I’m not sure if the two are related, but as I mentioned at the end of my last post I was recently diagnosed as having Bipolar 2. It was a surprise and it wasn’t if that makes sense. I’ve known something was off in my head since my teens. I knew my moods weren’t just normal teenage angst and that knowledge was confirmed as I got older. The anger and hatred from my teens just dwindled down into depression more than anything. Not wanting to wake up and face the day and just not wanting to wake up at all became the norm for me.
My father was bipolar and he self-medicated with alcohol. He was a full-blown alcoholic up until his death at the age of 39. May 23, 2019 marked 15 years since his suicide. My mom and I have always known my sister was bipolar because of the rash decisions she tends to make without thinking things through as well as her temper. With me it’s been different. I don’t have mania. I told my psychiatrist it’s like there’s a straight line on which I’m trying to keep my balance and at any moment I can slip and fall into a depression that lasts for weeks or months. That was the remark that made us re-think my diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder. We both discovered that instead I suffer from Bipolar 2 Disorder, which is different from Bipolar 1, the one people tend to associate with more when they think “bipolar.”
According to “Medical News Today” Bipolar 2 is described as such:
“People with bipolar II disorder do not experience true manic episodes, where their mood and energy levels are so high that it causes trouble with work and socializing and may cause psychosis. Some individuals with bipolar I disorder have to be hospitalized during periods of mania.
“However, this does not make bipolar II disorder less severe than bipolar I disorder. In bipolar II disorder, the depressive episodes are similar to those in bipolar I disorder and cause significant disruption to the person’s daily life for an extended time.”
My symptoms fit as well. I feel agitated and get agitated easily. I often have an inability or decreased need to sleep, which is followed by sleeping the day away (12+ hours of non-stop sleeping.) I notice that I talk too much during my episodes of hypomania. I used to drink a shit ton, which I’ve stopped doing just as a personal choice. My marijuana usage has decreased as well since I’ve been prescribed different medication to help with my mood.
Of course we all know the depressive symptoms: feelings of sadness, emptiness, and hopelessness; loss of interest in activities (I enjoy going for walks at least twice a day, which I’d not been doing for quite some time); decreased energy; weight loss or weight gain (I’ve always struggled with my weight. I tend to eat my feelings); and suicidal thoughts or tendencies. For some time all I was thinking about was, “What if I just ended it all? It’d be simple and easy to do. I have a gun. Just one pull of the trigger and it all goes away.”
I introduced Zeal and Ardor in my last post as a way of leading into this. I’m the King of the Segue.