Posted by Sean on August 9, 1999, at 12:18:56
In reply to Sean/andrewb and Susan. Hints for your down days!, posted by Cynthia on August 8, 1999, at 23:35:52
Thanks for the tips. From everything I've read,
the AD's do quicken the cycle. I can actually
feel my circadian clock shift earlier and earlier
(usually my clock is getting later and later)
and then I need to stop for a few days.
The depression side is the main problem for me
too. When I get hyper ideas, I just don't do anything
for a couple of weeks. If it still looks good,
then I pursue it. Of course by the time I realized
my moods were driving everything, I'd already
dropped in and out of grad school twice... I
would be willing to bet most people with strong
mood cycles have "colorful" academic histories.
I gained lots of weight on Lithium, and it seemed
to work better for the ups than the downs. The
magic combo was Li + TCA for a while but I
developed heart arrythmias, which while not life
threatening, were not fun and gave me headaches
from the changes in blood pressure or something.
Am thinking about the light therapy thing. I'm
pretty convinced that part of what is going on is
a dysregulation of the circadian clocks, so
anything that can help stabilize that might be
key. It's always too much sleep or too little!
Gotta go now,
> Hi Sean, Andrew and Susan,
> I discovered mine after seeking help for a 'knock the life right out of me depression' - which was in February, probrably my Seasonal Affective Disorder (I find it interesting that you have this too Sean). This depression was so big that just before I sought help I couldn't even wake up for more than 20 minutes a day; At the time I didn't really know what depression was or could be, and I honestly thought I must be dying of some kind of physical disease and called an ambulance to come get me. Once this mostly cleared up many moons later, and I was now educated and aware of what moods were and how to spot them, there was that very farmilar rapid cycling coming and going like clockwork. I can trace them very clearly back to my late teens and very early 20s, like you Sean. I remember trying to go to bed and get some sleep but I'd just be bursting with ideas some nights, then the next morning I'd wake up with a great deal of struggle, and try to figure out why I had no desire to get out of bed to do what I was so excited about the night before.
> So Sean, I was in my very late 20s when depression finally won the war and I enlisted myself into psychiatry. Don't quote me on this but I think I remember hearing or reading that when a woman is bipolar, they struggle more with the depression part of the disorder than men do. That's coming from the recesses of my brain and I'm no scientist.
> I'm feeling not Greater and Greater, but better and better and it's quite the relief. I don't think I've ever felt normal so this is all new and exciting to me - although I know I used to look at 'normal' people and think 'oh my god, how boring'.
> HINTS - for dealing with the down side of cyclothymia if you don't want to take a mood stabilizer. This is what has helped me.
> 1. try light therapy on your down days. I borrowed one from a doctor to make sure it worked before I bought my own.
> 2. I'm on dexedrine for my ADD (one woman/many disorders). Not only does this work wonders for my ADD, but it helped me be a busy productive person on my down days. I didn't necessarily feel better but I'd get so much done, that I'd feel good about this, and that in turn would help affect my moods, and this started a very positive cycle.
> Those are my hints,
> Susan, I like lithium, it pretty well works within a couple of days. I could sell that drug. I could also sell Dexedrine.
> Andrewb, I'm curious as to whether you have also noticed a seasonal rhythm to your moods?
> peace, love, and wonderful enjoyable highs.