Marianas Variety

Last updateFri, 22 Nov 2019 12am







    Thursday, November 21, 2019-4:06:13A.M.






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Mindful musings: Coping with bipolar disorder

HAGÅTÑA —   Next month is Mental Health Month but people suffer from mental health issues every day of the week and every month of the year. I am one of those people and I suffer from manic depression.

According to “Bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression) causes serious shifts in mood, energy, thinking, and behavior — from the highs of mania on one extreme, to the lows of depression on the other. More than just a fleeting good or bad mood, the cycles of bipolar disorder last for days, weeks or months. And unlike ordinary mood swings, the mood changes of bipolar disorder are so intense that they interfere with your ability to function.”

Currently, I am in “a manic episode (that) is characterized by a period of at least one week where an elevated, expansive or unusually irritable mood, as well as notably persistent goal-directed activity is present. The mood disturbance associated with manic symptoms (is) observable by others (e.g., friends or relatives of the individual) and must be uncharacteristic of the individual’s usual state/behavior,” as described by

I am a normally fast talker but in this current state I can talk so fast it’ll make your head spin and spin, you’ll think your head might actually spin right off your neck. I will wear you out with my energy. I can and will do anything and everything and don’t you dare ask me to slow down. So what if I have a million projects strewn all over the living room? I have all these books right here. Books on poetry, books on the Old and New Testaments, on World War I, crocheting — and my newest interest, embroidery. And if you don’t like it, you know what you can do. These are the kinds of thoughts ricocheting in my mind, silently addressed to my dearest Hubby. Sometimes, I’ll hear myself say these things out loud but I’m helpless to stop. It’s as if I’m outside of my body observing someone apart from me but is me.

Imagine how difficult it must be to live with someone who is bipolar. I am fortunate that Hubby who has known me for 10 years loves me enough to weather these mental storms with me. My late husband was also understanding and stayed with me through the ups and downs, and topsy-turvy ever highest highs and lowest lows.

I have been on medication for almost two decades and take the highest dose possible. I refuse to think of what would happen should my body build a tolerance and the medicine lose its effectiveness. A year ago last November, I had the worst depression ever. It was difficult as it lasted all through the holidays. I had to pretend that I felt fine, that the smile plastered on my face was genuine. When I am in a depression, I want to be alone and left alone. That’s not possible when one is married. When all I want to do is stay in bed and sleep, and resent that anyone is near me and breathing my air. Hubby has learned to leave me alone, though he worries.

It’s as if I’m living in darkness while others are in bright sun. It’s as if I’m seeing everything through the wrong end of a telescope. I can’t imagine having felt joy in anything. I haven’t the energy or desire to do anything that under normal mental circumstances I would enjoy.

My sister knows when to leave me alone, my voice sounds different, flat. She doesn’t pressure me to get out of what may appear to be only a bad mood.

Writing poetry helps me to release my feelings and prayer helps, bringing comfort. A dear friend sent me these Bible verses recently — there is hope when one relies on the Lord, no one can make it alone:

“The waves of death swirled around me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. The cords of the grave coiled round me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called to the Lord; I called out to my God. From His temple He heard my voice, my cry came to His ears.... He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters.... You, Lord, are my lamp; the Lord turns my darkness into light.... It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.... You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way.” (2 Samuel 22:5-7,17, 29, 33, 37 NIV)