Manic States Versus Depression
If you are going to google anything to do with health, I tend to think that the NHS website is a trustworthy source of information. This morning I searched for bi-polar disorder to understand the symptoms.
I remember studying it in A-level psychology and being intrigued by all the illnesses of the mind. There are a lot and they often cross over and vary in severity of symptoms. Depression, manic depression, OCD, schizophrenia, bi-polar, SAD to name a few.
And I am currently wondering if I have a bi-polar disorder.
Here is a handy check list from the NHS site as linked above of what you might experience in a manic episode or a depressive episode.
Most of this I can relate to. My state of mind changes depending on the time of the year. And I still at the age of 42, haven’t quite gotten to the bottom of why this happens at certain times of the year.
I slip into a depressive state from October/November with the worst time in December. Then it starts to get better from January onwards, particularly if like this year I force myself into a regular exercise routine. It isn’t until March/April that it really ends.
In this depressive state I indeed feel very sad, empty and hopeless. This makes Christmas a challenge, slap bang in the middle of my depressive state. I know that Christmas should be a fun family and social time, but not for me, this is hard for my boys, but I also try hard to make an effort for them.
Socialising is a difficult, I just want to bury myself under the duvet watching endless Netflix boxsets. I can go for weeks without seeing any of my friends, and my friends mean the world to me.
I find it very difficult to get up in the mornings, dragging myself out of bed at that last possible moment to do the school run.
I eat too much food during this time and put on weight. I have a lot of internal thought battles and worry about unnecessary things. I worry about things from the past and other things that might happen in the future. I try so hard to focus on the present, using meditation, mindfulness but I struggle.
I have a manic stage of the year from Easter until September/October time. As I write this it is May, I am not long back from an amazing Las Vegas holiday, the days are longer, and the sun is shining. I am fully into manic stage.
This means I am running everywhere at 100 miles an hour. I am doing many things at once and pretty much nailing them, this notches up my confidence to sky-high level. When I have these levels of confidence, I approach more clients for Mrs Mummypenny projects and end up doing some incredible work. I am extremely creative and have so many amazing ideas for my business, some of which will happen, most won’t!
I am socialising a lot, every week there will be 2-3 social meet ups plus meetings in London. I am catching up with friends who I haven’t seen much of for a while. I am talking a lot on private message and social media.
I forget to eat. Food suddenly slips down the priority order and before I know it, the time is 5pm and I’ve not eaten a thing all day. I drink too much, not only from the increased level of socialising, I also drink at home, having a gin & tonic in the evening takes the edge off.
Exercise becomes more joyful, rather than a chore. This combined with eating less food means that the weight falls off and I return to my post hypnotherapy size 10.
I can be reckless with money. I tend to go on mindless spending sprees, buying things that I deserve, this has got me into a lot of debt over the years.
Am I bi-polar?
So, I return to the question. If I experience all these things am I bi-polar? Or is this SAD and my mood from Easter to October is my normal state? The changes of mood vary in conjunction with the clocks changing and the shorter/longer days. I will book an appointment with my lovely female GP just to talk over my concerns.
I did have a few sessions with a psychotherapist a few years ago, ten years ago. She diagnosed me with SAD. So maybe it is that. I think it is worth exploring.
Reading back over my manic state of mind, generally its mostly positive. The impact on my business is very positive, if I ever feel the overwhelm, I talk to my trusted mentors and inner circle. If I need to make a big business decision, again I talk to those same people to help me rationalise a decision.
Socialising with your friends can only be a good thing? Just last night I went out with two of my close local girlfriends and we laughed so much. Even when talking about some of the incredibly difficult things we are going through.
Maybe the not eating is an issue, but I can consciously fix that. Just by writing it here makes me more able to sort it out (I am currently eating grapes). And the drinking, to be honest I dont want to fix that, a gin and tonic in the evening is not goning to hurt too much, unless it turns into 3 or 4 or 5. But it wont. And my reckless attitude to money, I wrote about my emotional spending plan last week. A spending diary is really helping with that issue.
What are your thoughts?
I would be interested to know your thoughts. Do you recognise these traits in yourself? And what coping mechanisms do you use in times of depression or mania.
This is my post for mental health awareness week. One in four of us will experience mental health problems this year. Look after yourself, each other, your colleagues, friends and families. Check in to make sure everything is okay; it might not be.
If you want to read more heartfelt and helpful content for Mental Health Awareness week here are some posts from fellow bloggers.
Charlotte Morgan has written a brilliant post about her eating disorder and its impact on her financial mindset. Very powerful reading.
Katy Saves has written about mental health struggles and how to manage them here.
Sara from The Debt Camel has written about mental health and debt.