Psychological Whiplash

After last night’s abrupt descent into the depressive abyss…I slept. I only woke up a couple of times, which is an improvement. But I think weeks of waking five, six times every night…May have brought on exhaustion and kept me asleep. Maybe if I just survive weeks on end on minimal sleep I can get the occasional good night’s sleep.
Somehow, that reasoning seems flawed.
Everyone thinks it’s so simple. If you can’t sleep, take a pill. Well, the ones the shrinks give me are coma inducers that pretty much guarantee a hangover the next day and render me useless dead weight.
The over the counter stuff doesn’t work.
And it’s too easy to become reliant on a quick sleep fix. I’d rather tough it out, but I think last night proved…We all hit a crash and burn point of exhaustion.

This morning…It was so cold, I hit snooze until ten after seven. I didn’t want to leave the warm blankets. But I did. While my kid got ready, we checked out some metal versions these guys on youtube do of pop songs. Must admit…The metal version of the Frozen theme my kid has held me hostage to for the last year…done metal…is not too putrid. Metal makes everything better. And the new Marilyn Manson…Absolutely rocks the casbah, it’s like he’s gone back to the original metal rather than the trancy pop stuff they did for awhile. And my kid is learning all the words to “Deep Six” because I have been exhausting myself on it.
Which means…I am mentally hypomanic. Gotta love the stability (ha) of cyclothymia. For months I have been very leery of music because it heightened my anxiety and I couldn’t enjoy it. Now I am enjoying it a bit and my mind is a funnel cloud of activity, both good and bad…Yes, manic.
It’s just a different kind of manic compared to solid bipolar one and two. I will run high for a few hours then bottom out. The patterns remain fairly consistent in their inconsistency.

Due to all the anti mental illness propaganda I have read this week (not by choice, it just seems to be there at every turn) I have looked back on old journals. I am talking six, ten years ago journals. Trying to identify what I might be doing to sabotage my own progress. If any personality quirks or habits contribute. Maybe it’s all emotional damage.
I can’t find anything.
If anything, the personality issues that so plagued me have really dissipated to a quiet background noise. Recently R’s wife said, “At your age, you’re not going to change much, you are who you are now.” And that irked me because I am constantly involving, improving as a person. Who I was just six years ago is drastically different today, in outlook, in determination, in a willingness to fight for my own evolution as a person.

What has not changed are the constant cycles with the cyclothymia, depressions, and anxiety. I found a journal entry from when my grandfather died. I was manic and people thought I was happy he was dead. Which was the furthest thing from the truth, but how you behave on the outside is how people base their opinion.
Then there was an entry from 2008 where everything was going well, I pretty much felt stable and there was less stress…And I babbled on and on about the futility of life and how it felt like I had a ship anchor weighing me down every day.
Outside triggers seem to mean nothing with this disorder.It can definitely contribute to the anxiety, but as far as the moods go…It’s whiplash.

Yesterday, I was kind of down and of course, the bug crawling on my skin anxiety was in full force. R asked me to do him one favor and it totally escaped my memory…He got irked and said, “I asked you to do one thing and you couldn’t even get it right, moron.”
Most people would get angry or sad that a friend would say such a thing.
It’s so common in my life, it slid right off my surface.
Because I know I can be a flake. It’s not by choice. I don’t make an effort to be ditzy or forgetful. Most days, I feel like my brain is tapioca. I forget things ten seconds after they are said (mostly with numbers.) I seem to have some sort of numerical dyslexia where even as the numbers are recited or written, I get them garbled. I sometimes garble my sentences and say or write the opposite of what was meant.
I will agree to do something Monday on Friday, then Friday comes and I am a basketcase so once again, I am letting people down.
I accept my flakiness. I don’t like it, and I try hard to fight it…But it doesn’t change a thing.
Sometimes I think that Nardil interaction that landed me in the hospital gave me brain damage.
Other times, I wonder if it’s not all the psych drugs that turned my brain into scrambled eggs.

Psychological whiplash. Yeah, that’s pretty apt a description.
I am still here, still trying. Even if it seems like I am getting nowhere. And I partially blame my doctors. They are so busy being conservative, I don’t feel I get proper treatment in the five minute med checks. I am supposed to fill it in with counseling but honestly, after 20 years of it…Most of my major issues have been hashed out.
Except the bipolar, anxiety, and seasonal affect and there is not a thing a therapist can do for that.
It’s medical and for that, I need adequate mental care.
Unfortunately, I am forced to go where the insurance will pay.

For weeks (months even) I have toyed with the idea of puffing myself up with courage to go to the psych doc and lay it all on the line. How I feel I am not receiving the best treatment and how his dismissal of my worst problems is a hindrance and a disservice. I am trying so hard and still…
Feeling helpless and at the mercy of others is not something that sits well with me.

They say take charge of your own care.
I try. But I can only do so much with doctors who don’t want to venture outside their own comfort zone as far as treatment goes. And I am expected to defer to their expertise when in fact, the only one who is an expert on my illness is me. I live with it 24-7-365.
Funny how living it doesn’t qualify you as having an expert opinion.

Now…my stomach is twisted in knots and my brain is racing and I need to go find one of those funky collars they give whiplash victims. Do they make those for the mind? And if so, I really hope it’ available in black.
Yeah, sarcastic humor.
I must be cured.
Except I haven’t bathed in two days, skipped a bra, can’t be bothered to feed myself, and can’t even work on my vampire novel because my brain is speeding too fast.
One step forward, two steps back.
I babble therefore I am.


3 Responses to “Psychological Whiplash”

  1. I will completely understand if you can’t reply back, I know this comes at a bad time, but I’m struggling with answering questions for filing disability and I really thought of your advice and expertise..

    I have questions in front of me like this:

    How do your illnesses, injuries or conditions limit your ability to work?

    I know I need to demonstrate how I can’t work and talk about my medical issues like anxiety and panic attacks, but I feel so overwhelmed about the best way to respond. I need to make aware of these: anxiety with panic attacks, OCD, ADD, Fibromyalgia, agoraphobia……I have lots of physical symptoms as well as mental health issues with depression, all the negative side effects, etc.

    It’s a lot of stuff to cover and I have a problem with wanting to write a novel for a direct and concise answer. If you can offer any advice I’d really appreciate it so much. I hope things get better for you. Just know that I admire your blog and all your efforts to manage your health and daily life. Thanks so much!

    • I had (have) trouble focusing on concise replies to their questions, because, yeah, they don’t need a novel and I am a lousy editor once the brain starts spewing. But the questions are so simplistic, it really doesn’t do us a service as far as our personal experiences are concerned. So I strip it down. How the manic episodes impact anxiety, socialization, the way people perceive me. Followed by how the months long depressive cycles hinder even fun things so it’s not relegated merely to stressful activities and it makes even those who care for me dread my presence and bemoan my unreliability and lack of functionality. The anxiety, generalized, makes doing the simplest things (grocery shopping at busy times, heavy traffic, even a meal out or school activity) grueling. The panic then ties into that, causing the physical symptoms which are icky and not easily understood or forgiven by people who simply see you as lazy or flaky. (Insert your own issues, just giving an idea.) When you have a multiple diagnoses, it’s important to include a personal note. They may ultimately decide based on “professional reports” but no one knows your day to day life and struggles like you do. So don’t be afraid to add a note in your own words rather in their forms, those forms are a given anyway. Give examples of how the disorders impact the simplest aspects of life. Oh, and volunteer to see any doctor or therapist of their choice. My last review I did this and they made an appointment with out of town psychologist. He spent forty five minutes with me, which is more than the psychiatrists spend the whole year. And they are trained to spot behavior issues versus legitimate mental issues so while your doctors may back you up…It doesn’t hurt to have a doctor the powers that be choose to agree with them.

      I don’t know how my review is going to go. I think I know why I came up far sooner than I used to. Back in 2012, I was half manic and running on that and I had all these plans and was going to get cured and take on the world. That hasn’t happened. I fear they may view it less as my med changes and instability and a lack of effort but I am going to fight tooth and nail. Hope you do the same. I was denied four times before it finally went through. Good luck.

      On Tue, Feb 24, 2015 at 12:16 PM, Take a Ride on My Mood Swing wrote:


      • Thank you for the advice and taking time to respond to me today. I know you have multiple things going on in your own daily life so it means a great deal to me that you answered me. I really appreciate your blog post(s), they always resonate with me. You were on the top of my list in asking for advice, I feel like your opinion is something I can trust…

        I know what you said was right and like you, once I get to writing, it’s really difficult to not want to expand and offer great detail. I want my answers to reflect my true situation too, but as you know, most people will glaze over something. It’s always the same: Suck it up, have a stiff upper lip when speaking about things, etc. I want to make sure I am answering as honestly as I can, making sure not to embellish or make light of something even. It’s so hard!

        Depending on whom I’m talking to, say my bf, I have no issue telling him what bothers me, etc. I’m most definitely a complainer or whiner, both fit. At the same though, I hate discussing my true feelings or problems; especially so with any sort of doctors, therapists, etc. I’m always worrying about how truthful I should be with doctors, I definitely say just what’s needed. Even so, I’m always questioning how much I should share.

        I don’t know a great deal about how all this works, I decided to get a lawyer to help me, everything has overwhelmed me and I’m late sending in info requested and other forms needed. I’m hoping I can finally get everything done this week.

        I didn’t even think about what/when do you have to deal with a renewal, etc. I hope it’s somewhat easier than the initial process. I can’t believe you went through 4 denials until they accepted you. I am prepared for it to be denied, it seems that most are the first time, but 4 times?! WTF??!!!!! It seems absolutely ridiculous to me, maybe it’s not, but that just seems crazy to have to apply four times before qualifying!

        I have a doctors appt. tomorrow so I’m going to talk to him as well, not that his counsel will be that helpful though. I think I am going to re-read your response again, then sit down with a notepad and go through the questions, writing answers down but not on the sheet just yet. I will more than likely have more than one person read things and get their opinions before recording my final answer, etc. etc.

        I probably will enclose a note like you recommended. I dread writing it, getting started on anything is a struggle for me. I hadn’t thought about your suggestion about seeing a recommended doctor, good idea too! I really am freaking out about having to do exactly that, see someone. Really dreading that…

        Again, thank you so much for all the advice given, I know it will help me when I do sit down and start writing. I hope things work out right away for you in your disability case, please keep me updated! Your writing is great and I’m sure to do better now that I have it to reference when I get stuck.

        Thanks again!

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