CommunityPam's House Blend

A Week Of The Debilitating Side Of Bipolar II ½

In my occasional discussions of being Bipolar II ½ (cyclothymic disorder), Image: BrainI discuss the limitations that come with this mental health condition. This past week I got to experience one type of the limitations.

So let me back up a couple of weeks or so. In recent weeks I’ve had what I’ll label as “productive hypomania“:

Hypomania represents the lesser degree of mania. Hypomania is characterized by cheerfulness, increased confidence, increased goal directed activity, decreased need for sleep, over-grooming, disinhibition, etc.

Through NetRoots Nation, I experienced that productive hypomania. The day after I returned home, I experienced  what I’d label as significant “energy depression.” In this past week I’ve had many of the physical symptoms of depression, such as being extremely tired (with lots of sleeping), and a kind of in a “brain fog” — very hard to think clearly. I feel  physically like I’m like I do when emotionally depressed, without actually being — or feeling — emotionally depressed. It’s an odd state to be in, for sure. Fortunately I know from past experience that this kind of non-depression depression passes with time.

That said, I’m medically retired specifically because…well, sometimes the unproductive kind of hypomania (extreme restlessness, mind racing through thoughts, easy distractibility, and even pressured speech), as well as the different forms of depression I experience, leave me with with little ability to be productive. So physical depression, but not mental depression, left me unproductive this past week.

I appear to be coming out of my physical depression. This could just as easily be a small spike upwards; however, in a slower climb out of physical depression — I just won’t know until I’m all the way through this phase.

Anywho, I’m talking about my Bipolar II ½ condition because just like being out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender can be societally stigmatizing, so can having a mental illness be societally stigmatizing. I’m being out as Bipolar II ½ for pretty much the same reason I’m out as transgender — being out changes the world.

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Autumn Sandeen

Autumn Sandeen