Wednesday, September 5, 2012


You would never know it to see me, but I have left my hypomanic phase and am becoming more depressed. It seems as if my bipolar cycle may have been significantly lengthened by my new medication, which is great. I just feel very sad inside.

There are also several other reasons for me to feel down. My oldest is moving out, and the younger ones are back at school. Changes like this can cause "situational" depression, and that might be all that this is.

So...what do I do to fight this? It's hard to get motivated, but today I e-mailed my supporters (I have two friends who check my Moodscope scores daily, and contact me regularly) and promised them that I will:

1. Shower and shave.
2. Get outside.
3. Get some exercise.
4. Eat five small, healthy meals.
5. Do something nice for myself.
6. Do deep breathing exercises.
7. Do something social.
8. Do my physiotherapy exercises.
9. Get at least eight hours of sleep tonight.

Having friends you can rely on is a powerful motivator. Anyone who has depressive episodes needs someone they can confide in, and to help guide them when their thinking gets foggy.

For me, getting enough sleep is the most important factor in fighting depression. I tend to get anxious as depression sets in, and stay up far too late, or get up far too early (also a symptom of my hypomania). So, I took anti-anxiety medication the other night.

A funny thing happened - I walked in my sleep for (I think) the first time in my life. I thought I was in a race, so I ran - right into a wall. That's when I woke up. Ouch.

I've fixed that little problem by taking less of the medication, and doing deep breathing exercises at bedtime. I always like to err on the side of less medication, and should have tried that first.

The combination of deep breathing and a small dose of the medication seems to work. This morning my kids (thank god I've got responsible kids!) woke me up. They had eaten breakfast and gotten themselves ready for school, and wanted to let me rest. My alarm had malfunctioned (the battery died), but my anxiety usually ensures that I'm up by 6:00AM regardless. Today I made it to 7:30. That's nine hours of sleep.

It was a really good sleep, and that is great medicine. I'm thinking that I will feel much better tomorrow. :)

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