Musings XXVII

Depression is like that elusive “Thief in the Night”

Before the violent home invasions and the stock piling of weapons, there was that world where a thief would slip in to steal valuables like money, jewels and now electronic equipment.  In the case of this thief you may wake up and find so many things gone or you may come home to find you home violated and your spirit damagef because you don’t feel safe.

Depression is not like the outside intruder that slips in and out with the valuables, rather in is an inside job like thieves at work.  These are people who take a little here and a little there.  The managers and owners of the business see the assets bleeding out the door but cannot put their finger on the culprit.

For me depression is definitely the inside job.  As a woman with Dysphoric Mania Bipolar Disorder I bounce between depression and Hypomania more frequently than people with Bipolar disorder. These people will have long periods of Euphoria and the periods of depression. For me I can cycle in a day.

When depression slides in I feel like the thief is not after money or jewels. Rather this thief is after something much more beloved. Depression wants to steal slivers of happiness and at times parts of my soul. Over time I get a little bit more used to depression and at times I think depression is what I call normal. Dysphoric Mania can be chaotic and the hypomania will turn into a painful state. Depression can be a form of relief. In some cases Hypomania and Depression mix and I don’t know the difference. When the two poles mix, there is a sad chaos that becomes focused. Sound and light are painful. So if it is just depression then I can at least feel one state of mood. So at times I think minor depression is more normal. Over time a little bit more depression doesn’t feel like the insider thief is taking anything. In reality a new normal is being established.

What I have to do is resist thinking it is better than Hypomania. Neither state is acceptable, however I am dealing with brain chemistry and just wishing it away is not enough. I have to work with my psychiatrist to get to a normal, something that is neither depression nor hypomania. This means being vigilant with my meds. If I notice either pole is stronger, I have to tell my psychiatrist. Thinking Dysphoric Mania will heal itself is lunacy. It is also a guarantee that I will get worse. One of the tragedies of Bipolar Disorder is Suicide. In the past suicide was something I entertained and attempted. My treatment of my Bipolar Disorder was Alcohol. To go back to the days of self-medication with alcohol would mean I give up and accept death.

I refuse to let Depression become that thief that robs me of my happiness and soul.

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