Where I’ve Been…

Well, I’ve been absent here again for a while. But I do have good reasons for it. I’ve been in treatment. First, I was an inpatient for a few days and now, I am in partial hospitalization treatment. I have a lot to say about both of these experiences (both firsts for me), but it will take me time to gather all of my feelings and thoughts about it, especially since I am still currently in treatment. All I can say for the moment is that I hope it helps me in the long run. And I hope that I can get my symptoms under control with medications and with coping strategies. Anyway, I will be back with new pieces soon. Thanks, as always, for reading.

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Is It a Mixed Episode?

For those of you that follow my blog, you know that I have been very depressed lately. But I am beginning to wonder if I am possibly experiencing a mixed episode. I am decidedly depressed. I sleep for 12 or more hours a day, but the sleep is restless and I wake up several times a night (sometimes every hour or more). I toss and turn and have extremely vivid dreams.

I also have trouble falling asleep because of my racing, random thoughts. I am either obsessing over something I am worried about (finances, etc…) or my mind is just frantically going through an array of topics that I can’t even recall right now. Sometimes during the day, I have periods of time where I just cannot sit still and just pace around in my apartment aimlessly.

I think that I might be in a mixed episode because I have all of these symptoms and have occasional parts of the day where I’m inexplicably “up.” I am just so confused and frustrated. I haven’t been able to get much if any work done and I just feel like giving up on life sometimes (yes, I know, that is serious and I am seeing my care team regularly). Today, I barely got one article done for work and I had to strain to do that. It is another bad day in a string of mostly bad days. And I have to wonder if this will ever get better.

Depression Kicked Me in the Teeth

I have been in the depths of a serious depressive episode lately and the weight just does not seem to be lifting. I have managed to get myself out of bed in recent days, but usually that means making it to the couch. If I can accomplish little things like unloading the dishwasher, it feels like a major feat.

Feeling this way makes getting anything done feel impossible and working a far-fetched dream. I work from home as a freelance writer and part-time at a church, and when I am down like this, the writing feels especially impossible. It is like my brain won’t focus on the words and coming up with ideas for blog posts? Forget about it. The creative juices just aren’t flowing.

So, I sit and worry about money and my finances and how I can pay my bills when I am not getting any work done. I sit and feel guilty about not getting things done that I should be able to do. I fret and give myself panic attacks which further drain my energy and leave me bedridden yet again.

When I feel this way, the only thing I look forward to is sleeping. Sleeping is my escape from the hatred I feel for myself and the emptiness in my soul. I can dream and live in a fantasy world for 8 hours (okay, let’s face it more like 12 to 16 hours when I’m depressed).

Looking forward to only sleep is not a way to live, I know. And even when I am feeling that way, I know that. But, then I begin to question what the point of life is anyway. What purpose does my life serve? What good am I, anyway? And then, there I go, down the track toward suicidal thoughts just like that.

Depression really does kick you in the teeth and will hit you when you are down. Sometimes, you go so far down that you can’t imagine getting back up. That is about where I am now, wondering if this is ever going to change and if I will ever have an “up” period again.

That’s all I have for now as I have exhausted all the words I have in me for today. Thanks, as always, for reading!

Working with Bipolar…

So, I got a job recently. I just started, in fact. But I have been out of the standard 9 to 5 job market for a long time and am struggling to acclimate to it. And it doesn’t help that I have been going through a rough time and have been in the hospital twice in the last week for suicidal thoughts (more on that another time).

Here’s the deal. I want to support myself. I want to be a productive member of society and I want to be successful. But stressful and hectic work environments exhaust me. I also nearly break into tears at work and have trouble keeping track of what I am doing. I got so dizzy today at one point, I thought I would pass out.

My question to those of you with bipolar is this. Is working a standard 9 to 5 job feasible for someone with bipolar? Is a hectic work environment a bad idea? Is part-time work better? I have a shaky job history at best so I am lucky to have this job but I just wonder if it is a good fit for me.

Any one else with a mental health disorder have any thoughts? Any ideas that can help me out? As always, thanks so much for reading!

Job Hunting with Bipolar

Well folks, I have been pretty busy as of late dealing with some issues on the home front. Because of that, I haven’t been blogging as much as I would like. One of those many issues I have been dealing with lately is searching for a job. This is the first time I have looked for a job since my bipolar diagnosis and I think it has made my job search a bit more difficult for me.

I do not hide the fact that I have bipolar online. There are references to it and this blog on my Facebook pages and Twitter and I do not feel that my bipolar disorder is something to hide or be ashamed of. However, I have been struggling to find work lately and I think a big part of that is the fact that I have this mental health condition.

I know that employers look at social media when checking out potential job candidates and I have a sinking feeling that the openness I have online may be causing me trouble. Of course, I have no proof of that or I would have a legal case on my hands, but I have to wonder.

I also never know when I apply for a job if I should check the box that says I have a disability or not. It says in plain letters that bipolar is one of the disabilities but at the same time, I do not feel disabled by my condition. I do feel that being undiagnosed in the past led me to have a poor job history and left me bouncing from job to job like a ping pong ball, but I don’t know about being officially disabled.

Perhaps my recent job seeking challenges lie in the fact that I have been a freelance writer for the last 4 + years? Maybe, that is not looked kindly upon? Whatever the reason, I have been struggling lately to find any meaningful gainful employment that can help me with some current issues I have been trying to deal with. So, for now its continuing to apply and interview as well as work my butt off freelancing in hopes that things will improve going forward.

Anyone else experience these job search issues? Any tips or advice or opinions? Leave a comment if you would like to share!

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When a Depressive Episode Hits Unexpectedly

Depressive episodes almost always hit me out of nowhere. I still have trouble identifying all of my triggers and it seems like when bad things happen in my life, I get down and depressed. And I don’t realize that I am sinking into a depression until all of my energy is sapped and I can barely function.

Then, the real trouble begins. I can barely get any work done, my limbs feel heavy, and all I can do is sit or lay and stare at the TV or at the wall. That is where I am now. Even as I write this, I am so tired it feels like I am struggling to pull the words out of my mind and place them here.

I sit and stare at the screen, trying to figure out what to say. And then, if I think of something, by the time I put my fingers to the keyboard, I lose it most of the time. I stop in the middle of sentences, in the middle of thoughts. And I just…can’t…function. But I keep trying. Which is more than I can say I’ve done in the past. I may not be writing my articles for work, but I am writing here, which is a step in the right direction, I guess.

Hopefully this depressive episode will not last as long as they usually do, and I will be able to get my work done soon. But I suppose only time will tell and I just have to keep fighting even though I’m exhausted.

My PCOS Diagnosis and My Mental Health

One of the things I do not talk about much is the year that I had in 2017 in terms of my health. 2017 was the year that I was finally diagnosed with bipolar disorder. However, months before my bipolar diagnosis, I was also diagnosed with PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome.

PCOS was actually a tougher diagnosis for me than bipolar disorder. Why? Because PCOS affects just about every aspect of my life and health, including my moods. One of the toughest discoveries with PCOS was that I was likely infertile.

I already had trouble with fertility before, but this diagnosis was pretty much the nail in the coffin of me becoming a mother. With my medical history and the fact that I would need expensive treatments to give myself a chance at fertility, I pretty much had to resign myself to never being a mom.

What I did not realize was how much this was going to affect my moods. I got deeply depressed with my PCOS diagnosis. While I had always suspected that I might not be able to have children, having that fact confirmed was another story entirely.

Knowing that I won’t be having children (because I cannot afford fertility treatments and am not risking my life savings on a slim chance of success), made me not only sad, but it also made me question what my life means or should be. I began to have suicidal thoughts and to wonder if I should even exist anymore.

Luckily, I was in therapy and was able to deal with my depressive episode. However, what I have found now that I have been also diagnosed with bipolar is just how much these conditions affect one another. Some of the symptoms of PCOS include depression, fatigue and tiredness, anger and agitation, brain fog, anxiety, and mood swings. Basically, PCOS can cause a bunch of issues that I already have with bipolar disorder.

This makes managing my moods especially difficult. It is never certain whether my symptoms come from my bipolar disorder or my PCOS. And, of course, PCOS is only so manageable. The physical symptoms can be partially dealt with through medications, but not completely. And those treatments only do so much for the mood issues that come along with PCOS.

As such, even with bipolar meds, I can feel depressed, foggy, or any number of other symptoms. And I think that these issues from PCOS can trigger my bipolar depressive episodes for sure, maybe even my hypomanic episodes. After all, when my hormones are off-balance, it stands to reason that my brain chemistry could also be affected.

Anyway, I want to explore the relationship between my PCOS and my bipolar disorder further in coming posts, but for now this is a basic explanation of some of what goes on with me and my mental health. Anyone else dealing with these two issues together? Any thoughts? Share your thoughts and comments below. Thanks so much for reading!

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