Daily Archives: April 8, 2013
You and I Passed by Me and You We all looked at each other. So familiar thee, said I to me, And you and you looked on in wonder. When […]
I’m special. Not only that, I’m special amongst the special. To top that I’m actually special amongst those who are special amongst the special.
What the hell am I talking about? I’m talking about percentages.
Statistics and percentages are a tricky thing when referring to the mentally ill. Considering the vast number of homeless who are mentally ill, and those who fear to speak openly about their mental illness because of the stigma involved, it’s hard to get good, firm data. After doing a lot of research I’m going to use the most prevalent numbers I’ve found out there.
I have bipolar disorder. The percent of the general population diagnosed with bipolar disorder is only 4%. This makes me special
The percent of of those with bipolar disorder who are rapid cyclers (which I am) is only 15%. That makes me special amongst the special. I’ll explain rapid cycling in a moment.
Finally, I am a man. Women are three times more likely to be rapid cyclers than men. That is why I’m special amongst the special who are special
What is Rapid Cycling? Rapid cycling, according to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, occurs when a person experiences four or more mood swings or episodes in a twelve-month period. However This definition is not well received amongst many psychiatrists. Personally, I think it’s a load of crap. I don’t know of anyone who has bipolar disorder who doesn’t have four or more episodes within a year. Not one. If we go by this definition then everyone is a rapid cycler.
Definitions state that rapid cyclers can have mood swings as much as each month, or each week or even within one day. Most of my cycles were within days. A couple of episodes each week. However, it was not uncommon for my cycles to be all within one day. Depressed in the morning and manic in the afternoon. Or vice versa.
You never knew what kind of mood I was going to be in each day. That didn’t make things easy on Maurice, that’s for sure. Maurice, on the other hand, is excellent at determining my mental state. Looking at me , and especially in my eyes, he always knows what kind of space I’m in and what kind of space I’m transitioning to. Usually way before I do.
I was diagnosed as a rapid cycler long ago, but I learned a new word today. Ultradian. Ultradian mood cycling is characterized by cycles shorter than 24 hours. Before we found the right meds for me, this happened all the time as I said above. I just didn’t know there was a word for it.
So now I know I’m a rapid cycler who is ultradian. I guess that makes me special amongst the special who are special amongst special amongst the special who are amongst the special. Like most people I usually enjoy being special. I like my individuality, but for Gods sakes, even I have my limits. This is ridiculous.
Well, haven’t done one of these in awhile. Or much blogging at all. I’m not going to apologize, though, as …
Monday is my personal, all to myself day off. I have the house to just myself and the cats, and I have found that my sanity holds on a lot better since I instituted this policy. Granted, sanity is also maintained to a degree by having my bipolar diagnosis and Seroquel, but the making sure I had a me day every week has definitely been a wonderful boon to my life and times (and that I can actually take it, of course).
One thing that I used to do a lot more (when I was staying home more due to non-stop nervous breakdowns) is make a list to try and encourage me to get various things done. Because I’ve been all mixed feeling, I figured that I’d put one to paper to stare back at me. I’m not sure how helpful it’s going to be, ’cause it’s a pretty hefty list by my standards (meaning there is half a dozen things on it).
Still, I’ve beaten back perfectionism enough that I know I don’t have to get everything on the list done. I know some things will get done as a matter of course (such as my daily bloggings, which are both on the list and should give me a nice little moment of glee to cross them off). I know that sometimes I will get lucky and find some momentum. I *know* that I’m lucky that lists don’t freak me out with must do must do as it does some of my friends. It doesn’t make getting chores done any easier in a major depressive episode, but at least it gives me somewhere semi-organized to start.
*eyes list and sighs* I should probably try to get moving on it. Or something. What do you guys do to try to motivate yourselves to get things done when the bipolar says that moving is terrible and shouldn’t be done? I’m always curious to hear what other strategies people are able to use to overcome their brain being crap!