Posted by barbaracat on March 21, 2005, at 18:40:37
In reply to Re: Dysphoric Mania, posted by MoparFan91 on February 22, 2005, at 21:05:21
Interesting thread - I've always wondered how others experience this strange condition. My mixed states are similar to yours. Very nightmarish, anguished sorrow. I refer to them as Edgar Allen Poe lost in a graveyard on bad acid. Been having them for the last 30 years, used to be one every few years or so which, for no other term, always called my 'black depressions' to distinguish them from the milder 'sludgey depressions'. I only knew that these other kinds were quite different from anything I'd read or hear about and no one seemed to know what I was talking about. Not depressed but not your classic constant schizoprehnic either.
As I got older and neared menopause they picked up in intensity and frequency and for about a year I was in a continuous mixed/panic state that landed me in the hospital. No one connected bipolar at this time and I was taking high doses of Zoloft. Hah! If I only knew what I know today!
Mixed states are always agitated, wailing, ultra sensitive affairs. Dank, lonely, haunted. Existential angst at the control of an insane god. So alone in it because I'm afraid I'll infect others with my morbidity. I worry constantly that my loved ones will die, have OCD like ruminations about coming home and seeing my cats lying smashed in the road, my husband getting into a fatal car wreck on his way to the local supermarket. Visions of loss, the pain and anxiety of immanent loss. Unfortunately these things come true sometimes. My mother was killed by a car while out walking while I was in the midst of one of these things.
I hear lobsters screaming in the supermarkets, road kill can undo me, I'm devastated by world news, ecological distasters, scenes of clear cuts near my house. Everything painful is amplified and sometimes I can't stop crying, in stores, on the streets. It's like all my soothing filters have vanished and there's no one, no one who can understand or help me. Even meds abandon me. Benzos become like speed. Handfulls of Ambien do nothing for my insomnia. The ONLY things that help somewhat are alcohol (which I've learned the hard way does NOT help) and opiods. Taking a hydrocodone will bring me down as long as it lasts and then it's back to the same.
My journal at this time is my only friend and my therapist. My writings during these raving times are some of my best but I don't remember writing those things.
I feel and look weird and wired. I think people sense that I'm 'different' and keep their distance - which I feel acutely as rejection. At times I tune into an extremely psychic wavelength, and very accurately so, but have made the mistake of telling others unsolicited psychic advice who then permanently place me in the 'wacko' or even 'demonic' category. Well, it does feel demonic. There's an evil aura about it. The worst part is that I cannot feel any connection to the Light or to Spirit. It is ultimate aloneness.
Something electrical sensitivey occurs at this time, I can't explain it any other way. I feel currents of electricity, feel as though my sensors/antennas pick up fields of information that is extremely disturbing, but real, by God. Stuck on 'Fear Factor'. The difficulty is that these awful things ARE happening in the world so it's not hallucinations or paranoia. It's just that the normal buffering layer isn't there and I'm left a raw quivering nerve who doesn't sleep, paces, wails, is irritable and says anything and everything that my urgency senses is important. I've lost quite a few friends during these times.
Lithium has stopped these mixed states better than anything. Didn't have much luck on Seroquel or Zyprexa. Certainly sound like schizoid states that SHOULD be helped by an antipsychotic, but are not. They take away some of the agitation but not the raw sorrow and anguish. It feels so remarkably weird and bizarre and fanstastic. I'm both intrigued, want to know more, and hope to God I never experience one again. - BarbaraCat
> According to my experience, my mixed states present the following symptoms:
> Self-rage and damaging my own belongs
> Extremely agitated and wanting to jump out of my skin
> Self-injury and cutting
> Things and people occasionally having a nightmarish quality to them
> Being anxiety-ridden, tense, and scared
> Suicidal impulses
> Certain kinds of music (whether from my stereo or in my head) makes me go crazy and bang my head on the table or wall
> Paranoia or thinking that others are against me
> Feelings that no one likes me
> Feeling removed from everyone and lost in a bad world
> Mental torturing with bad, scary thoughts in part due to the OCD
> I have problems with OCD along with the Bipolar, and when OCD symptoms happen during a mixed state, it can turn real ugly real fast. It's like my mind is 'sticking' and 'locking on' to certain bad thoughts, and they push me down further in the abyss and make me more anxious/agitated. It's next to impossible to get out of this state because of this.
> > i used to have purely "white" manias-- high energy, euphoric, magnetic, energizer bunny states that lasted months. i'd get so much done and feel so great, and people would inquire whether i was on amphetamines or wonder how i got everything done and didn't sleep.
> I tend to get hypomanias where I feel boundless energy, elated, and laugh at about even the silliest things. I put a funny twist on everything. It's like feeling a little high (on some nitrous acid, or 'laughing gas'). I talk and talk and talk. I've acted obnoxious at times in this state.
> > when i had my first really serious depressive episode and was put on lexapro, it put me in a really bad place. the depression was blacker than ever, but while it had been the lethargic sort before, it became super-agitated akathisia like depression. this was nyc, and i used to go up to the roofs of high buildings with strong urges to throw myself off, partly from depression, and partly just because i felt so much agitation that i couldn't get away from myself. i had psychotic symptoms-- paranoid delusions that my room was bugged and people on the street would shoot me; visual hallucinations of blood and body parts; auditory hallucinations telling me to hurt myself. was this a dysphoric mania or a mixed state or an agitated depression? antidepressants in general tend to do bad things to me, especially without a strong mood stabilizer. the SSRIs are the worst, like for you.
> I'm sorry to hear what you went through. It's a really bad feeling. I hope you're doing better.
> What you had above was definitely a mixed state. A mixed can feel like a form of akathisia to me. It's like wounded in a cage trying to get out but can't.
> Even on mood stabilizers, I became (hypo)manic on them. Eventually, I got to mood cycling faster and more fiercely on them, though the depression was better overall.
> > finally, i've recently had high energy states where i've felt cabin fever and had to keep moving and cleaning and doing. i couldn't sit still but wasn't doing anything that productive. it wasn't a white mania; i was definitely irritable, which isn't like me. i couldn't sleep, but unlike mania, where i don't feel the need to sleep, this was like depression where i wanted to sleep but couldn't. my energy level was high, but it was too much for my mood to handle in a way. is this dysphoric mania?
> This is more like Dysphoric HypoMania to me. Irritability is a main component.
> > these are some of the states i've had. thoughts?
> Your agitated depression experience sounded very similar to what I went through before. Many times, I've felt like driving off a bridge in these states. Mixed States are more like impulsive depression or depression on Speed.