Monday, May 2, 2011

Bipolar Depression - The Opposite End of the Scale

For anybody who is bipolar I, they know what it is to swing into a -5 depression (See my post “The Bipolar Spectrum and Management of the Disease,” Monday, April 18, 2011.) It is a feeling of being so hopelessly depressed that the simplest tasks are impossible to accomplish. If it continues for more than a few days, then hospitalization is most certainly required, and the threat of suicide is real and prevalent.

My bout with it lasted from late Friday afternoon until late Monday morning, but I was able to come through it okay. I did make a post on facebook about suicide this morning, which scared the hell out of my friends, and it wasn’t until my brother-law-law called and told me to snap out of it when I realized I needed to get hold of my doctor.

I left him a message and then had a talk with my boss. She strongly recommended that we get HR involved, but I asked her to hold off until I saw my doctor. The last thing I want is to be stuck at home with nothing to do, or to be hospitalized unnecessarily for a temporary state of mind. On the other hand, she does not want me to be stuck here unable to focus on my job. If I can manage to find my focus I will be okay.

So, which is worse? The self-destructive manic episodes I find myself falling over the edge? Or the hopeless depressions that are so utterly debilitating I can barely function, and all I can think about is suicide?

Bipolar disorder is truly a curse, and I do feel for those who have it. On the other hand, if you are responsible and take control over your disease you can live with it, but no matter how hard you try, you will slip every once in awhile and find yourself in a horrible mess of your own creation.

For me, that’s the hardest part to live with. I am constantly apologizing to people who get steamrolled as I go crashing into catastrophes created by my disease. There is a lot of guilt associated with what I go through, and that in of itself is an unhealthy emotion. When I am completely off the rails I can say and do some pretty awful things.

Underneath all this conflicting emotion and enormous passion is a a truly kind man full of love and generosity. I am constantly reminded of the Animals' classic song, "Please Don't Let Me be Misunderstood."

Love to all!

James M. Weil

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