Easy Does It

6 Jan 2021
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There are wonderful times when the depression lifts.

I hope, for you too, depression is not a permanent state – although I know for many it is long term and can seem like a whole-life prison sentence without reprieve.

I’m lucky in that respect. My bipolar disorder means although I am unlikely ever to be free of these periods of depression, they are intermittent and these days, thanks to medication, less frequent and of shorter duration than formerly.

I came out of this one on 28th December; it lasted 24 days and seemed like forever. While it lasted, it was completely incapacitating. My husband and children shopped, cooked and cleaned while I wandered around in a fog and forgot everything they told me within ten minutes. I tried to carry on working, but it was impossible, and I had to write to my clients explaining I was ill and would not be available until further notice.

But it lifted. On 28th December I awoke clear-headed; the fog had gone. My body was my own again. Suddenly, I could feel my fingertips at the end of my arms - which were of normal length. I wanted to jump and laugh and celebrate. But I couldn’t, because my legs were still wobbly. The energy levels are taking a while to catch up.

It is frustrating because, of course; all the tasks I wanted to do in December are still there; they haven’t gone away. The difference is that now I can see them again, without the fog, and I’m feeling overwhelmed. Quite frankly, it’s depressing!

I texted a friend about this. “So much has been neglected while I have been ill,” I said.

“Not neglected,” she replied. “Reprioritised, and rightly so.

“You must recover fully,” she continued. “It’s important to get your foundations strengthened first.”

She’s right. If it had been the ‘flu, or covid, I would not expect to bounce back immediately; I would take it slowly and give myself time to recuperate. I might take a measured return to work: part time to begin with. I might sit down and read a book with the cat on my lap. I would not berate myself for taking the time to convalesce.

So often we, who might know better, still refuse to treat our depression as a real illness. We think of it as being only mental and emotional, and do not appreciate the full effect it has on the body. Depression is often physical as well as mental and emotional: it is a whole-body illness.

So, let’s be gentle on ourselves. I know this is easier to say than to do but we should take this lesson to heart. Live every moment; take baby steps; set small, easily achievable goals.

Today I will go through my emails. Tomorrow I will reconcile my bank statement. Small, needful tasks; I won’t ask anything more of myself.

We recover faster if we take it slowly, wherever we are in our illness.

Mary

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. Posts and comments on the blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.

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Comments

Molly

Jan. 6, 2021, 1:03 a.m.

HI Mary The joy of bipolar. I can relate a little, having cyclothymia. I don’t really get the highs anymore but I remember when I did. Coming out of a depression and feeling like I was capable of anything. Looking in the mirror, thinking I looked great and that I could attract anyone even the famous! I think you did the right thing with work. If you don’t take a step back then you are on the way to disaster. Work wise for me I crashed in a heap. Not so much because of my issues but I suppose I got too involved with my boss’s issues which were in the public domain. Due to my vulnerability and depression, I just didn’t cope very well. This wasn’t my fault but I still think I should have taken the time out that I needed and turned my phone off! You are your own boss so you are in control and I am sure your clients understand. We really do need to prioritise our health. I’m glad you are out of the black hole. Molly xx

Reply

Kristin

Jan. 6, 2021, 7:06 a.m.

Well said Molly, I agree that we must be kind to ourselves and not put too much pressure on ourselves as we emerge from depression. Thank you for sharing Mary (like you, I also have Bipolar 2, and emerged from the most recent depression around the 22nd December just in time to contribute to making Christmas as good as possible for my family, but the previous two months from mid- October I also relied on my husband and grown up daughter and son to support me with everyday chores while I didn't have the strength to get out of bed or was distressed and angry with the local mental health system and desperately trying to access the professional help I needed at that time) At this difficult time I had to contact my employers and let them know that I was unwell and unable to work until I was back in recovery and I wasn't sure how long this would be (fortunately I am employed on a temporary basis where I am offered shifts for the month ahead and have the option to say whether I can work any or none) I did have to accept within a year of diagnosis that I would have to leave my long term career in the NHS to protect myself and the public for times when I couldn't perform at the standard expected and this was (and still is to a certain extent) very upsetting. I am in receipt of my NHS pension which was released early due to ill-health retirement, so I recognise that I am fortunate compared to many, but due to working part-time for the majority of my career to be the main carer for my children, my pension is small and I would have expected like my colleagues to top it up with art time work at an hourly rate considerably higher than my current job

Mary Wednesday

Jan. 6, 2021, 10:44 a.m.

Thank you, Molly, for those kind words. I remember you have said before about your previous work with a high-profile public figure. It is so easy to be sucked into the problems of other people, especially when it is we who have to deal with those problems. I am so sorry you crashed and burned as a result. Healing takes a long time.

Mary Wednesday

Jan. 6, 2021, 10:47 a.m.

Dear Kristin, I feel very much for you. It sounds as if our experiences of bipolar and its consequences for our working lives are very similar. As I was still down over Christmas, it was very simple and we had lunch around the kitchen table. My children cooked the roast dinner and there were Tesco profiteroles for pudding!

Ach UK

Jan. 6, 2021, 12:09 p.m.

@ Mary, Profiteroles . .yum. lovely that you were surrounded by love and helpful youngsters at Christmas and I am so pleased you are back on the road to normality . .whatever that is. Give yourself a firm pat on the back , and take due praise for yourself . . You are the one whose body has to realign and it's your steady efforts that are getting you there. Make sure you accept that you are improving and acknowledge your achievements . . May be small increments but each inch forward you deserve affirmation. this I find steadies me and helps the long walk up into the light. Take care Mary. XX Ach.

Ach UK

Jan. 6, 2021, 12:24 p.m.

@ Kristin, My " working" career in the NHS was a bit like yours Kristin -- bit like a doilly full of holes! I have an annoying case of BP1 and it took a long time to reconsile myself to not achieving the life I had envisaged. But all in all I've got to 68 and made peace with myself and hoping for a bit more life to come. XX Ach.

Mary Wednesday

Jan. 6, 2021, 1:01 p.m.

Thank you Ach. I am about to give up for the day. I shall have some lunch and my flu jab and then carry on boxing up all the christmas decorations I took down yesterday. I put them all up before the depression hit, when I had lots of energy. There seem to be so many now to take down and pack away.

Molly

Jan. 6, 2021, 3:57 p.m.

Thanks Kristin. It is difficult to accept that ill health interferes with your career or stops you working altogether. My boss made it so difficult for me to have time off and harassed me when I went off sick. This of course made my recovery much longer. I managed to go back (somehow) or I wouldn’t have received my redundancy money (knowing the job was due to end). It wasn’t long after that my husband got ill so finding another job got put on hold. Now I can’t even get to a shop, let alone work, plus I am his carer, so I guess that is now my job! So yes I understand how frustrating it is when you want to carry on, but your health just won’t allow it xx

Molly

Jan. 6, 2021, 4:06 p.m.

Thanks Mary, yes it was such a great job, until it all went horribly wrong. Having to deal with the press was a nightmare! We were also harassed by the haters. I know it wasn’t personal to me, but it sometimes felt like it was. Then there was the boss to deal with who was on the verge of a breakdown himself. Well it was an experience for sure! Xx

Maria

Jan. 6, 2021, 6:18 a.m.

Hi Mary! Glad to know you're out of the pit! You're a radiant light! Please nurture your ember so you can shine brightly!

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Mary Wednesday

Jan. 6, 2021, 10:49 a.m.

Thank you Maria! You are very kind.

Vivvles

Jan. 6, 2021, 6:45 a.m.

So glad you’re feeling better Mary. I too have Bipolar disorder and can empathise as I have been pretty low for a long time now. It‘s been a while since I’ve been ‘high’ but last Friday I didn’t sleep at all. I thought it was a one off but then Sunday I was awake all night and buying things online. It’s been some years since I’ve done that and I got really spooked! On Monday evening I took a sleeping tablet and slept really well. However last night I was awake again all night... It seems I’m going to have to accept that I’m high and be very careful especially around shopping for stuff I don’t need. I definitely need to take care of myself as there seems to be an element of recklessness in my current elevated mood. I’m not sure about being gentle - I think I probably need a firm hand right now. The thing is I’m enjoying having all this energy and feeling happier than I have in months. However, I do know from bitter experience that the longer this goes on I will probably eventually go crashing down again into a depression. It’s a dilemma as I so don’t want it to end!

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Kristin

Jan. 6, 2021, 7:21 a.m.

I can totally relate to this, while it is great to feel the joyful side of a Bipolar high, the downside for many including you and me is a tendency to over-spend (since Christmas I have recorded my mood as normal - however it is borderline hypomanic and the key symptom I recognise is exactly as you describe I am finding my resistance to on-line advertising is weakened) I have already spent several hundred pounds on items I like but don't really need including crystals (for crystal therapy - after attending an on-line crystal workshop) and several items of clothes with designs inspired by the artwork of Van Gough, three of the same beautiful rainbow wind-chimes (one for me, one for my daughter and one for my sister) two pairs of leather shoes in different colours and a silver "tree of life" pendent for my sister's birthday when I have already bought her more than one gift.

Kristin

Jan. 6, 2021, 7:26 a.m.

Viviane - As you say I also need to be really careful about shopping for stuff I don't need - this has probably been the greatest cause of conflict between me and my husband since my diagnosis of bipolar 2 - my marriage is already at risk after 40 years together as a couple, I now feel vulnerable and have done so for around 2-3 years, having previously felt totally secure. I have too much to lose and must stop this now.

Mary Wednesday

Jan. 6, 2021, 10:55 a.m.

Thank you for your comment, Viviane. I am so sorry that do not have any words of wisdom for you. Someone I used to know, when she was in mania, put all control over finances into her husband's hands, so that she *couldn't* spend anything without his approval. To do that is humiliating and (espcially when we're high and refusing to admit it) difficult. We also need our partner to be on board with it. Your marriage is probably worth it though.

Mary Wednesday

Jan. 6, 2021, 10:57 a.m.

So sorry, I have confused those two comments. It was to Kristin my last point was made.

Mary Wednesday

Jan. 6, 2021, 10:58 a.m.

And, Vivian, yes - the onlger the high, the deeper and longer the depression afterwards. There is a definite correlation, isn't there! I am wishing you well with yours.

Netty b

Jan. 6, 2021, 7:01 a.m.

Hi Mary,thankyou for your post.I could really relate to it.Ilike you I have fluctuating moods.After 2 weeks feeling great doing too much then BANG mood low with a lack of interest and having duvet days for 2 weeks.I feel that my SAD and Covid impacts on my Bi-Polar.I find your posts interesting keep them coming .Thankyou.

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Kristin

Jan. 6, 2021, 7:31 a.m.

Netty b - that is exactly it! The combination of fluctuating moods associated with bipolar exacerbated by SAD and Covid in the mix is such a toxic combination. We need, more than ever, to take care of ourselves, be kind to ourselves and accept and if possible ask for help needed from others - both friends and family and maybe professional support too.

Mary Wednesday

Jan. 6, 2021, 11:01 a.m.

Hello Netty, thank you for your comment and encouragement. I too find all the covid news hard to deal with. I have a daughter who was to take her GCSEs this year and of course there is a lot of uncertainty around this too. I have told her to carry on working as hard as she can - she has nothing to lose and quite probably something to gain. Home study is hard for her though as she likes the face to face interaction of lessons with her friends.

greenjean

Jan. 6, 2021, 7:36 a.m.

Hello Mary so good to hear you have been released from the demon depression. Do take care and pace yourself, as you say you would if it was a physical illness. So easy to give ourselves a hard time to catch up for the neglected things while we were down but important just to notice what they are and be kind to ourselves. They will wait! Take care Mary x

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Mary Wednesday

Jan. 6, 2021, 11:04 a.m.

Thank you Greenjean. Yes - it's hard not to jump back in, but I really am trying to rest a bit (and Himself will snort with laughter at this! I was instructed last night to "Take a break, woman, for ***'s sake. It's knock off time.")

Lizzie

Jan. 6, 2021, 8:08 a.m.

Hi Mary, so pleased you have come out of a low snd can recognise it and work with it at a slower pace. Thank you so much for this post. As a recently diagnosed bipolar II it has been so helpful for me to read your blog and everyone’s replies. So glad we have this community of support. Take care xx

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Mary Wednesday

Jan. 6, 2021, 11:11 a.m.

Thank you for your comment Lizzie. It's not great to be given this diagnosis as there is no cure, only treatment, but at least we know. When I was diagnosed however, 15 years ago, I was relieved. At last I had a place to stand and knew what I was dealing with. Moodscope has been one of the best things in my life for the past nine years. I see I recorded my first score on 18th May 2011 and I started writing blogs in 2013. I hope we can continue to support you.

Norman

Jan. 6, 2021, 9:44 a.m.

The "mens sano in corporo sano" thing is very real for me. I always find that a bout of depression goes hand-in-hand with a cold/flu. I'm never sure which leads to the other. Often the cure is the same for both: bed, tomato soup, medicines, radio...

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Mary Wednesday

Jan. 6, 2021, 11:12 a.m.

I too find if my health is compromised by a cold or other illness, my score plummets. Tomato soup (it must be Heinz) is the cure for all ailments!

Lex

Jan. 6, 2021, 10:04 a.m.

I was getting ready to say, "Until we understand the mind (and its maladies) as 'real' - we will have unrealistic expectations of recovery," but I think Norman has put this more eloquently: "mens sano in corporo sano." The mind is real... healing takes time.

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Mary Wednesday

Jan. 6, 2021, 11:13 a.m.

I like your elegantly expressed comment too. Yes indeed.

Orangeblossom

Jan. 6, 2021, 10:13 a.m.

Thanks for the blog Mary. A friend always used to say “take it easy”. I thought it was a speech mannerism, but now I’m not so sure. I would like to reiterate this phrase to you.

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Mary Wednesday

Jan. 6, 2021, 11:14 a.m.

Thank you dear Orange Blossom. I am trying very hard. "It's not being lazy; it's recovery," I keep telling myself. I need to listen, though!

Ruth

Jan. 6, 2021, 10:45 a.m.

Still here for you, One day at a time. Another lockdown now so plenty of time to recover. XX

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Ruth

Jan. 6, 2021, 10:45 a.m.

Still here for you, One day at a time. Another lockdown now so plenty of time to recover. XX

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Mary Wednesday

Jan. 6, 2021, 11:20 a.m.

Indeed. There is always a silver lining, isn't there! (I wrote a blog on that once entitled the Honorable Company of Silver Miners). Thank you so much for your ongoing support; I appreciate it so much.

Valerie

Jan. 6, 2021, 10:58 a.m.

hello mary,this is good news and i am sure we all take heart from it.i broke my wrist xmas day,thought it was getting better this monday,did too many things,felt pleased with myself,in agony yesterday and in bed with very dark thoughts.lesson learnt,it's just plain stupid and selfish too.please take it very very slowly.going back to work too soon has been the downfall of many with mental illness.*** bless xx

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Mary Wednesday

Jan. 6, 2021, 11:21 a.m.

I am so sorry to hear about your wrist. Please do rest; I know from my experience with a broken ankle that healing a broken bone demands a lot from our body and we need to rest our whole body to allow that healing to take place.

Ach UK

Jan. 6, 2021, 11:49 a.m.

Sorry to hear you have fractured your wri§t ., but really glad you've now got it sorted Val. Good job Spock is around to help. XX Ach.

Valerie

Jan. 6, 2021, 1:52 p.m.

yes indeed ach.he is scrubbing the bath as i write.***

Lexi

Jan. 6, 2021, 2:57 p.m.

Ugh Valerie. Sending you lots of good healing vibes! enjoy the bath!

Oli

Jan. 6, 2021, 4:39 p.m.

It's not even a fortnight since xmas day Val. Bones are usually sorted by six weeks and can usually take a little bit of load in half that time so long as you're not walking on it. (I hope you weren't trying to walk on your hands!) Take it easy. Or easier at any rate. xx

Molly

Jan. 6, 2021, 6:22 p.m.

Val, will he scrub your back after he’s scrubbed the bath? My ankles took three months to heal, well one did, (one worse than the other). Like the brain really, we think we can carry on. We want to carry on. I had two further falls due to thinking I was able to walk like I used to when my ankles started to heal. I could have done much further damage so rest that wrist! Molly ***

Lexi

Jan. 6, 2021, 3 p.m.

Happy New Year Mary. I'm so glad the fog has lifted for you! Mine lifted December 29th. It lasted 11 days. Pure exhaustion. I couldn't do anything except lie around and feel guilty for all the things I wasn't doing for clients. Like a double whammy - kicking someone when she's down. I always forget to be kind to myself during those times. xo

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Mary Wednesday

Jan. 6, 2021, 5:22 p.m.

Oh Lewis, we should have a pact - to kick each other if we're kicking ourselves! Do not beat yourself up! Maybe we should write lines like in detention at school, "I must not beat myself up when I have depression - or at any other time!"

Mimine

Jan. 6, 2021, 3:14 p.m.

So good to hear you are gradually feeling better, Mary. I wish you a full recovery with nurturing and rest if you can until you feel strong again. Full and speedy recovery to you Valerie too for your wrist and good wishes to all for this new year X

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Mary Wednesday

Jan. 6, 2021, 5:23 p.m.

Thank you, Mimine.

Karen

Jan. 6, 2021, 4:28 p.m.

Dear Mary I'm so happy to learn you are feeling better now than you have been recently. It lifts my spirits. Karen from Canada

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Mary Wednesday

Jan. 6, 2021, 5:23 p.m.

That's so lovely of you to say that. Thank you.

Nicole

Jan. 6, 2021, 5:39 p.m.

Dear Mary, After reading your post, I'm wondering whether I have bipolar.... I have never experienced an episode that long, nor felt it in my body so much. Though I have been diagnosed with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) because during the 2 weeks around my cycle, I get disoriented, forget everything, and even have to put padding on sharp corners because I lose my equilibrium. However, I have found tools which help and I was wondering if you'd tried these: My favorite is going to a women's club or spa and soaking in the hot tub, then moving to the sauna or steam room, and being around women for me- hearing their voices, is so nurturing. Sometimes I spend 3 hours there. Even floating in the water of the pool helps and I marvel at the feeling of weightlessness. I have also gotten massages to get out of a depressed state, and I always feel amazing afterwards. Have you tried these things? If yes, do you find they help you at all? My therapist suggested drinking hot things like lots of tea or very cold things will help bring one back to one's body. Just as a hot or cold compress, or fragrant heated herbal sachet can help someone become more present. I tried her suggestions and they really helped. So from reading your passage, I wonder if I actually have depression, since I'm able to pull myself out of it with these tools... I am on anti-depressents and anti-anxiety meds, and the medicines helps a lot-- perhaps they make it possible for me to pull myself out in the first place. I'd love to hear what tools you use and if you've found any that work...? Thank you for sharing, Nicole

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Molly

Jan. 6, 2021, 7:14 p.m.

Nicole, I suffered with terrible PMT, or PMS, if you are American. I had a whole list of symptoms. Interestingly (to me) I went through an early menopause at around 41. The cycle of symptoms stopped but I still think hormones play a big part. I would love to be able to pinpoint what causes what. Those without mental illness issues can say it’s the menopause but quite honestly, I have no idea what the menopause caused (or is causing) or if it’s my general mental state. I did get rid of some symptoms in the process though (like uncontrollably itchy nipples) for example. Every cloud!!!

Mary Wednesday

Jan. 6, 2021, 9:27 p.m.

Hello Nicole, Thank you for your comment. Please bear with me until tomorrow when I can answer it more fully from my own experience. One of the things I am trying to do with "taking it easy" is be disciplined with sleeping, so it's bedtime now. I will however, return to your points tomorrow.

Mary Wednesday

Jan. 7, 2021, 11:16 a.m.

Hello Nicole again. The activities I use to help with the mania side are swimming and crafting. They are meditative and calming. I also listen to relaxing music, especially that of modern classical composers such as Ola Gjeilo, John Rutter and Philip Glass. Once in the depression, I can't really do anything except hang on and get through it. Going to a spa or getting out for a massage (even having one at home) would be beyond me. At times, good friends have "kidnapped" me and taken me for a coffee, and simply doing that has been utterly exhausting. I honestly cannot think of anything that would help or which has helped in the past. Other than the writing of course. Writing from the fog or the deep darkness and isolation helps - even when I don't have the energy even to talk to friends. I am sorry not to be of help to you.

Nicole

Jan. 8, 2021, 9:50 p.m.

Thank you Mary, I guess I have never experienced a depression that long or that intense. I don't know if you use anti-depressants, but I find those helpful when I do get into small bouts of depression. Though it took awhile to find the right doctor and prescription. My heart hurts when I hear you're encountering something that intense. I'm glad you are able to write your way through the fog. Warmly, Nicole

Nicole

Jan. 8, 2021, 9:53 p.m.

Hi Molly, thank you for saying that about PMS. Anytime I find someone who has PMDD or PMS symptoms, it is so helpful and reassuring. Especially when there at similar symptoms.

Sally

Jan. 6, 2021, 7:22 p.m.

Hi Mary , I’m very happy to know you have come out of your nasty patch. How happy you must be! And your family for you, and themselves! I so hate having everything done for me and feeling a drain on family, that’s another downer when already feeling down! My truculent father once said to me “ The trouble with you, Sally, is that you never ask for anything”. I was amazed at him putting it like that, but now see I should perhaps be more open to accepting help graciously... I’ve been interested to read the other comments on bipolar, especially identifying with the overspending! ( Just coming out of that now, and calmer.) I am going to arrange to have my bank card “minded” bymy husband next episode...let’s see if that works.

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Molly

Jan. 6, 2021, 7:43 p.m.

I deal with all the finances, not that there is much money incoming! I do find myself buying stuff on line when in a certain kind of mood but luckily it’s stuff that I need on the whole, to which I might have talked myself out of earlier. I did have a friend who bought expensive stuff when on a high and then had to send it back when she realised she couldn’t afford it.

Mary Wednesday

Jan. 6, 2021, 9:30 p.m.

Thank you Sally. Yes, like you, I hate having things done for me. I especially hate my husband doing the grocery shopping and his own ironing... He is so good about it too.

Dragonfly

Jan. 7, 2021, 1:25 p.m.

Mary, I have to ask, in the kindest way, what on earth is wrong with your husband doing grocery shopping, or 'his own ironing'?! And with good grace too! I understand you perhaps consider it your domain/your way of looking after him/showing care etc,. But I feel it goes a little against what you say in your blog and comments; that you acknowledge you have a 'proper' illness which needs r&r and self-care, which your husband seems to be encouraging and supporting. I'm absolutely sure you'd happily step in to do all you could were the tables turned. Having said that, I'm really so pleased to learn that the black clouds have cleared, and long may they stay away!

Molly

Jan. 7, 2021, 6:01 p.m.

Oh Rainbow, I do have to agree! I’m no feminist but it’s an old fashioned view that the woman should do all the domestic chores. Each to their own I guess. My step father almost orders a cup of tea. I thought yes I would make it, and then pour it over his head. I’ve always been quite willing and happy to do the main of the chores even before by husband got ill. But he still did his fair share. Like washing up, cleaning windows etc. I do find it hard sometimes that it’s all down to me and often struggle but get by. I know full well he would take over if I was ill and he was able. How he would like to, when I am ill, but can’t. I think I’m going quite off track here. Maybe it all boils down to the fact of how useless we feel when we cannot function normally, mentally and physically.

Sally

Jan. 6, 2021, 7:36 p.m.

Val, very sorry to hear about your broken wrist and the trouble you've had related to mental health subsequently. A double whammy indeed. Take care. Drop everything ( not literally!) and take all the time you personally need to recover. Bed, books, booze...whatever floats your boat at this time of need. And jokes!

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Lucy

Jan. 6, 2021, 9:38 p.m.

Hi Mary, thank you for your blog post today, what you described is definitely something I can relate to as I have bipolar type II. However, my family doctor has referred me to a psychiatrist as the medicine I've been on for years is not working very well to combat the depression (My depressive episodes generally go on for 5 months). The purpose of the referral is to have a re-diagnosis and look at changing my medicine so I am interested to know, what medicine do you take? I am currently on lamotrigine and it has been suggested that I may switch to lurasidone (latuda). I wonder if the depressive episodes will not stop even with medicine but I also wonder if a different medicine could shorten them or reduce the severity.

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Kristin

Jan. 7, 2021, 8:58 a.m.

Lucy - sorry to hear of your prolonged depressions lasting on average for 5 months, that is tough (I hope the new meds work for you) I also have a diagnosis of bipolar II and after 6 years on various combinations and doses of different meds which didn't really do much for my symptoms (especially the depressions) - so I am now trying Lamotrigine (having had dose gradually increased as per recommendations I'm only starting on 200mg from today and hoping this will keep the depression at bay) I have never been euthymic (normal mood) for longer than 6-8 weeks since diagnosis, going through rapid cycling - my depressions last on average 4 weeks, which I find bad enough, so once again Lucy my heart goes out to you having to cope for so many months. All the best x x x

Mary Wednesday

Jan. 7, 2021, 11:24 a.m.

Lucy, I am so sorry you are having to cope for five months at a time. Even in the bad times, I think I was only 3 months. I find I cannot remember those times very well and that is why Moodscope is such a help. I am on Lamotrigine - 200mg daily - and that keeps me stable most of the time, so I don't have the frequent ups and downs that made me so volatile and unreliable in the past. I have been on it since February 2017 and have had only two depressive episodes since then - lasting 21 days and 24 days respectively - and they were not as deep or so incapacitating; neither were they life-threatening. I wish you the very best with your review and possible new prescription. I hope eventually there will be a cure for this. To me, it seems like a faulty valve somewhere that delivers too much or too little serotonin or whatever chemical this is that affects our mood, energy and behaviour. If this valve could be mended, then we would be "normal."

Lucy

Jan. 8, 2021, 9:34 p.m.

Kristin - Thank you for your kind words. That was the first time I ever commented on a blog here and it felt good to receive supportive and encouraging words in response. I was not prescribed any new medicine during my visit to the psychiatrist as they said that as I am presenting as stable right now they cannot make a diagnosis or treat me as there is nothing to treat. I'm not sure how I feel about that, still processing. Do you find the lamotrigine has been helping with mania?

Lucy

Jan. 8, 2021, 9:37 p.m.

Hi Mary - thank you also for your response, as I mentioned to Kristin, no new medicine was prescribed to me and it was suggested that I could stop taking lamotrigine and wait until I start to feel depressed to see a psychiatrist again. I'm a bit apprehensive to stop taking the lamotrigine as although it doesn't help at all with the depression I wonder if it is keeping manic episodes at bay. So, same question to you - do you find that the lamotrigine has helped significantly with mania?

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