and trombone play together note by note painstakingly a dirge as my depression swells. Their voices as one echo down the hall into darkness. Ultra-rapid cycling’s effects on the musicians are tiring. The ensemble’s different sections take turns bouncing off each other: the flutes give way to the euphoniums, the bassoons give up the limelight to the percussion. Finally, my mixed episodes of mania, depression, and psychosis sound like the chaotic music rising up from the from center stage as the musicians warm up and tune.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
I am also affected by the changing of the seasons. After the long, cold Winter, the Spring season ushered in pretty flowers, bright blue skies, longer days, and my bipolar in overdrive. Racing thoughts, hallucinations, sadness, restlessness, paranoia, feelings of a dark cloud hanging over me, and grandiosity, to name a few. And yes, all of this could possibly happen on the same day, sometimes simultaneously.
During a Spring SAD period, I mostly endure mixed episodes, ultra-rapid cycling, and psychosis just like any of the 365 days of a given year. This Spring kicked me into a monumental manic episode which was followed by a BIG spiral into bipolar depression.
Last week when the manic portion of the Spring SAD was winding down, the depression took over the reins and with a crack of its whip, I was under its control. I knew I was in the depression zone and I would be there for a long time.
When the depression hit, it was as if a cold, wet, wool blanket wrapped itself around me. It was numbing pain, overwhelming exhaustion, and devastating darkness all wrapped into one.
Mania is what I am used to. Mixed and ultra-rapid cycling know me forward and backward. I have not had a really deep depression episode with no other moods attached for years. And this one was for the books.
The Ugly Side of Bipolar Depression
It was as if the depression grabbed me from a standing position and threw me to the floor. The symptoms caught me off guard.
Too much an appetite.
Too little an appetite.
I want to say “I do not want to see this depression again.” But I have been around the block a time or two with this bipolar. I know I will see this type of depression again. Maybe it will stay at bay for several years. I just don’t want to begin experiencing more than my fair share of darkness; because one time is enough!
The symptoms of the SAD cycle find me through different seasons. I wish I could cycle out of these cycles. I’ve experienced all the moods frontways, sideways, upside down, and diagonal. I want off this horrible rollercoaster!