At least a portion of it is in written form via my post last night.  Beyond that, I will fill in some blanks surrounding rather the pinnacle of which that post represented.  I will do my best.  My brain is still moving very slowly, even if it sounds like I am writing somewhat coherently? We shall see how “cohesively” things go.

And of course I have written about this before.  I have been an Ultradian Cycler for…well, since around 2003 or so at least.  That makes it coming up to six years.  Even though this blog is only a little over two years old.

I just went back and looked at the post.  In retrospect, it really doesn’t read that badly compared what was going on in my head.  I was completely feeling like I was going out of my mind.  No.  I was so frightened, almost verging on terror (but not a Panic Attack–I do not experience those.)  I was confused.  I felt so lost and alone.  My mind was racing (racing thoughts part and parcel for Bipolar) and yet I was almost paralyzed due to the “near terror factor.”

I was fighting off urges to cut, I was suicidal.  Alright, that was mentioned but there was a lot more that was phrased almost in a more “logical” way.  A “narrative” way.  In a “way,” I might have been trying to somehow gain control? Talk myself out of it? Getting a bit dissociative (that’s a tough one as I was spinning out of control quite a bit!) However, spinning out of control and becoming dissociative can make a fine marriage.  And this is an even more bizarre concept.  I may have subconsciously been in denial of what was really going on: I was cycling as all hell!

That, I think, is a very subtle distinction between just going totally nuts when you’re cycling and not knowing what you’re doing at all.  Reason being, you have to be aware of your behaviour to be in denial.  At least to some degree, even if it’s just a tiny bit! And I was because I kept freaking out and debating whether I should go to hospital! Now that definitely shows awareness that I am/was sick!

Also, it was probably not as severe an episode as ones in the past.  Indeed.  I’ll put money on that one, for sure!

I normally cycle the fastest of the fast for Ultradians.  Around 24-48 hours but that isn’t necessarily set in stone.  Also, it is very rare for me to catch it and figure out just what on earth is going on for exactly that reason–it is so fast! I’ve always said, it’s like a huge tornado blows in and then afterward, survey the damage, pick up the pieces, make the repairs and try to move on.

So any preceding or precipitating factors, triggers…again, so hard to tell.  I live alone so if someone were with me, they may be able to notice something if they were really familiar with Ultradian Cycling.  But bloody hell, I’ve been dealing with this for so long and I can’t even catch it!!! Well, maybe if I’m lucky but stopping it? That may be where having another person around could help.

So, let’s backtrack a bit and see.  Yesterday, I was so listless and just couldn’t do anything.  A little bit of Depression? However, it was a “Biphentin-less” day as I’m still trying to preserve them so concentration may have been down but hang on to that thought for a bit.

I started to feel a bit “up” later.  Huh.  I sort of felt…well, not so much the: “Bipolar, All Is Aligned In The Universe, Grandiose Thinking.” No, just this odd sense of…peace and calmness, like riding a wave.  Are you kidding me??? With all the stress I’ve been under??? It sounds like I was on some kind of crazy, drug trip–granted I was trying to head back to my Buddhist Philosophy–and trying to read about it–while I couldn’t concentrate.  Huh, again.  Not so much the Buddhism and trying to read a book but what are my moods doing?

I posted a couple of times and then I posted once more last night before I wrote about going to hospital and getting wingy (actually, I was already wingy by that time.)

Also, I decided during the day and into the evening right up to my “winginess” to go through the remainder of several hundred songs that Mac Guru gave me along with some software on some disks.  Wait a second.  For someone who had no concentration before, to suddenly spend hours poring through music? And I mean hours! That doesn’t quite jive.  AD(H)D hyperfocus?

Now, I have made the mistake more times than I can count of viewing my hyperfocusing while being all “wingy” as exactly that–part of being ADD.  Well, guess what? No, it’s me being hypo(manic.)  Yes, ironic that they (at least hypomanic) both begin with an “H?” Ha ha.

Then, I had my grand flip out a short while later and “Bob’s Yer Uncle!”

Today? Well, I am tired, am feeling rather? Bleak? I don’t know how to put it into words.  Confused? Frightened? Lost? Definitely in outer space.  Back to being listless and non-motivated.  Some residual Depression? Although, I did take my Biphentin as I have been letting things go for far too long.  That at least shows some minor motivation, perhaps.  I have looked into some things I must do and am trying to plan.  Despite how screwy I am from freaking out last night, some improvement but again…a bit of a screwy head still.  Probably a waste to take the Biphentin.  I don’t know.  I am not very functional.  I may be dissociating, I can’t tell.  Maybe it’s the “outer space” feeling? Again, it is hard to put this all into words.

I feel like I’m fighting to be sane.  That might sum everything up.

I no longer feel inclined to go to hospital–so much? I don’t know if…I just don’t know…  I do know thoughts of self harm and suicidal ideation will never leave me.  That’s just the way it goes–for me.  I feel rather ill physically–well, period.  That would make sense.

So there is some information for you.  At least in a present time/day scenario.  The episodes have certainly been worse though, that is to be certain.  I think I am also certain that I cycled last night. *PA nods*

Another “Brain Go Pop.”

EDIT: Just a minor one.  I can be all over the map with my moods as well.  Depression, (hypo)mania, Mixed States, Dysphoric Mania.  Basically, you name it; I’ve experienced it.  The only one I usually don’t get too much more of these days is a Euphoric (hypo)mania.  Too bad…they’re the most fun… *PA rolls eyes sarcastically* Plus, I’ve just about always stayed more on the Hypomanic side of things than the Manic.  Definitely.  No initial BPI dx for me.

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  1. Arkay

    Yup, definitely toto/not in Kansas anymore-territory here. I thought the cycles of Bi-polar were much longer in nature as a rule. I am so sorry you keep getting hit with the quick and the fast ones (you could call them electric cycles – except i think electricity cycles slower than you right now… and i still don’t know which one of the whole AC vs. DC you and i are, respectively :P)

    And though what i go through comes nowhere near what you have to, I can relate to the whole ‘terrifying’ thing as sometimes i experience both severe depression and debilitating anxiety at the same and have no way to play one off the other. Which just sets the panic shooting even higher (due to lack of any control) and the depression even deeper (as i see no future in living that way).

    I hope by the time i am writing this you are a little more at peace (i’d wish for stable, but that seems out of reach right now *sigh*). Sending you some hugs and holds of comfort, thoughts of hot tea and warm chickieschnoodle soop, an ear to listen (or eye to see, i guess), and a soft fuzzie blankie to tuck you in under. I’m also putting my mind towards inventing a BPD GPS to help you find your way back the next time you find yourself lost.

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  2. Hi Arkay, indeed. Definitely not in Kansas anymore–or even on the planet! Oh, and may I ask you a favour? Could you write Bipolar as BP? BPD is actually the acronym for Borderline Personality Disorder. Just to keep things straight on my blog as I do not have a dx of BPD. Thanks, dear.

    Nope. No “rules” to Bipolar. That’s one of the reasons why it’s so fucked up! There are several “categories,” if you will, within the diagnostic framework of “Bipolar.” Due to that fact, I have always argued it a “Spectrum Disorder.” It is rather fluid and people do cycle differently!

    Also, there are some people (maybe it’s gotten better over time) in the medical community that don’t even believe Ultradian Cycling exists. Or they get it confused with “Rapid Cycling” which really means up to at least four episodes within a year. Sorry, that is not Ultradian.

    “Rapid” would still warrant a BPII dx. There is no formal dx for someone who cycles as quickly as I do, so go with NOS (i.e. Not Otherwise Specified.) The “into the trashcan we have no clue” group.

    Cycling is never fun. It doesn’t matter how it happens, when, for how long, whatever. Although, I’m not sure if this is one benefit. At least it is over quickly? That may be one good thing? I’m not left in bed with some debilitating depression? That could also be because my meds are keeping me relatively stable these days and it’s a bloody miracle that with everything going I haven’t completely lost it. I mean, my life is and has been “Trigger Central” for a while now!

    You say that what you have to go through comes nowhere near what I have to etc… Listen up. Another thing I say around here is that it’s not a contest. We all have our own personal hells and we can not know what other people go through. Alright?

    In that same vein, the combination of Depression and Anxiety re: Bipolar is basically a Mixed State. People get that one and a Dysphoric Mania confused, too. Again, subtle difference but a Dysphoric Mania is when you’re depressed but starting to swing or are already swinging in(to) (hypo)mania land. I know, it sounds counterintuitive but you have to live through it to understand it and feel it, I guess.

    Perhaps in it’s subtlety the difference may lie in the balance or degree of depression you are feeling? And the difference between anxiety and (hypo)mania?

    But it is messy. Messy as you describe your own situation. *PA shoots hugs back your way*

    Thanks again for all of the support and care in the last paragraph. A BP GPS. That’s funny too. And your yummy soup! Too bad we can’t mail soup!

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  3. Jessica

    Hi,
    Just came across your blog when I googled the term ultradian cycling. I never heard of it before, but now I understand why my docs have been so perplexed by me and my insane mood charts for so long. We sound exactly the same! (From the depressed and anxious, self-mutilating children that we were to this pervasive hypomania to the MDD crash in the late 20s, which I think I am currently experiencing and am really upset about). I also have been in denial until, well, like today, and obviously am not too thrilled to finally accept that being like this isn’t just a normal response to certain experiences…well, it is a response to experiences (only sometimes), but not sleeping enough in one day shouldn’t merit wanting to commit suicide the next day. Likewise, getting enough sleep shouldn’t merit a hypomanic morning (however fun and giddy I feel) where I am jumping around the house dressed all in silliness and goofiness, overstimulating everyone with how silly and goofy I am. People w/o mood disorders just don’t function like that and how I wish to know what it feels like to have a normal response to anything, anything! This definitely makes life exhausting. I guess the most profound thought I have had (and have been told) today is, “You have such a great life, I wish you could enjoy it.” And it’s true, and a sad truth about how something like this is so involuntary and can truly rob your peace and joy when there’s virtually nothing outside my brain chemistry to cause such dysfunction. I too even seek comfort in Buddhism/spirituality for guidance and comfort, but sometimes it is frustrating when a sudden and unexplainable irritability (or debilitating lethargy) seems to be taking over and for no reason, which makes things very challenging. This makes it very hard for me to be productive as an artist/writer/musician or a clinical supervisor at a shelter (how ironic that I deal with mental illness daily, but you know, the more “conventional” and more “severe” type where it is clear and evident that certain people just can’t function—not this crap where I seem uber normal and uber smart and uber functioning and really I am just really good at either pretending OR because my down moods often don’t last long enough for me to suspect that something is wrong, b/c within just a few hours I am all peachy keen again and I just need to grow up and stop hating everyone and I love my job and yadda yadda yadda.) However, I guess now i am in a state of self-pity at this self discovery, which I will surely get over by some point tomorrow morning, lol, by virtue of my changing moods. Anyway, thanks for posting this blog! (see, starting to get “up” already—w/in minutes–b/c I’m writing this response and feel a little understood). I will explore more of your blog later. Thanks again. :)

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  4. Hi Jessica, welcome to my blog. I found your response very interesting and thank you for sharing. It sounds like we may have some things in common? Indeed. As I always say though, I am not a M.D. so I can’t offer any advice there or any diagnoses!

    I can’t tell you how to feel but I suppose instead of me saying, “…try not to feel bad about realizing this, being in denial etc…” maybe you could look at it another way. Perhaps you could say, “Alright, now maybe I get it. Maybe we’re onto something here and if so, I can get treated better. I can start to feel better.”

    I’m not sure. What do you think?

    And I will agree with you that people who do not have Mood Disorders do not generally act this way? Unless they may be on some kind of illicit substance? Just a bit of humour there…

    I don’t understand why someone would say to you that you have such a great life and that they wished you could enjoy it. That doesn’t make sense to me. They are not living your life. Unless I am mistaken and it is a thought that you had.

    If so, I can understand that feeling. I think it is something we have all felt, regardless of our mental illnesses or diagnoses. It can be a very tough “life” or “existence” but that doesn’t mean that it is not over or worth living. It means that we will have more challenges to face than (probably) most people. I can not say, though. I can not speak for the world’s population. Everyone is different (mentally ill or not!)

    Interesting as well that you too have delved into Buddhism. I find it very inspiring and helpful but then at times when I am in crisis it is so difficult to remember “your teachings” or at least what you have learned! Nowhere in Buddhism have I found out what to do with or how to handle mental illness!

    Well, Trungpa may have some things to say but he was pretty controversial and unconventional. I’ve written about him and Buddhism on my blog but Trungpa was a massive lush! He really loved his booze and actually died from it eventually.

    I don’t think it’s ironic that you work in the mental health profession. Hey, you want to help people! You’re not the first person in that position. I know a blogger like that!

    I’m glad you feel “understood” here. That means a lot and it also means a lot that you thanked me for having this blog, writing this post and that you will come back. Those are huge compliments and I am very flattered.

    Do feel free to come back anytime. This is an open and safe space. Welcome to PAs Pad! It can get pretty “crazy” sometimes but not in a bad way. Just a mental, loony way but that’s alright, right? I blog about other things too–not just mental stuff!

    So be sure to speak to your physicians, okay? Get some good help.

    Take care,
    PA

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  5. Jessica

    Thanks PA! Am definitely getting together w/ a new psych soon. I’m not planning meds but need help sorting through this mess of my moods. Meds never worked well for me and I am “mild” enough to make lifestyle changes that mitigate symptoms. I think being in tune with our needs is important and making necessary changes to remove triggers is my essential “med.” Oh, sorry for being unclear. Someone told me that about my life—that I have a great life but can’t enjoy it and I agree. This time it was different when this person said it, not like the condescending phrases like that from the past. I think because this time it is true and Buddhism helps me to remember not to dwell on things, past or future. But my life is pretty nice…gorgeous cottage we are renting…can see the constellations (not true for most in the NYC metro area), can bask in sun and silence, can have a spare room for creating art and music and poetry, can spend times with family (got so many beautiful loving people in my life), can adore and be adored by my two little doggies… I have a very challenging but very meaningful job where I get to strive to be the social worker I envisioned myself being and helping/supporting both clients and staff…and salary is good, my education is top notch… this is not a bragging session, it is more of an expression of the peace and joy that I do have, the blessings that I do count. And to juxtapose this against the tornadoes of my moods is kind of heartbreaking… Why can’t a girl who has everything she ever wanted be stable? I chose not to use the word /happy/ because in an odd way I am happy. And my conclusion is, “Well, I can’t help that these chemicals in my brain are so shifty.” :) And that’s that. Mostly what triggers it is my job and my 4 hour a day commute. And when I have a lifestyle that is more slowly paced and more full of the arts, that coveted “normal” mood sticks around for so much longer and the changes in mood are so much less drastic and less noticeable. I share this because as obvious as it seems, this is a realization (about important stress-reducing lifestyle changes) that I have only started to really consider and take seriously and maybe it is just what someone else needs. Who knows. Thanks again for your wonderful blog, and for taking the time for such a caring response. I will keep reading!! (PS- no I’m not in a hypomanic mood right now, Lol. )

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  6. Hi Jessica. Oh, you’re welcome. My pleasure! And again, thank you for such wonderful compliments. They mean so much.

    I am glad you will be seeing a new psych soon. I think it is also good that you are realizing that lifestyle changes are an important factor for you in achieving stability. That is actually more than good. It’s great!

    Sometimes it is so hard and we run around in circles, chasing our tails in confusion, not knowing what to do. And true, stress is a very important factor that can lead to situational triggers or stress can be a trigger itself! So if you can reduce it–by all means! I think we should all take heed of that.

    Meds aren’t necessarily for everyone. If you can manage to get by without them, that’s fine. However, if things still are pretty bad, I would suggest (your choice of course) that you go back and try something else. I don’t know what you have tried in the past but there are so many meds out there. I am sure you know this.

    It can be such a long, exhausting, frustrating etc… struggle but if you can find the right med or med combo–wow! It can really help. However, again, I respect people’s own decisions in this area. If they want to go the med-free route, that is up to them.

    I didn’t think you were sounding like you were bragging. You were just describing your life. That is fine. People are free to say whatever they wish here as I said to you. As long as everyone plays nice here. Everyone must get along on PAs Playground!

    So keep working on things (and keep reading–PA getting embarrassed now) and we’ll talk soon.

    Take care,
    PA

    Oh, and here’s a real funny regarding Buddhism and “balance?” I had my one Trungpa book on the end of my bed, I guess and I must have kicked it off in my sleep last night. When I got up, “it” was standing up! Completely straight as if you would find it right on a bookshelf or something!

    I just looked at it and was like…whoa!

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  7. BRUCIFER

    Hey there,I just found out what my illness is called today,and it fits perfect,im not commpairing, but if we were in a race im like a dragster,and you would be the fastest runner on earth.I cycle at the drop of the hat,any thing can trigger it,color,the sunshine,temp change,the wind(yes i said the wind),noise,the very mood im in at the time,can cause a domino effect of mood swings,most of the time resaultting in a rage of diffrent degrees.IM having a moment as i type this, caused by my poor spelling and lack of computer savy,i’m only surviving though sheer will power alone.give me a sec……….ok 4 puffs off a cig & im back,here is a little back round info,I just turned 40 on 6-1-09,my first memory was holdding my breath till id pass out at 3yrs old,I grew up & recall kicking down other kid’s block walls in kidnergarden,I was a nightmare in school,I choked a drill-instructor in merine corp boot-camp,(they let me go on a med-release),all my violent behavior has been do to yrs of ultradian that i never knew how to control,im not sure what my point is here,but its nice to know im not as alone as i thought,and im sorry for your pain(s),i dont believe in god,so i cant bless you,but i can wish you the best in all your indevers,i have seeked help in the past & stoped do to the meds,you have inspired me to try again,thank you!its just hard to explain your-self analisis to a shrink that cant comprehend when you refer to your ailment as”you’r wagon wheel affect” this being the mind races forward,till it hits the speed where it looks to be going in the opposite derection,causing an illussion to take place of a known fact,that indeed the mind is going forward,this sparks confussion,that leads to fear,triggering a defense called RAGE,this is my peril,my daily way of life,my pay back for being born of this world,and falling short of being the god i was intended to be,(ok that was a little over the top,but not competly inaccurate at times).AGAIN THANK YOU ,for taking the time to read this.

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  8. Hi BRUCIFER. Welcome to my blog as with your moniker, well, I don’t think I would forget it. BLOCK CAPS!

    I found what you wrote initially about “comparing” and being “in a race,” quite funny actually. Well, I have a very “off” sense of humour. First, there is no need to “compare” all of ourselves as we are all individuals so sure…don’t worry about that. And the “race!” That’s what really got me going!

    So many bad puns and jokes about “cycling!” Don’t worry. It’s just me. I’m weird, crazy, nuts, beyond the stratosphere but hey. Nice to meet you. *PA extends hand for shake*

    Again, just scrolling back, you’re a dragster and I’m the fastest runner on earth! *laughing* Well, Ultradian Cycling is different for all of us that do cycle in that manner. And further, all mental illnesses vary so much for all of us that have them. The manifestations, I think, are so huge that they are absolutely immeasurable!

    Not to worry about the way you typed up your comment and being computer savvy. Pfft. I don’t give a toss about that here. Hell, I’m overjoyed whenever anyone comments here!

    I am curious about your childhood behaviour and the force, the violence that you inflicted upon yourself and others. It seems like a lot of rage, don’t you think? It has me thinking about something at the moment but I don’t want to mention it right here, right now. It just “sounds” like something to me as well as your hypersensitivity to other elements.

    Are you seeing a physician now for treatment? I did read that you stopped and well, thank you for saying that I have inspired you to try again. *PA tearing up* Sorry BRUCIFER, these comments and exchanges can be pretty tough…for the two that exchange and also even for those that read them?

    Thank you as well for saying you are sorry for my pain(s.) That means a lot. And as you said–you are not alone. At least not here. Please feel free to hang out at PAs Pad. You are more than welcome!

    I am an atheist so I don’t believe in god either but I always appreciate people praying for me as I respect all faiths and belief systems. So, even if you wanted to pray for me, that would be great *wink*

    Now, listen to me. Get help. It is out there and you need it. I do too. And I am getting it. It’s a bitch, meds, mood swings and all of that. You will get it sorted, though. It just may take a while.

    Alright, I will say it because I don’t want to leave you with odd, hanging questions as I have seen it before in other Aspies or people on the Spectrum that also have Bipolar. The serious rage as a child. Sometimes, strange sensitivities to the environment.

    But KNOW THIS! I am not a doctor! Do not take what I say as absolute truth!

    You may want to look into it, now that you are an adult. Reason being, Bipolar as a child is a heavily debated issue. AD(H)D and Asperger’s/Autistic Spectrum Disorders are “Developmental Disorders.” That means you are born with them. Now this is getting complicated and I may regret what I am writing!

    I only know because I have all of them: Bipolar, ADD, Asperger’s (and more…)

    I guess I just couldn’t refrain from the Child Psychiatry aspect of this post. I’m just curious if maybe something else is going on.

    With AD(H)D stims can help. With anything on the Spectrum, it is just “you.” Who you are as a person.

    Even still. Bottom line, please promise me to get to a good Psychiatrist and get some good treatment. You sound like you have a handle on what’s going on in your life and that’s a really fine start.

    And you are more than welcome for me reading this! Hey, it’s my blog! I read everything here. *grin*

    Take care,
    PA

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