This past week has been especially tricky. It started off with the job interview of a lifetime and devolved into panic attacks and a major depressive episode.
Some of you may or may not know from past posts that I suffer from depression and social anxiety. Well, this week, I started to research some of my symptoms from the prior month, and all of my information points me towards Bipolar Disorder. I am obviously going to speak to my actual therapist, but everything sounds exactly like what I have been experiencing lately. I started noticing around Christmastime that something was different, but I think I was afraid to bring it up because I didn’t want to try new medications or be sent for tests that might be pointless.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Bipolar Disorder is a “manic-depressive illness which causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. There are four basic types of bipolar disorder; all of them involve clear changes in mood, energy, and activity levels. These moods range from periods of extremely “up,” elated, and energized behavior (known as manic episodes) to very sad, “down,” or hopeless periods (known as depressive episodes). Less severe manic periods are known as hypomanic episodes.”
Here are some of the listed symptoms and signs of each episode:
I know exactly what my depressive episodes feel like and that’s how I knew when the mania hit me. So, pile this on top of the anxiety that I already had and the week became incredibly stressful. I’m also waiting to hear back about this job I really want, which adds more stress and the world squeeze a little tighter.
I’m not someone who avoids talking about mental health because it makes people uncomfortable. It’s essential that we make it as commonplace as necessary because you never know who might be helped by an open forum such as this. If my journey, my demons, can help someone else in pain, then I will share anything you want me to – just not my therapist, haha!
I think Demi Lovato says it best – she is on a journey to experience a world free of all demons.
That’s a day I’ll look forward to experiencing for myself.
If you are in crisis and need someone to turn to immediately, please see below:
For Immediate Help
If You Are in Crisis: Call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is open to anyone. All calls are confidential.
If you are thinking about harming yourself or thinking about suicide:
- Tell someone who can help right away
- Call your licensed mental health professional if you are already working with one
- Call your doctor
- Go to the nearest hospital emergency department
If a loved one is considering suicide:
- Do not leave him or her alone
- Try to get your loved one to seek immediate help from a doctor or the nearest hospital emergency room, or call 911
- Remove access to firearms or other potential tools for suicide, including medications