Journal 2018 – Day 7 – Bipolar and Sexuality

Bipolar Disorder effects all areas of your life but one area I didn’t know it effected much was sexuality. The thing with sex and bipolar is that either you have it in spades and running over or you don’t have an active libido at all. I am of the later which is why I didn’t know it was part of the Bipolar Disorder. A friend of mine didn’t care whom she had sex with, or what kind of sex she had or with how many men she had it with at one time without any protection at all. This kind of reckless sexual activity is called hypersexual behavior is common in Bipolar disorder. Then there is the other side of the coin when another friend of mine had no interest in sex at all. She didn’t want to be touched in any way at all. Not even from her boyfriend. She was fine with cuddles and hugging and kissing, but going further than that made her run out of the door screaming as if she had been touched by a hot poker. As you can see neither one of these situations puts the person in a very good sexual position. The bad thing about the medications for Bipolar Disorder is that it can stop the hypersexual behavior of the Mania phase of the Bipolar disorder but in most cases it will  completely turn their libido off for good.

Some say that Bipolar disorder is the reason for sexual addiction. The two are often difficult to untangle. According to the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) article “Opening the Door on Hypersexuality,” the prevalence of in the people with bipolar disorder is on average 57%. It involves a significantly heightened sex drive resulting in things like “constantly thinking about sex, a preoccupation with pornography, an abundance of one-night stands, engaging in sex with multiple partners, having random sex, seeking out prostitutes or having multiple affairs even when in a committed relationship.”

Most of these sexual encounters don’t mean anything to the person with Bipolar.  They get momentary pleasure from the experience, but they just crave the act of sex.  They don’t really care where or how they get it.  There is no emotional element to these sex acts. When this disorder has disrupted a person’s life almost totally, that person might become a prostitute to hide their sexual appetite.  This way they  can have as much casual, meaningless sex they want.

People with Hypersexuallty are often more likely to try more risky sexual positions and experiences such as being tied up and blind folded. Masters and Servants are also games that can be played as well as the use of whips and chains.  There is one game that even I am willing to play and as stated above I’ve got no libido, and that game is Dirty Minds.  I’d check it out if you want a little fun.

I hopw that I have given you something to think about.  You can’t always judge a book by its cover.

Journal 2018 – Day 6 – Depression

Depression. Now that’s a difficult word there. Let’s start with the “official” definition and go from there. According to the National Institute of Mental Health Depression is a common but serious mood disorder. Some of the symptoms are persistent sadness, anxious or “empty” mood, feelings of hopelessness or pessimism, irritability, feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness, loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities, decreased energy or fatigue, moving or talking more slowly, feeling restless or having trouble sitting still, difficulty concentrating remembering or making decisions, difficulty sleeping, early morning awakening or oversleeping, appetite and/or weight changes, thoughts of death or suicide or suicide attempts, aches or pains, headache, cramps, or digestive problems, without a clear physical cause, and/or that do not ease even with treatment. The symptoms can be severe and affect how you feel, think, and handle your daily life. To be diagnosed with it, you have to have had the symptoms for over two weeks. Not everyone has to have all the symptoms. Some people experience only a few while others experience a lot more. It is the most common mental disorder, and it’s most likely caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.

There are several types of depression

Persistent Depressive Disorder (also called Dysthymia) – It last for at least two years. A person has major depressive episodes along with less severe symptoms.

Postpartum Depression Must more severe than “Baby Blues” ( a relatively mild depressive/anxiety episode that typically clears up within two weeks after giving birth). This is a full-blown Major Depression during pregnancy and/or after delivery. The feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that accompany this type of depression makes it extremely difficult for these new mothers to take care of daily tasks for themselves much less for their babies.

Psychotic Depression – This happens when a person has Major Depression along with some form of psychosis such as hearing or seeing upsetting things that others cannot hear or see (hallucinations) or have disturbing false fixed beliefs (delusions). This type’s symptoms typically have a depressive “these” such as delusions of poverty, illness, or guilt.

Seasonal Affective Disorder – It is characterized by the onset of depression in the winter because of the loss of natural sunlight and coming out of it in the spring when the sun comes out again. Winter depression is normally accompanied by increased sleep, social withdrawal , weight gain, and it predictably returns every year.

Bipolar Disorder – It is different from depression because it’s got mania episodes too, but a person with bipolar does experience extreme lows which are depressions, but they also experience extreme high or euphoric or irritable moods called “mania” or less severe form called “hypomania”

Now that’s that out of the way. It’s the dry stuff. The information stuff. Now we can have some fun….Well….to tell you truth, it’s really not that much fun living with depression. Most of the time you have okay days which are spend in partial dread of bad days.  Then bad days hit and your world is torn apart you don’t know when it is going to end.  It is more than sadness and disinterest. It is like falling down a deep, bottomless, smooth, stone sided well at the speed of light. All you can do is hold on and try not to loss your mind.  The only fun is when the mood swings liven up the place. They can change as slow as the gentle wind blows or as fast as a hurricane roars.  Sometimes my changed so often that if plotted it would look like an EKG.  LOL  The key is not going too high or low.

Well, that’s a good overview of depression.  Now I hope you have a basic understand.  If you have any questions, please leave me a common.

Journal 2018 – Day 5 – Mood Swings

Mood Swings are such a pain in the butt.  Oh, how I wish things could go back to the good old days.  Back before I knew what depression, mania, hypomania, schizophrenia, and mixed states all meant.  Back when I was just an angry child who was always getting into fights because I have an Irish temper and a bad attitude.  Oh, the trouble I’d get into because of my rage.  Mom and I would get into such fights.  She had a good 8 inches to a foot in height on me and way over a 100 pounds, but I could knock her out when I wanted to because I had done it before once completely by accident.  What can I tell you?  She fell easily.

Now Back to the point…….Yes…..Yes….Mood Swings!  They can be easy like a breeze or violent like a hurricane. They can be brief or last for ages.  They can even be small like a drop in the a puddle or large as if a ripple in a lake.   They can be high as the clouds in the sky or low as Hell is from Heaven.  There is just no telling what is coming next with mood swings.  They are just so tricky way which is the big problem with them.

A time in the life with Mood Swings is as follows:

It’s 6:30 am and the sound of the alarm shatters sleep from your mind.  You don’t want to be awake, but you are.  You check around the room just to make sure of where you are and to take a mental note of yourself.  You slowly get up out of  bed, taking inventory and coming to the conclusion that your are in an okay mood today.  You have to check in with yourself every morning to make sure of how your feel because there is no telling otherwise.

You check your planner to see what is on the agenda for the day and lay out the clothes that you will wear for the day.  All of a sudden, anger falls on you as if the red fever just swift through the room and you don’t like the clothes you just picked out. You don’t want to go where you are suppose to go today.  You start yelling at the top of your lungs about everything that comes into your mind. Then a wave of laughter hits you so hard, you fall to the floor of your room rolling.  You just can’t stop laughing.  You don’t know why your laughing.  It’s as if someone as told you the best joke in the world and you just can’t stop laughing.  Then you choke!    Out of the blue you start crying as if someone stole your favorite teddy bear. Your still on the floor with tears running down your face.  You can’t get up because you are so upset.  You try to calm down and pull yourself together.  It takes time, but you finally do it.  Now your okay and finally get ready and walk out of your room.  When you look at the clock, you see that all that happened inside an hour.  Now it’s time to face the day.

Now, not all mood swings are this extreme or quick changing, but this gives you a good picture of the kind of feelings and emotions that a person deals with when they are dealing with mood swings.

Another things that I would like to address is the fact that people who do not have severe mood swings think that it is easy to deal with both yourself and the world around you because they don’t have a problem with it, but when you are fighting with yourself and dealing with the world at the same time, it is not easy in any way, shape or form.  It can be down right hard.  For example:

You have your mind telling you that your are sad, but it is more that sadness and you don’t know why and don’t know how to get out of it. You really just don’t want to do anything at all to tell the truth.  The sadness is more than just sadness.  It is something that you can’t explain, but people don’t want to hear that.  They just want you to get over it and do your job.    Then you have things that you HAVE to do in the world such as work and deal with people.  On top of that people in the workplace want you to be happy with a smile and with sadness you can’t smile.  So we try so very hard to please everyone and force that smile on our lips, but it is a false smile.

I hope you now have an idea of what mood swings are about.  Feel free to comment.

Journal 2018 – Day 4 – Bipolar II

Well, I guess it’s about time to talk about the BIG ANIMAL IN THE ROOM called  BIPOLAR II.  It is the most misunderstood mental illness in the book.  Some people think it’s about the crazy, emotional people that can’t control themselves in public and others think it’s just depressed people that  live on their own in the woods and parks in and around our cities. How about those people locked up in the mental hospital?  Some of them could be Bipolar. I”m here to tell you that all are right and wrong.

We’ve all heard the commercial from TV or radio that states, “Do you feel happy and energetic on some days, but then sad and sluggish on other days? If so, and if your symptoms persist for extended periods of time, making it difficult for you to live your life as you usually would, then you may want to speak with your healthcare provider.” (FREE TV)

There are some Key Points in  this passage:

  1. First let me clarify, you don’t have to be “happy” at all. and secondly, you don’t have to be both “happy” then “sad” then “happy” again. You can just be “depressed” or “sad”.  There is no set formula to go by.  The doctors play it by ear.
  2. Symptoms have to persist for an extended period of time which means more than two weeks to a month.
  3. This condition has to have made it difficult for you to live your life normally.
  4. Finally, You NEED to talk to your Healthcare Provider about it before IT’S TOO LATE..  When it first starts disrupting your life get help! Please!  It can get serious really fast!!!!

Back when I was first diagnosed, there was only one kind of depression and it was called Manic Depression.  It was a unipolar depression.  You only got really depressed like you were falling down a deep well with no hope of coming up or seeing daylight again. Later the “people in the know” came to discover a new type of depression called bipolar depression which is part of a larger condition of  bipolar  disorder where there were two poles of extreme emotions, both highs and lows.  The highs were not “happy” but euphoric and top of the world feelings.  You feel like you can do anything.  Your mind races at 90 mph like a car, but you can also turn irritable. The Lows were not always “sadness” but deeper than that and into hopelessness, depression, and the extreme would be thoughts of suicide.  After several years, “the powers that be” changed everything again and divided Bipolar Disorder into Bipolar I (More of Mania  or “highs” and  some Depression) and Bipolar II (Some Hypomania (Mixed states or “mid-highs” but mainly depression).  You will get mixed states in both.

According to WebMD, Bipolar is a very serious disease and can be risky behavior and even suicidal tendencies,  Bipolar disorder is a lifelong or chronic illness.  There is no cure for it.  It affects the brain in ways that cause unpredictably extreme mood swings that vary in length and duration.  There is no known cause of Bipolar disorder;, but a combination of genetics, altered brain structure, chemistry and environment may play a role.

Here are a few fun facts just for your knowledge:

  1. Bipolar disorder affects about 5.7 Million American adults in any given year and as many as 60 million people worldwide.
  2. More than half of all patients begin seeing symptoms between the ages of 15 and 25, but it can begin at any age.
  3. There is no cure, but for many people the symptoms can be controlled with medication and treatment.
  4. Some people may experience mood swings that are less extreme than a full manic episode , known as hypomania.
  5. People with bipolar disorder often also have other mental health disorders (Sources : Mayo Clinic and Others)

I’m normally not one for stats, but I do like my lists.  (LOL)  Look here.  It’s a disease, first and for most.  Yes there is no cure, but it can be managed by medication and therapy and in extreme cases, hospitals, straps and really good drugs.  (LOL)  Most of us live relatively normal lives and only those closest to us know that we are mentally ill. We don’t have pointed ears or a forked tongues.  We look pretty much alike.