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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bipolar Depression - Make Hay While the Sun Shines

Anyone who has experienced bipolar depression will tell you symptoms from this condition can be agonizing, persistent, and debilitating.  And it is known that bipolar depression episodes can last from a few weeks to years.

Depression Makes Activities Difficult

The severity and duration of my current bipolar depression makes doing things difficult.  Both simple and complicated activities can seem insurmountable.

A simple task like writing a letter or calling somebody becomes dreadful and meaningless.  My bipolar depression symptoms (e.g., low self esteem, hopelessness, lack of purpose)  impact my ability to be functional.

Complicated activities are worse.  In these cases the depression symptoms related to cognitive impairment (memory problems, concentration difficultly) become troublesome.

Frustrated, unmotivated, low confidence, hopeless, tired, anxious.  These are some of the rotten characteristics that are present when I try to do things during severe bipolar depression.

Low mood, fatigue, difficulties thinking, and social withdrawal often converge to make writing this blog terribly difficult.  I am concerned when I don't have motivation to write.  I abhor being unable to think clearly.

It's as if a worthwhile idea comes along for consideration but is rapidly consumed by clouds of negative thinking.  The thought of the idea becomes tainted by the negative  It's like a seedling that has no chance to survive much less flourish in a harsh environment..  

When I'm too depressed blogging starts to feel like a job.  Deadlines and stress and makes blogging even less worthwhile.  Maybe I'll give myself a raise.

When The Fog Lifts Git-R-Done

My best strategy for my current situation is simply to get as much done as possible when feeling better.  By feeling better I mean there are fewer and less intense depression symptoms.  For example, during times that I feel better I can focus and concentrate better.  This enables me to write and do other tasks.

When feeling better the depression partially lifts and my mood improves.  I feel like doing things and I have the gumption to get on and do it.  I need to git-r-done.

The expression git-r-done came from the South in the 1990's.  Apparently it was developed by a small group of redneck white males who wanted to actually accomplish something in life.  According to git-r-done, ". . . can be said before a task is completed to motivate them, or after a task is completed to celebrate."

During these times of reduced symptoms I can actually begin to enjoy things again.  Writing becomes purposeful.  More chores get done. I have increased energy.

It's not hypomania.  It's my bipolar depression symptoms that are greatly reduced.  I am functioning at a higher level for sure.

But it doesn't last.  This preferred state exists only a few hours or days at a time.  I am then relegated back to the severely depressed and less functioning me.

My troubles functioning while severely depressed can seem so insurmountable.  I ruminate on the fact that there is no cure.  I am tempted to believe that things will always be this bad when I know this is not true.

There is hope.  I have been high functioning before, for several years at a time.  I need to focus on getting back to those days.  Meanwhile, I'll just git-r-done as best I can.


  1. I can find myself in your writing. I mean, i'm half younger than you but much more busy than normal people my age. I changed college because of my disorder but it helped only for a while. Sometimes psychological books and talking to friends help. But not always, i often turn my phone off for couple weeks or go somewhere where nobody knows me.

  2. Hi Anon!

    Glad you get something out of my blog. It is encouraging to hear. Hang in there. You will learn and adapt to this disorder. Just follow my first commandment - Thou Shalt Not Quit!