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Bipolar II: Mania & Depression Can Go Hand in Hand

mania and depression can go hand in handI recently attended a seminar that discussed mood disorders, and the instructor showed what Bipolar II looked like by drawing a horizontal line as a baseline, then a wave that reflected the ups and downs of manic depression. I looked at the visual and disagreed.

I thought back to my pre-diagnosed days, when I was hypomanic without any knowledge of my condition. If I were to try and draw a visual of Bipolar II at that time in my life, it would be like a twister, (similar to the Tasmanian Devil,) that would whirl around at a rapid pace. But, at the center of the twister, the eye of the storm so to speak, was this dead calm silence, aka the depression.

It is true that Bipolar II individuals have their ups and downs but quite frankly, I don’t see my experience with Bipolar II with waves to reflect the mania and the depression. To me they are one and the same.  When I was manic, at the heart of my condition, was a depression that the mania could mask. The depression lived inside the mania, which made it hard to comprehend.

Now, as an adult, it all makes sense to me. When I look back I see how my life torpedoed in my early twenties. I found myself running around the streets of New York like a Tasmanian Devil but, if I were to take a good look at the life I was leading, it was fueled by an isolative sadness that I was desperate to escape so had the mania to grab onto. I could appear to be up and happy and super energetic and social but, at the end of the night, when I would go home, the quiet would set in.  So I ran from the quiet. I didn’t want to be in the eye of the storm, so I found myself going out all the time, and often times would come home at the crack of dawn, sleep a little, then get up for work, and back out into the world.  My hypo manic behavior helped conceal the depression I felt within, which only made it hard to know what was wrong.  Thankfully, by my late twenties, I got help and was diagnosed and entered treatment.

So, where does that leave me now? I have medication so I’m not manic. I take medication if I go through an episode of depression so now am I that wavy line?

I’m not sure. It’s complicated.

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Bipolar II: Mania & Depression Can Go Hand in Hand


Erica Loberg

Erica Loberg was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She attended Columbia University in New York and graduated with a BA in English. She is a published poet and author of Inside the Insane, Screaming at the Void, What Men Should Know About Women, What Women Should Know About Men, Diamonds From The Rough and Undressed.


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APA Reference
Loberg, E. (2016). Bipolar II: Mania & Depression Can Go Hand in Hand. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 15, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/manic-depression/2016/09/20/bipolar-ii-mania-depression-can-go-hand-in-hand/

 

Last updated: 21 Sep 2016
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