Daily Archives: February 17, 2013

After the Hypomania Attack

Now I am exhausted.  I’m trying to do some research for an article to post here, but my brain won’t work.  I have to force myself to read each word, and then I can’t put the words together; and if I can, they seem meaningless.

What happened?  Only a few hours ago I was all fired up, making lists of topics to write about, designing an actual syllabus that I wanted to cover.  I still love the idea, but even the act of typing is wearing me out.

That’s how it is with me.  I guess it’s called ultra-rapid cycling.  Rapid cycling means you switch between depression and hypomania/mania several times a year.  Ultra-rapid means more often than that.  I think there’s even a term for people like me, who cycle several times a day.  It’s really a drag.

I did manage to do some reading on circadian rhythm and bipolar, and sure enough, there’s a gene (or more) that regulate circadian rhythm, and if you take mice that have been designed to have mutations on those genes, their circadian rhythm is messed up.  If you then give those mice lithium, they go to sleep and wake up when they’re supposed to.  So the authors concluded that there could be a connection between genetic malfunction of circadian rhythm and bipolar illness, which may explain the sleep problems many bipolar people have.  Maybe if I was one of those mice I could get some sleep, because the lithium does help with the cycling, or at least with the emotional reaction to the cycling, and that’s a good thing.

I also found out that I’m probably Bipolar I instead of BP II, because when I was untreated and working nights, I was also going to 6 am aerobics class, then going skiing for a couple of hours, then riding my horse for a couple of hours, then going back to work, and sometimes taking a nap.  I have never held a job for more than two years in my life, because they have all ended the same way:  I knew way, way, way more than the people in charge, and it always came down to “I quit/you’re fired.”  And I have never had a successful relationship either.  They’ve all ended in different dramatic ways, though, even though I don’t consider myself a drama queen, particularly.  The article said that BP I is characterized by hyperactivity, grandiosity, dysfunction at work, and dysfunctional relationships.  Oh, and hypersexuality.  That was fun, but since the relationships were fucked up it was just another battleground.  So I guess I’m BP I.  It was obscured, I think, by the treatment-resistant BP depression I had before rTMS.  Not that I’m no longer depressed; it’s just that the volume has been turned down on it (thank G-d), and now I can see all the other stuff that had been overrun by the enormity of the depression.

Ah me.  I am so tired, and yet I can’t sleep.  I think I might watch a movie, since I finished the four-volume set of Mary Stewart’s wonderful series on Merlin and the rise and fall of King Arthur.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll be coherent again, and get a decent start on what I hope to write.

Hulking Out

That’s how I am feeling as of late. Like I am just getting angrier and angrier and I am going to turn into a big green rage monster but I can’t smash things because then I’d have to pay for them so even that isn’t even a good thing…FUCK.

Every sound from ANYONE is like nails on a chalkboard. I just want to scream DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE ALREADY DIE DIE DIE!

I am pretty sure this NOT the normal way to feel.

I am keeping it in check by chain smoking and grinding my teeth, which is expensive and painful. I don’t think so many of my meds should have been changed at once. Maybe it’s not related to xanax or klonopin (bullshit) maybe it’s adding cymbalta to the mix, I don’t know. I just know that how I am feeling is not right and short of declaring myself a suicide risk and possibly being put into a wacko basket against my will, I can’t talk to anyone until Tuesday. Which by then my spirit will be beaten down so far that I will probably barely be able to get out of bed. It’s heading that way.

I woke up at 1 am with Willow the Psycho cat laying on my chest. I love my cat, but she is psychotic, I do not dramatize. Her big evil eyes being the first thing you see upon waking equals instant panic attack. I couldn’t get myself unrattled or back to sleep.

So I was up until 5:30 this morning, not actually writing, but editing and correcting what I have already written.

Back up at 8 am.

Now it’s 11:21 am and I feel like I’ve been awake for days. I want to feel warm fuzzy thoughts for my kid but all I can think is DO YOU EVER STOP TALKING ABOUT NOTHING? (my ears literally cringe like when hearing nails on a chalkboard.)

And then I realize that’s exactly how I am during a manic episode,incessant talking about nothing. Wow, my disorder renders me a three year old intellectually. My self esteem is soaring. Though it does make me have more patience with her. I mean, if I can behave like that at my age and expect people to be patient and understanding, then how could I not give the same to a little kid who doesn’t know any better?

I am already in a panic over the plumbing problems. They don’t like it when tenants complain but the guy is gonna be here anyway (allegedly) so I gotta complain. I can’t afford to go to a laundromat just because they’re too cheap and lazy to fix a drain.It wouldn’t be  a problem if their last guy had done it right, anyway.

Just thinking of someone in my home, judging me, touching my things, invading my space, freaks me out to green rage monster proportions. I have been breaking out in itchy hives and having the usual burning stomach aches that come with uber stress. And with my lack of luck lately, I get the feeling this is not going to be some quick fix it all in a two hour span.

My shrink asks every appointment “Have you had thoughts of suicide or harming yourself?”

My counselor always asks, “What’s been going on, how are you feeling?”

Not once, with all my talk about my writing and blogging, have either of them asked to see what I write. Because that would give them a far better idea than anything I could manage to ramble off in whatever current mind frame I am at the time of the appointment.

Like around 5 am this morning, when I came to the conclusion that I serve no purpose on this planet and never have. Other than giving birth to my kid, I am less than zero. I don’t make a difference. I wouldn’t have more than one or two people show up at my funeral who aren’t related to me. I am unemployable, unlikeable, and I will probably do my kid more harm than good so maybe it would be best if the fates decided to take me out. Even my writing, which I have always been so proud of, it’s a clusterfuck of my own confused mind,  unable to stay on topic or express what I want without prattling on like a moron.

I am nothing.

I have always been nothing.

But again, that was at 5 am

Now…I still feel pretty pointless, and I hate all the panic and paranoia and I hate someone invading my space and I would love to just curl up in bed and go to sleep forever…

I want kids and cats not climbing on me every second of the day.

I want my brain to be quiet and quit reminding me about all of my fuck ups and let me be able to remember the stuff I have gotten right.

Do I want to kill myself?


But most days…I wouldn’t really jump out of the way if a bus was coming at me.

What would you call that? Passive self termination upon chance?

My trump card, of course, is…the mood swing could always go up.

Right now, I’d be happy if the rage monster would just go away. Oh and the paranoia and anxiety.

And the hives.

Trainwrecks need love too, ya know! :)




Things are rather peaceful around yon homestead today. My head is still feeling foul (somewhere between a sinus and tension headache… if not both), but the little one is in good enough spirits that the noise levels are at a minimum (which means she shrieks the second I type that line, oh delightful irony!).

Really though, just sort of hunkering down and tending to the bodily complaints. If it’s not the brain getting at me, it’s t’other! But I suspect that’s just part of getting older, ’cause it gives us all something to shake tiny impotent fists at. Which is definitely what I’m doing, ’cause headaches are lame.


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Sleep PTSD

Michael Jackson died of sleep.  More correctly, he died of trying to get a good night’s sleep.  Notice the expression:  Good Night’s Sleep.  Not a Bad Night’s Sleep, or even a Night’s Sleep.  A Good Night’s Sleep.  That is important, and I’ll tell you why later.  First I have to say that thankfully, the only thing I have in common with Michael Jackson is off-the-charts insomnia.  Michael Jackson was a sad, sorry, probably bad, person.  He was a great singer, a brilliant choreographer and dancer, an insomniac, and a pedophile.  He was horribly abused as a child, but that does not excuse his pedophilia.  Now I am ranting about Michael Jackson.  I will stop now.

I don’t know.  Maybe I do have something else in common with MJ.  I think something happened to both of us when we were little children, before the age of talking.  I have noticed in my life as a pediatrician and specialist in child abuse, focusing on child sexual abuse, that things that happen to preverbal children often cannot be healed, because there is no way to access them.  Sometimes you can get to it through modalities like hypnotherapy and NLP; I’ve done them both.  In fact, I’m a certified NLP practitioner, and during my year’s training I had many hypnotherapy and NLP sessions focused on my inability to sleep, and all of them made sense, and none of them worked.

You see, I am a professional non-sleeper.  When I was a child I often took a book and a flashlight with me under the covers and read till dawn, then went out to enjoy the morning birds’ chorus until it was time to go in the house and pretend I’d been asleep.  Not sleeping was a sin, in my house.  ”You go to sleep right now!”  As if that were something voluntary.  I don’t know, maybe it is, for some people.

Sometimes I would get so scared at night that I would cry, and my dad would sometimes come in and make me “an Army Bedroll.”  (He is a World War II veteran.)  He would make me a tight cocoon with my covers, a comforting blanket embrace.  Then he would like down on the floor next to my bed and fall asleep.  He can sleep anytime, anywhere.  How I envy that.  I would listen to him snore, and find myself awake in the dawn, having slept soundly, and he had gone back to bed with my mom.  (For the record, I will say here that my father never, ever did anything that could be remotely considered to be inappropriate with me.  Ever.)

From the Army Bedroll I learned to make a mummy case out of my bedding.  I would get all the covers tucked under me as tight as I could, including over my head.  I do not know how I breathed, but since I am still alive that is proof that I did (hmmm, maybe my brain dysfunction is due to chronic nocturnal hypoxia).  This seemed to work for a while, but soon it wore off and I found myself just lying there mummified until early morning, when I would drift off to sleep until the alarm clock of my mother’s screech “Get up, it’s time for school!” would wake me and I would struggle out of my tangled prison.

(Aside: When I was ten I got hit by a car and spent a week in the hospital in a minor coma.  When they moved me into a regular room my parents came to visit.  I was trying to get some sleep, so I had mummified myself.  I was rudely awakened by my mother’s shrieks when she saw me lying there with the white sheets over my head.  I still get a satisfied snort out of that.)

The hormonal armageddon of puberty seemed to bring about a welcome shift in the sleep department.  Instead of being permanently wired, I became permanently sleepy.  That was nice.  I had a few years’ respite from the night-time nasties.

Then I ran away from home, and endured a series of nocturnal intruders in my bed.  No more sleeping at night for me.  Night was not a safe time to sleep.  It was a time to be vigilant.  And so my nocturnal PTSD reawakened.

As those of you who read my blog with any regularity know, when I am not writing about electric toilets or outhouses, I generally write about my own boring alphabet soup of psychiatric diagnoses: BP, PTSD, OCD (what, I haven’t written about that one yet?  Oversight.  Note to self.), ASD, MDD, blah blah blah, boring.  I’m just so sick of it.  I just want to go back to work and have fun being a doctor like I used to, not sit around being ashamed of my life, the way it’s turned out.

Yes, I am ashamed that I have to take four different kinds of medicine in order to fall asleep (read: pass out from drugs).  Seroquel, which also helps me not feel anything the rest of the time; clonazepam, which helps with the night terrors; lorazepam, which helps calm me down so I don’t leap out of bed and run out the door if I hear a noise; and zolpidem, which has recently had some very bad press in the medical literature, but since I don’t seem to be able to sleep without it, and since bipolar disorder is known to be worsened by lack of sleep, I am stuck.

I just read a great article on how to retrain yourself out of insomnia, using a combination of NLP and DBT techniques.  It looks like it would work for anybody who has “normal” insomnia.  The problem is with me, sleep is associated with being raped, so I don’t think it’s going to work.  I’m going to give it a try, though.  Nothing to lose but a few drugs, and a great deal to gain.