Archive for June, 2012

¿Belligerent? ¿Moi?

In the past I have been quick to wax long and ardently on the glories of hypomania and how grand such episodes can be, but if I want to be completely accurate and truthful about it, I should also note that sometimes the hypomania is a thoroughly unpleasant experience, especially when accompanied by agitation. It is so unpleasant that I am ready for it to cease almost before it has begun. Such hypomanias are decidedly dysphoric in nature, and if you’re wondering what that means, to quote my psychiatrist, when you feel dysphoric, you feel shitty. If we turn to wikipedia for what is a more genteel way of describing it, “semantically the opposite of euphoria, it is medically recognized as a mental and emotional condition in which a person experiences intense feelings of depression, discontent and indifference.” And I would add that of the three feelings, it is discontent that is the dominant one.

Why am I bringing this up? Why now? Well, kids, every year about this time (late Spring, early Summer) I experience an episode of dysphoria. But this year it seemed to have passed my by, for this year I was feeling fine. More than fine. I was feeling great. The first hint that I got that anything was amiss was that starting a few weeks ago my many friends at the forum ( http://bipolar.about.com/ ) kept responding to my posts asking me if I wasn’t feeling a little hypomanic, and suggesting that I see my psychiatrist ASAP. But I was feeling great and so paid them no heed, although I was also struggling with feelings of agitation too, but nothing I couldn’t handle, I thought.

As luck would have it, a routine visit to my psychiatrist came due. I told him about the agitation, but only because I like to be forthcoming and thorough, and not because I thought something was amiss and needed his attention. And I told him just that. “How are you feeling right at this moment?” he wanted to know. “I feel really great and find it quite enjoyable,” I told him. “You are not feeling great!” he informed me, “You are hypomanic, and I find it scary as hell.” He made modifications to my med regimen. Later that same morning, again just by chance, I had a session with my therapist. I told her what my psychiatrist had just told me, and asked her if she, too, thought I was hypomanic. “Well, I don’t know if it’s hypomania or what, but you’re acting much more scattered than usual,” she explained, “and more willful, almost belligerent.” I was shocked by this, and so, later still that same morning, I told my wife what had transpired at my doctors’ visits and what they had said. “Belligerent? Willful?” she exclaimed, “How about just plain old bully?!”

How strange, and how ironic, that I am always the last to tumble to my own mood state.

So willful, belligerent, bullying, agitated and hypomanic, was this to be this year’s flavor of dysphoria? I didn’t have to wait long to find out. As the days progressed and the agitation mounted, the manner in which this years dysphoria materialized is easily described: it usually began mid morning as a vague feeling of agitation, one that often prevented me from settling down to work. As the morning progressed, the agitation became more pronounced, more disconcerting, and about all I was capable of was to sit quietly with my arms folded across my chest in resignation while I waited, hoping it would release its hold on me. It never did, of course and I grew more agitated by the minute. Finally, just as I was convinced I wouldn’t be able to stand a single minute more of this torment, it began to fade into the background with an incipient and promising hypomania taking its place, but this hypomania was not one of the happy one. No, instead it was one tinged with hypersexuality, as if my libido were running amok. It’s as if the agitation and hypersexuality were obverse sides of a single coin, a coin that I was spinning, watching the two sides blur and merge, one into the other, as the incapacitating agitation morphed into a mind boggling and agitated horniness.

In retrospect, I wonder if this is what is meant by  “agitated depression” even though I don’t feel particularly depressed at such moments, but depression is a very complex mood ( http://bipolar.about.com/od/depression/Depression.htm ) and can manifest itself in many different ways. This combination of agitation and heightened libido left me feeling dysphoric in the utmost. Traditionally robins and daffodils are the harbingers of Spring, but for some of us, me anyway, madness is the only harbinger I get.

 

 

 

 

 

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A Marine Existence

A Marine Existence

Having lived for so long suspended above darkness,

the black adiaphane,

a Great White,

no longer able to cope, to stay, to maintain relevance,

begins now that final narrowing gyre,

appearing to shrink and blur, to fade,

as it spirals downward into the perspectiveless abyss,

collapsing in upon itself

into a single,

 featureless

smudge.

Spot.

Dot.

Gone.

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