advertisement

Depression – Breaking Bipolar

Natasha Tracy
I feel like I'm a professional patient right now -- a professional patient being one who has found that maintaining their health is a full-time job. This is not a job I applied for, not one I accepted, and not one I want. In fact, being a professional patient might be the worst job one can have. So, let's talk about being a professional patient, how to live with it and how to get through it.
Natasha Tracy
It's hard to know how bad a bipolar episode is when you're living it. That's because it's your brain that is sick. It is your perception that is skewed. Other people may look at you and think it's clear how sick you are and how truly bad a bipolar episode is, but these people are fundamentally missing the problem: you're so sick that you can't see how sick you are.
Natasha Tracy
Sometimes sleep is the only escape from depression in bipolar disorder. I know that sounds bleak, but it's true. Depression can be a horrifically painful, possibly lethal and endlessly attacking illness. Severe depression can feel unbearable to live with. That's why people are looking for an escape. It's completely natural. And while, for the average person just experiencing sadness, escape might be found through a myriad of things, sometimes sleep is the only escape from depression.
Natasha Tracy
Because of bipolar and depression, I have a lack of motivation. Lack of motivation is not technically a symptom of depression according to the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition" ("DSM-5"), but in my experience, it's highly correlated. I must admit, I harshly judge this as being a personal flaw. Here's a look at how depression and a lack of motivation are linked and how a lack of motivation isn't really a personal flaw at all.
Natasha Tracy
It is hard to set goals when you're anhedonic because of depression. In fact, many times it feels impossible. When you don't feel any pleasure, why have a goal? And it's not like the other symptoms of depression lend themselves to goals either, so it's no wonder people have problems setting goals with depression-driven anhedonia.
Natasha Tracy
COVID-19 vaccine refusal could be related to depression. I know there might not seem to be a link there, but I suspect there is. Depression could affect how a person feels about getting a vaccine for a number of reasons, and it may lead all the way up to vaccine refusal thanks to depression.
Natasha Tracy
In my last post, I talked about how I experience depression as anger or rage. In this post, I'm going to talk about how to handle anger or rage that is really depression in disguise.
Natasha Tracy
Anger or rage can actually be depression in disguise. I've learned this the hard way. Sometimes I walk around wanting to punch someone in the face because I'm so angry -- when I have absolutely nothing to be angry about. But the fact of the matter is, while the feelings of anger or rage are real, the cause is not always anger, per se, but depression. Depression has disguised itself as anger or rage.
Natasha Tracy
I'm wondering if what I want matters with bipolar. It feels like it doesn't. This is because one of the main coping skills I use is called "act the opposite." This coping skill is pretty widely known. It simply means to do what you bipolar doesn't want you to do. This is a way of fighting against the detrimental effects bipolar can have on your life. But after years of "acting the opposite," I'm left wondering if what I want matters at all with bipolar.
Natasha Tracy
It's hard to look forward with bipolar disorder sometimes. Sure, if you happen to be hypomanic, or manic even, looking forward might make you feel great. You might feel like your hope is boundless and your life is limitless. If, however, you are in a depression, or even if you're euthymic (not in a bipolar mood episode), you might find looking forward with bipolar to be very hard indeed. I'm here to say, though, while it can be hard to be positive about the future with bipolar, it isn't impossible to see a glimmer or two on the horizon.