I’m not me

I hate this. I’m feeling like I’m not myself again. I don’t know if it’s because I’m eating more salt, which displaces my lithium, or if it’s my hormones as I should start my period any time, but whatever it is, I’m not me.

Looking up dysphoria I think that’s what it is. I hate this.

https://www.verywell.com/what-is-dysphoria-378817

And, it could be hormones or bipolar (or both!!) …. I’m so tired of this, and it’s been going on for less than 24 hours this time.

The last time I remember feeling like this, at least clearly remember, I started picking fights with Johnny.

I just… I am going to repeat myself… I’m tired of this. I hate this.

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It’s Mental Health Awareness Month too…

(Please note, I go into statistics about mental health, which could be upsetting for some. I don’t normally do trigger/content warnings, but with talking about suicide, and doing stats about mental illness and suicide I felt it was important to give a heads up.)

I just found this out today.
It seems fitting to me that lupus and mental health would share a month, especially since they are what I selected to have represented in my Chronic Love Bracelet and they are my two biggest struggles at this point.

I am sitting here trying to decide what to write.

I think first of all… if you are struggling with your mental health, you are not alone. I’m not going to throw statistics around… I just want you to know that you aren’t alone…. there are a lot of us. I personally struggle with bipolar (type 2), anxiety related to my bipolar, and OCD.

Now I think I’ll start throwing around statistics and links.
NAMI’s page of stats.

Oh… NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

http://www.newsweek.com/nearly-1-5-americans-suffer-mental-illness-each-year-230608 have a mental illness.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US. (Source)

Unlike diabetes or cancer there is no medical test that can provide a diagnosis of mental illness. A health care professional can do a number of things in an evaluation including a physical exam and long term monitoring to rule out any underlying medical conditions that may be causing symptoms. Once other medical conditions are ruled out, a person might be referred to a mental health professional that will use The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth addition (DSM-5), to make a diagnosis. The DSM-5, published by the American Psychiatric Association lists criteria including feelings, symptoms and behaviors over a period of time that a person must meet in order to be officially diagnosed with an illness. – See more at: https://www.nami.org/Find-Support/Living-with-a-Mental-Health-Condition/Understanding-Your-Diagnosis#sthash.1R5rXebT.dpuf (Source – with other info on the process, and on diagnosis in general)

Bipolar statistics.

At least 25 – 50% of bipolar patients attempt suicide at least once.

There is hope.

Myth: Recovery from bipolar disorder is not possible. Reality: Appropriate treatment can allow a person to have a meaningful, fulfilling life. For years, bipolar disorder was viewed as a permanent, untreatable problem. People were more likely to be locked away than given the opportunity for recovery. Significantly, today the focus is on wellness and reintegration into society. Despite having a persistent illness, a person can achieve substantial improvement in managing symptoms and lead a productive, fulfilling life.

Up to 80% of those treated for depression show an improvement in their symptoms generally within four to six weeks of beginning medication, psychotherapy, attending support groups or a combination of these treatments. (National Institute of Health, 1998)

It is possible to have romantic relationships.

I’ve been battling my mind

My mind and I have been battling lately. I’ve been on the depressed side of things, thanks to my bipolar. It has been really difficult to function lately, and I’ve been doing the bare minimum of what needs to be done because of how bad it’s been. Yesterday and today I’ve been doing better again, thankfully. I feel more like me again.

Depression and Anxiety

I was going through my feed on facebook today and came across this post about anxiety and depression. I thought it was interesting… especially when I got to some of the explanations of what depression and anxiety are…

Some of them really hit home with me.

Depression can be oversleeping, lashing out at friends for no reason and sinking into self-destruction that you’re too transparent to care about. Depression is hopelessness, guilt and restlessness.

That’s my depression. There’s a lot more to it, but that is a basic description of my depression. I may come back and edit more descriptions of depression in later…. but for now I’ll leave it with that.

Anxiety is feeling like somebody is sitting on your chest, pinning you to the ground, to the point where you’re unable to breathe.

Anxiety is feeling alone and out of place in groups of more than three people who you’re not fully familiar with. Are they judging you? Do they secretly hate you?

Anxiety is waiting for somebody to acknowledge you or invite you into the conversation before you talk, even if you’ve been there for an hour and had so many things to say, simply because you can’t bare to make the first move or put yourself out there. Don’t get me wrong, you wan’t to put yourself out there so bad… but there’s something inside of you that will physically and mentally not allow you to.

Those….. those are my anxiety. I’m not even sure what else to say about my anxiety. That last one has been me for my whole life. I’ve been called shy because of it, and I suppose that’s what it is too, because I am introverted, but honestly, I’m just anxious about making the first move.

Me, I’m not

The title comes from one of my favorite songs…..

I find it really fitting because when my moods start swinging I do not feel like myself at all.  It feels like someone else is running the show.

I had a depression cycle start up over the weekend (at least, that’s when I’m sure it was happening, it may have started earlier than that and I don’t realize it) and it’s hitting really hard today. I’ve got the irritability and intense need to cry, as well as being ready to cry at anything. This isn’t me. This has me so frustrated. Hopefully the antidepressant increase I’ve got happening will kick in soon and I’ll start feeling better, but it could be a couple more weeks for that to happen. I see my psych tomorrow, so at least we’ll be on the same page.

I suspect my period is getting ready to show it’s face too……. that seems to always bring depression with it nowadays.

 

In the meantime – depression sucks ass and so does bipolar.

So this day last year Johnny and I tried to go on a date. I got all dressed up (in the same clothes I’m wearing today coincidentally, which is huge, I’ll go into why later)…. and promptly became ill while driving. I can’t remember if we ended up doing anything later in the evening or not, but I don’t think we did.

Jenny sick 4 14 16
All dressed up and can’t go out.

 

It’s huge that I’m in the same outfit, because between psych meds, lupus meds, and pregnancy I’ve spent nearly 7 years going up and down in weight so much that I went from a size 3 to a size XL (11/13 I believe is what XL is here in the US)… and back and forth… mostly in the middle, which is where I am now. My weight has seesawed and I’ve been all over the place. The fact my weight has been close enough for me to be in the same clothes is huge!

I did lose 14lbs when I was hospitalized last summer, so there was that drop between this picture and now. There was probably more of a drop than that since I’d been fighting the c. diff for awhile before that, but hey, the clothing still fits, and I’m excited about that!

 

I’m now a healthy and happy 130 (or there about)!!!!!!!!!!!