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.

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  1. Several hours later, I reread what I wrote above. It’s disconnected, incoherent in places, and far from my usual glib style. I think it’s a good picture of the scrambled brain of a rapid cycler who’s between cycles. I usually write when I’m either euthymic or slightly hypomanic. It gives me energy and clarity to give over what I want to express. I thought about deleting this post, but decided to leave it because I think it’s important for my readers, both bipolar and not, to see what can happen to a brain caught in the limbo between the poles.

  2. Actually, I think what you wrote is right on the money. I can relate to the full of ideas, interested in everything state (lovely) as well as the crash,bang, wallop effect. I’m a BP2 (mixed states) kinda guy,myself. The series of articles you propose sounds genuinley really interesting. I’m having a nice quiet day off from work – yeserday was our son, Asher’s 18th – a good book and a nice cup of tea. Then I’m going to try and finish my W.R.A.P.(have ou got one?) and go to see ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ this evening with my son, who still doesn’t mind being seen in public with me. 😉

    • Thank you, good to hear that I don’t sound like the ramblings of a manisc, even though I am one.

      Mazal tov on your son’s BDAY! Ad meah v’ esrim be’simcha rabba, hatzlacha, bri’ut, parnassa tova, zivug, and anything else I forgot.

      What’s a W.R.A.P.?


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