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Re: Hypomania for a day katia

Posted by Barbaracat on October 20, 2004, at 12:20:00

In reply to Re: Hypomania for a day, posted by katia on October 20, 2004, at 2:04:47

Katia,
Oh good, you found Best Friends! I love their approach, focus on the heart-warming stories of the goodness of these little creatures instead of the horror stories. When I get a mailing from Best Friends, I look forward to opening it knowing I'm not going to be hit in the gut with pictures and stories of trajedy. They always get my money because it feels good to support their work.

Best Friends is doing so much good and passing on this positive activism concept. I frequently ask myself the question 'well, do you want to handle this situation the Best Friends way or the PETA way?' Same intention, different approach. Who are you sponsoring?

About tricyclics: I first went on good old Elavil in my 20's, before there were SSRIs. It made me feel zonked. Tried a few others with the same effect. They lifted my depression but I hated the constant dopeyness. I don't know why nortriptyline is different but I get no cognitive side effects at all, just the dry mouth and constipation. But so far the lowest dose 25mg along with St. John's and lithium has elevated things nicely, although I'm still dealing with panic attacks now and then.

Panic disorder is the bane of my life. I'll go through a cycle of feeling suffocated, heart pounding, impending doom and insanity. It's hard to hear my own voice talking myself down. Usually at night when I'm trying to sleep. So, I'll just get up, read, take a benzo and be very good to myself until it passes, knowing that it eventually will. I used to doubt that I'd ever come out of it, 'this time I won't survive it' which escalates the adrenaline. I don't know if it's tied in to my 'bipolar dx' or a separate issue. BTW, tricyclics do not seem to aggravate hypomania the way SSRIs do.

I know about that wild energy. It pushes you, compells you to do something to express it, to show off, to entertain, to 'fix things', like a divine calling to inspire people to get off their duffs and be alive. It feels very alive and buzzing. So many gifted people, artists, actors, authors, etc., are bipolar and when you're hot, you're hot. And when you're not, you're not. Like you said, one day the energy is simply not there anymore and all the projects, all the promises made, all the good intentions, fall by the wayside uncompleted. You feel like a shell of this persona that people people have come to expect.

That's where my shame comes in, feeling like a flake afterwards because I can't follow through with commitments I made to others while in this expansive state. I can't call up the funnyness, the creativity, the motivation, and I feel drab.

What are the people like you spend most of your time with, like your friends, or at the restaurant? Is it an environment that supports the quiet introspective and sensitive Katia as well? Do you feel like you can be yourself, whoever that might be at the time? I personally think that waitressing is a great job for bipolars. You can be so many things. Just as long as you have the option to go and hide on the off no-energy days.

I think that alot of my conga, christmas carol days were a healthy but overboard response to working in a repressive high-tech corporate environment. It was like this rebellious adolescent took over and delighted in the shock value. Of course, it was hard to maintain the required professional stuffy image once you've pulled the CEO up to belly dance with you at a corporate function. Glad I'm out of that environment. It was sucking my soul dry.

You know, Katia, I definitely think that things that go haywire have a biophysical component that can be helped with meds. But it's not the whole story. There are so many aspects to us that need to be given voice. Who has the time and money to go through intense psychotherapy? That's where my spiritual practices and journalling help. The deeper I go, the more I reach that wall of pain and terror that must be dealt with one way or the other. I believe it's that bound up energy block that generates the imbalanced mood states, especially my panic disorder.

Sometimes when I'm feeling brave and centered, I go into that scary place in my meditations, try to just be with it and help it to feel safe and not so constricted. It's the best practice I know of but I haven't done it in a while. - Barbara


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URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/20041018/msgs/405126.html