Changing Moods in Bipolar Disorder: Sorting out Feelings

Amy Dodd Pilkington Changing Moods in Bipolar Disorder Sorting out Feelings

I’m finding it hard to sit down and write out how I feel. I’m finding it hard to keep my head high when dealing with judgment. I’m finding it hard to deal with hateful attitudes and rude commentary. I’m just finding it hard to deal with recent changing moods in bipolar disorder.

I’m finding it hard to accept that most people don’t care about others’ feelings. I’m finding it hard to swallow that people are content to degrade and humiliate others. I’m finding it hard to deal with people. That’s what it boils down to.

Depressive episodes and panic attacks

I have been dealing with a depressive episode. I’ve been trying to handle the return of panic attacks, and I’ve been trying to maintain a balance that keeps me from falling to the darkest depths of depression. I have good days and bad. Thankfully those bad days aren’t extremely low, but they are worthy of attention for monitoring.

My unhealthy coping mechanism of choice is anger. I have been working to correct this and identify another way to cope, but this is currently the only way I can fight severe depression. It has become a survival tactic, unfortunately. In my defense I am getting better at controlling my anger as I try to get a handle on a depressive episode. It was tested yesterday and I feel I managed to stifle my feelings better than I should have.

Hiding normal mood changes in bipolar disorder

It’s not fair that I must have a better handle on my emotions than other people. I’m not allowed to have emotions without someone proclaiming I am out of control and need help because they think people with bipolar disorder aren’t supposed to have normal emotions. I’m human. I have emotions. It’s not okay for you to gaslight me into a normal reaction and then scream something is wrong with me for reacting. It’s not okay.

I know some are going to say I need a med change. I don’t. My mood stabilizer generally works very well with only the occasional issue. I go years without more than a blip here and there, and this blip does not mean it has stopped working. This is temporary.

Handling bigger changes in moods in bipolar disorder

I did add in something (temporarily) to deal with acute panic attacks, but adding an antidepressant is something I avoid until I become suicidal. Why? It triggers mania which has its own set of problems. Besides, mania is temporary and it comes right back down and gets worse.

Antidepressants caused a psychotic break in the past. At least one of my psychotic breaks was directly the result of taking an antidepressant. I never want to experience psychosis again. I have never felt so close to death as I did caught in the midst of a psychotic break. It’s like living in a horror movie and waiting to die.

Coping with changing moods in bipolar disorder

Years ago when I went by atorturedsoul I spent a great deal of time identifying triggers and developing coping mechanisms like the whole unhealthy anger thing. There are plenty of other ways I work to try to get myself back on track, and I have always managed to get back on track because I am vigilant.

I am currently working to get rid of the anxiety that fuels depressive episodes. I am distancing myself from things that give me anxiety. I did this a few years back and have cut people and things loose here and there as needed. It has been a while since I did a major culling of potential triggers, and I am working on that now.

Stability is a range and not a set point

One of the biggest factors fueling my anxiety right now is hormonal, and that’s not going to fix itself any time soon. (Getting old sucks.) I am going to have to find a way to manage it until it sorts itself out and that could be years. It means I am going to have to put in a lot of work to identify coping mechanisms to stay within an acceptable range.

I think a lot of people don’t understand that. There isn’t a single point that is considered stable. It’s a range. And it’s possible to temporarily slip just outside of that range and slide right back in and continue like it never happened. I don’t consider myself unstable until I am terribly depressed or more than hypomanic for a couple of days. Minor episodes happen just like someone without bipolar disorder can have bad days and off days. It’s the same for me.

Monitoring changing moods in bipolar disorder

I can say I stepped outside my comfort zone recently. I have had to carefully monitor my moods for a while now. Would I consider myself unstable? At this time, no, but I did have a brief time when I was a bit unstable. I am having more good days now as I am working very hard to tackle anxiety-causing issues – like not being able to deal with people and the hateful nature of people in general. I’ll keep distancing myself from negativity until I can handle it better.

Anyway, if you’re having a hard time know that you’re not alone. Know that I am here if you need an ear. I’m here, and I’m on your side.

Read more below.


♫ ‘Cause I just feel so tired
Like it’s move or slowly die
You say, you ain’t you when you’re like this
This ain’t you and you know it
But ain’t that just the point? ♫ – Drugs by Eden

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