Maybe it’s just me, but I find the bipolar depression after a hypomania to be much worse than your average, daily depression. Post-hypomania depression is the way you pay for a hypomania (at least for me) and hypomania is very, very expensive.
You may have noticed that I didn’t post last week. Well, that was thanks to a dramatic hypomanic episode followed by a complete collapse of my brain. The hypomania had crept in over several days, so slowly, that I honestly hadn’t noticed it. I was lulled into believing that things were just going well. I was just thinking really quickly. I was just being really productive. I was just writing a lot. My brain was just firing really, really well.
I realized something was wrong after I incessantly babbled to myself for an hour and a half without taking a breath. So I did what I always did – I took some sleeping medication and went to bed. (This is just what I do, I’m not suggesting it for others.) Unfortunately, unlike what usually happens, I couldn’t sleep. The hypomania was so pronounced that it just prevented sleep almost all night long.
The Depression after a Hypomania Collapses My Brain
And when I said my brain collapsed afterward, I mean it absolutely collapsed. Really, that’s what it feels like. It feels like my brain implodes and I’m incapable of even sitting upright let alone writing and being productive. It is so physically disabling that I can barely move. People who think mental illness is “all in your head” should be in my body for a minute in that state and it would eradicate all such stupid thoughts.
And since that time, I have been in a very bad way. I realize that’s not very descriptive but it’s really how it works. It’s a combination of pain, suffering, extreme and unending fatigue, suicidality and physical phantom pains. It’s slowed cognition and difficulty thinking and fear that my brain is so unpredictable that I can’t leave the house.
I deal with depression on a regular basis and I’m absolutely clear on the fact that depression after a hypomania is oh, so much worse.
What to Do about a Depression after a Hypomania
The best way you can handle depression after a hypomania is to avoid it. I suppose that’s obvious. For me, if I had of recognized it earlier I would have done my best to bring myself down earlier, hopefully avoiding such a pronounced depression afterward.
However, since I wasn’t that insightful, the only thing I can do (that I know of) is to wait it out. I just go to bed each night and say that it will be a bit better tomorrow. And, when possible, I try to rely on other people to do things like get me out of the house and lend a listening ear to how I’m feeling (that really does help).
I wish there was something else I can offer, but to the best of my knowledge, beating beaten by bipolar happens and there’s very little you can do about it. Just wait out the pain and pray to return to baseline.
Note: If you do find yourself in an unpredictable and unusual mood, you should always contact your healthcare provider. You do want someone knowledgeable to know what’s going on and possibly adjust your treatment.