After a glorious mental state yesterday when the weather relented from 7 months of fall and winter drudgery and my soul was able to come out and play…
Today’s lower temperature,gloom,and rain has me reeling. I am grasping at straws,trying to reclaim yesterday’s frame of mind but it’s proving to be an epic fail.
I find it frustrating to the nth that bipolar two and bipolar depression are viewed as ‘less severe’ than bipolar one and manic episodes. Mania may have helped me ruin my credit score and inspired poor choices but it NEVER cost me as much as the so called ‘less severe’ bipolar two depressive bouts.
Further aggravating us how few medications there are that target bipolar two depression. Aside from Latuda (bad bad experience for me,but kudos to pharmacopia making an effort at treating axis two), I don’t know of any other drug specified for axis two depression. That leaves bipolar two patients floundering on an endless diet of anti depressants NOT designed for our condition. If a med isn’t targeting the disorder you have, doesn’t it make sense that you’d experience med failures? It’s like taking a painkiller for swelling that doesn’t actually reduce that symptom.
As much as I am not a fan of her music,I do hope that Mariah Carey’s recent ‘disclosure’ about her battle with bipolar two opens some eyes and minds to the red headed stepchild of mental health disorders. So much focus is spent on axis one that axis two patients are left behind.
Personally, I think treating mania in any bipolar axis is far simpler than treating depression. There is a plethora of mood stabilizers that can be combined to control excess mood swings and mania. Now this is not me saying bipolar one is less severe,but on a whole with targeted medications with great efficacy…it’s not as much a roll of the dice as it is with anti depressants.
And while big pharma has spent thirty years churning out an anti depressant to match your every depressive outfit…They do not target those of us who spend 80% of our lives in depressive bouts.
On this one,I think all bipolar axis patients can agree. Finding the most effective ‘cocktail’ of anti depressant and mood stabilizer is frustrating and often defeating. We all have unique chemistry so who knows what med or combo will work for each of us? Trial and error becomes a way of life. And this is without factoring in how many of us are medication resistant or the meds just quit working or the side effects are so bad we simply can’t take those drugs.
I have lost so much of my life to depression. And while Lamictal has been my wonder drug toward warding off extreme mood swings and manic bouts-there are times I also think I’m too stabilized. Because to control the negative symptoms, it also mashes down creativity, sheer elation,and the ability to be spontaneous. It makes me so hyper self aware that even choosing what to eat becomes a case of ‘remember when you went manic that time and ate *this* and then spent three hundred bucks on lottery tickets then banged that guy you didn’t even like?’ Not that I have the problem of excess income anymore nor the self esteem to even put myself out there to repeat the poor choices but still…therapy made me so hyper self aware that even though my mood stabilizer works great…I am still scarred by past choices and even memory of a food eaten or a song playing at that time can paralyze me.
It sounds nutty but it is my truth.
Still…when manic I LIVED life to the fullest. On my multiple shovel fulls of fixer upper pills…I live in fear of living lest I repeat bad choices just to feel alive. Because then I’d have to admit the problem is me,my personality,my inability to make good choices. And I just don’t believe that because mood stabilizers made the truly had decisions go away. It just also makes me scared to live life on rare non depressive times.
Having said all of this,painting the good,bad,and ugly about bipolar two treatment (medications designed to keep you from suicidal thoughts yet causes more than you ever had before,very ugly)…It is high time the mental health community-doctors,therapists,patients,mental health advocates-we need to band together and shine a spotlight on bipolar two and bipolar depression. Our condition is NOT less severe to us. We matter. We deserve better targeted medication options,we are worthy of competent care even if we don’t have great insurance. WE MATTER.
Now in an effort to bolster my sagging mental state and the sadness of losing a newborn kitten 36 hours after his birth (rest well,lil Beebee)…
Spook and I watched a Jack Hannah adventure show this morning. It highlighted some venomous but gorgeous snakes…then came the awe factor. Sloths. They are so adorable. That gave me warm fuzzies during the 7 minute segment. I got clobbered with a high power bill so I am keeping the heat down much as I can…but I was still cold so I put on my fluffy soft purple hoodie. I feel warm and swaddled now.
So I can see positive things here and there in spite of my seemingly endless ‘everything sucks’ griping. It is just very difficult to see the good when enveloped by the spider web of depression.
Besides. No one wants to read a mental health blog that spews rainbows. They read to know they are not alone in their struggles so I focus on writing about my own battle and my wish to heighten awareness of bipolar depression.
It is only less severe if it isn’t happening to you.
When it ruins your life at every turn…We find that pretty severe. Time for the professionals and society recognize this.
Because we matter and no matter your diagnosis…the struggle is real.