Content Warning: Mental health, suicidal ideation
I have bipolar II.
I live a relatively open life, and if you’ve ever been on my Twitter you maybe have seen me when I am at my lowest point, or perhaps when I’ve been hypomanic and really really active.
I’ve been reflecting over the past few months and now that my psychiatrist handed me down the “bipolar II disorder” I feel like things that happened in the past have started to become clearer to me, but now my future feels murkier than ever knowing this.
I make no excuses for things I’ve done or said in the past, being bipolar doesn’t excuse me from the bad things I’ve done or said, and there’s really nothing I can do but work to prevent them from happening again and continue growing as a person. I’m frankly a bit terrified that now that I’m public that this may in some ways hurt me and my career.
I’m realizing that times when I felt like my depression was gone, was likely just a hypomanic episode, and as a result I just felt better which had made coming back down from the episode even worse for me.
Last year I realized and felt my mood spiral further down and realized it wasn’t okay to let it continue untreated. I reached out to my therapist, setup more checkins and that helped a bit. I reached out and got a second therapist and it was something the second therapist said in one of our appointments that made me start to look up hypomania. I started going down a list and from an objective point could mark off many of the things listed. Elevated sense of self-worth, not sleeping, distractions, impulsive behavior, becoming obsessed about whatever I’m focused on so forth. I then told my main therapist about this and she asked if I wanted to be referred to a psychiatrist, but in the midst of a hypomanic episode (looking back now) I thought everything was fine and said no. 🤦♀️ (I wasn’t self-diagnosing, but it was helpful to be able to discuss those things (and others) with my psychiatrist when I finally saw one).
I’ve been tracking my sleep for the better part of the past two years and looking back I can almost always point to my sleep schedule getting off track to be a contributing factor to a hypomanic episode and the subsequent spiral into a depressive episode. Over the last few months these depressive episodes have gotten deeper and deeper and I was loosing hope that I would find my way out of them, I was beating myself up and feeling overall that things would be better off without me. About a month and half ago I finally was referred to a psychatrist from my therapist and we started treating my depression first, but when it steeped even lower a few weeks ago, we decided to add a new med to help with the mood episodes.
I’m still super early in to taking this new med to see if it will help, but I’m hopeful that we may finally have a treatment plan in place that will work for me. I also realize the importance my routine has and how disruptions to my routine can be a trigger for me. Sleep is very important to try and keep me on track, I’ve been consistently going to bed earlier and ensuring I take my meds on the same schedule even on the weekends has really helped too, and yes, everyone likes to throw ‘exercise could help’ when you mention you have any kind of mental health condition, that does help some even getting out for a 10 minute walk (but I’m unsure if it’s the walk, or just leaving my house where I spend almost every minute in).
All that said, I don’t share it to get sympathy… but if you see me in the midst of one of these severe mood episodes please know I’ll be back eventually. I may loose my ✨sparkle ✨, but if my sparkle was just a depressive or hypomanic episode is that really a bad thing?