Cleolinda Jones (cleolinda) wrote,
Cleolinda Jones

Random thinkiness

You know, I've figured out something kind of funny about hypomania. To catch you up, particularly since the Twilight entries have brought in a lot of new people--psychiatric diagnoses are never really set in stone; a doctor might come up with something that sounds more accurate years into your treatment. I have cyclical, chemical depression; it's gotten bad at times, but it's really pretty mild compared to what a lot of people have to live through. I'm on mild doses of antidepressants--which I tend to talk about pretty openly, number one, because I don't think it's anything to be ashamed of, and number two, because I think it helps other people to go, "Oh, okay, someone else is going through the same thing, and here's what her symptoms and reactions were like."

Anyway: I was diagnosed when I was 19, after a Janterm bout of depression where I was completely happy and content, and then I'd start crying and wouldn't even know what I was crying about. After we experimented with various initial dosages of Zoloft and Adderall (the latter of which, despite the fact that I took it for a few years, really turned out to not be for me at all), my psychiatrist decided I didn't have a manic component, so I probably wasn't manic-depressive (bipolar). After we decided the Adderall wasn't good (it made my scalp crawl, a side effect that never went away, and I always felt like I was "on drugs," so to speak), we paired Wellbutrin with the Zoloft, and then a year or so ago, we reduced both and added Lamictal, an anti-seizure medication now being used as an antidepressant, into the mix. Initially we went higher with the Zoloft, and that resulted in some of the worst depression I've ever had in my life--the idea, and it was mine, was that we'd try more Zoloft before introducting Lamictal at all, because I was a little scared of the potential side effects ("a fatal rash, but it doesn't happen a lot"). So then I said, okay, my idea didn't work, let's try the Lamictal. And it worked fine for a while, because we increased the dose very, very slowly. But there was a point where we went too high a little too soon, and once again: crushing depression. Once we backed up and took it slow again for a (long) while, I got settled in, and I have honestly been very content with my Zoloft-Wellbutrin-Lamictal cocktail ever since. What it basically does is fill in the giant potholes in the road, so that I can have the same natural ups and downs as everyone else, rather than hitting a stretch of bad road and completely spinning out for months at a time; they normalize chemicals that I'm not able to balance myself. We've made mistakes, but I consider my relationship with my psychiatrist to be ideal, because she's always listened to what I wanted, how I felt, and what I was afraid of; she's always respected my reservations, rather than try to push me to this drug or that dosage.

ANYWAY! Good Lord. That was basically for the benefit of new people and longer-term readers who felt like my psychiatric history wasn't one of the things they needed to carry around in their heads. My point, which I thought I would get to a lot sooner, was that I eventually began to suspect that I might actually be bipolar II--rather than have potentially dangerous manic episodes, I have hypomanic periods of creative energy that left me feeling wired during but pleasantly exhausted afterwards. When I voiced my suspicion here a couple of years ago, one of my longterm commenters, emerybored, actually said something along the lines of, "I'd kind of suspected you might--some of your entries now and then sounded like hypomanic episodes." Sure enough, I relayed all this to my doctor, and she thought that there could very well be something to it. It didn't really affect my medication, which felt stable, but I've learned to try and make hay when the sun shines and I can feel an episode coming on.

What I realized today is that a hypomanic episode feels like being in love.

It's really weird--I feel gleeful, energized, a little obsessive. But it's not directed at anything or anyone; I'm not in love with anyone. But I remember very clearly, I had an episode like this last August--a really nice, prolonged one--and I even thought to myself back then, "I feel like I'm in love." I actually kind of go around with a secret smile--it's like I have some giddy secret that no one else knows. And I don't know it either. I think the episodes work best when I find something to focus that light on, something to harmlessly obsess over for a short period: a song, a book, a movie, an activity, a research subject, a writing project. I'm probably lucky in that I've never actually confused this with being in love with a person; usually any feelings I've had in that direction have been sustained over a period of years, whether I confessed it or not. (Oh, come on. Like you didn't have epic crushes in high school.) The problem this time is that I almost feel a little bit panicky, like I can't quite find something to attach this obsessive feeling to, even if it's something I choose consciously. It's like--the near-hysterical frustration of being parted from something/someone you're seriously obsessed with, except that I don't know what it is. And don't tell me to make it be Twilight, because I don't think Robert Sparkleson needs me falling in stalk with him right now. Of course, by the time I think of some way to harness the hypomania, it'll probably be over.

Just a teensy bit of linkspam:

James Frey Can't Fool Everyone [Lying Hacks]: "Bright Shiny Morning is an execrable novel, a literary train wreck without even the good grace to be entertaining."

Prince Caspian underperforming? Also, I don't know if you got this at your theater, but I saw it in front of Caspian and it made me die a little inside. And by "a little" I mean "a lot."

Just in Time For 'Indy 4,' Archaeologists Fight it Out Over Harrison Ford.

'Wuthering Heights' gets Sienna Miller? No! NOOOOOO! "Wuthering Heights bosses were furious after Portman pulled out of the role, particularly since they said she had actively pursued getting the role." WELL DON'T TAKE IT OUT ON US!

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Tags: books, depression, hypomania, indiana jones, narnia, wuthering heights
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