I just found out that tomorrow is world mental health day today, and this has inspired me to talk about the state of my own mental health. To put it bluntly, its fucked. I suffer from Bipolar disorder, or as it used to be known, Manic Depression. This means that at times I can be incredibly low and lethargic with no motivation to do anything, and at other times I can be all systems go, with a great deal of hyperactivity, and a fairly overactive personality.
Right now I can feel myself slipping from the hyperactive manic side, sliding back into depression, possibly as a result of being too overactive over the past few weeks. The problem with being manic is that it isn’t the opposite of being depressed, but rather its reflection, the similarities are all too similar, you may, like me, still neglect personal care, in order to focus, you may still have trouble sleeping, because you become focused on whatever is occupying your time, you may also find it difficult to concentrate but in different ways from the depressive side of things, and then if that isn’t bad enough, sometimes, but not all the time, you can fell your mood descending, its like in a cartoon when a rain cloud forms over one persons head, and you can see them rolling in, and unfortunately there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it, you might try and fight it, by loading up the things that you try and do, a mad blitz of housework, or a barrage of emails, to make up for the days where productivity will be zero. However I’ve found that doing this makes the initial onset of the depressive side of my disorder worse, because on top of the depression tiring me out, I’m tired already, and feel the effects twice as bad.
Having been initially diagnosed with depression after the birth of my daughter and later re diagnosed with Bipolar disorder, the last few years have been a bit of a bumpy ride, I’ve tried medication, although I chucked this due to some adverse side effects, and whilst I can by no means say I have a complete handle on my condition, I can at least say that I’m getting better at coping with it, I’m forcing myself to be more active when I’m depressed, and channelling my mania into more productive avenues than my old stand by of drinking myself into a stupor and its actually having a marked effect with my work as a councillor and within the community.