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Not doing too well


Luna-
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Things are not going all that well with me. :~( I seem to be heading into another depressive episode. A month, (or was it two?) ago I had a hypomania and this is the aftermath, it seems. I’ve been cycling frequently for 2 years and I thought it was slowing down but I guess not ...

The onset of this one has been swift. It is still too soon to phone my pdoc, it has to have been going on for two weeks before it qualifies as an episode. :~(

I have doubts about why I take my meds. All those drugs and to what avail, if I still land up like this? I have doubts about my ability to handle this. My sleep is messed up. The old negative self-talk has resurfaced. I’m crying every day and the rest of the time I feel numb but fragile. I’m still fighting but I’m not winning. :~( My only hope is that maybe it will not get severe.

I’m not good at asking for help. I’ve hidden this for close on a week but it is spilling over now. I just need a safe refuge to sit down and cry. I guess I am in need of some words. :~(

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I have doubts about why I take my meds. All those drugs and to what avail, if I still land up like this? I have doubts about my ability to handle this. My sleep is messed up. The old negative self-talk has resurfaced. I’m crying every day and the rest of the time I feel numb but fragile. I’m still fighting but I’m not winning. :~( My only hope is that maybe it will not get severe.

Luna,

sometimes you just have to let the tears out. Also, try to figure out what triggered it. All days are not the same. But they pass. Hold on my dear to a good thought. Don't wonder to much, if you can. Just know that it will pass and those running thoughts will settle down.

God's speed and deliverance

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Thank you so much, all. I feel so gloomy.

Amye: I don’t see my psychologist often enough for it to qualify as ‘therapy’, I don’t think. It’s more like psycho-education to help manage my BP (which I don’t seem to be managing very well since I’m getting depressed again :() and is only a visit every 2-3 months now. I have had quite a lot of therapy in the past and it has all helped tremendously but the cycles continue.

IrmaJean: Thank you. You’d think I had the hang of it by now. It’s going to take a lot for me to make that phone call.

finding: what sort of body work do you mean? Hugs are good. I can’t paint to save my life, but I've done it anyway - but everything is a chore, even eating, I have no wish to do anything and painting or drawing seem mountainous. The beach sounds good, but even the waves rush headlong and then crash ...

danni: I’d be hopeless company on the beach, but thanks …

musemuse: I know you know the score with BP. Yeah, my thoughts are not going good places with this; nothing seems worthwhile and it’s all just so futile. I’m crying again, but it’s mixed with gratitude now, maybe that is a good thought to hang onto.

What is the meaning in all this? There must be some meaning but it eludes me and each depression only ravages me more. What else is it I am meant to learn from this? David used to say that suffering refines the soul. I wish he were still here, I miss him.

Thank you all for your thoughts ...

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Luna, I was just wondering if that imploding energy of depression was a call to go deep within and find lost connections to your resources there. When the thoughts get repetitive and lost in negativity, it helps to have other parts of you to connect to that feel authentic and expressive and maybe clued in to your true path to help you find your way again... sometimes we have to go into the silence to find our voice from a deeper locus. Body work of most any kind, even just breathing or walking, if you pull your attention there, can help quiet looping negative thoughts and atune you to a different kind of listening that is all still you.

I'm sorry you hurt so much right now, Luna:(

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Luna,

I know someone whose Bipolar responded well to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy along with his medication. For years now he has been able to use the CBT techniques he learned in therapy to head off going into the depression. The reason is he is able to identify the inaccurate thoughst that set him off and prevent the relapse. I am not saying it will work for everyone or in the same way but is sure helps a lot.

For example, at the moment you are thinking that you take meds to "no avail." Not true. You are depressed at the moment but you have been stable for a while.

Can you identify something in your life that might have set off you depression?

Allan:)

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Again, thank you all.

Today is better than yesterday.

Sue: I wish I could get together enough energy to do some art - I normally love it but it feels like a huge task now. Still you reminded me of something that may well help, so thanks:

I'm enrolled as a subject in a clinical trial run by the psychology dept at the University of Melbourne, Australia. They have a f2f bipolar intervention programme they run with BPs and they want to test the efficacy of the programme if it is done online and not f2f. There's a series of course modules with information, exercises and questionnaires which you work through and then follow-up questionnaires at 3 months, 6 months and 12 months to test the efficacy of having been through the programme.

Anyway, in the depression module there was a "Cycle of Lethargy" with a little animation. The cycle goes: The less you do -> the less you want to do -> the more depressed you feel -> the less you do -> etc etc, around in a circle. As the cycle goes round and round, the circle shrinks more and more. It hit me between the eyes how well it explained what happens in depression.

The trick to not get sucked into the lethargy cycle is to break it as "the less you do". Yesterday I totally capitulated to the cycle. I did nothing but wander around the house and cry and feel numb as if I was outside myself. Mistake. So I now have modest little "to-do" list I can cope with. Hopefully this will work tomorrow.

finding: I read your post and went for a walk! A very short, slow one. (The best part was when it was over, but at least I did it.) And you may just be right about this:

Luna, I was just wondering if that imploding energy of depression was a call to go deep within and find lost connections to your resources there. When the thoughts get repetitive and lost in negativity, it helps to have other parts of you to connect to, that feel authentic and expressive and maybe clued in to your true path to help you find your way again... sometimes we have to go into the silence to find our voice from a deeper locus. Body work of most any kind, even just breathing or walking, if you pull your attention there, can help quiet looping negative thoughts and atune you to a different kind of listening that is all still you.

You make so much sense. And it gives me something I can do, some way to make sense of how I feel, even when I feel grim. If I can find a deeper meaning, I can bear it that much easier, knowing I must go through it to emerge on the other side. I have lost connections to many parts of me and am quite adrift ... :~( Maybe this is the time to take up yoga. Oh, do I have the energy? But I must do something.

What would also help find what resonates deeper, is to find something to read, something with meaning that would help me make sense of this depression. Does that make sense? Something that could help me re-connect. What can I read ...?

Thanks for saying this, finding, it feels valuable to me.

Allan: I do have an idea of what might have triggered this. It was something that happened but I'd rather not go into it here. It is good to remind myself that things are not as awful as when "all-or-nothing" takes over ... thanks.

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Lunabelle... I was in a study group that looked at INNER WORK by Robert Johnson. I don't know if it'd be in your library or not,,, most likely not. It has exercises for working with your deeper, less understood strata.... in my experience, when you can healthily connect up to that content and can make use of it, it releases lots of energy back into the system along with giving you a sense of meaning for the things that are happening to you. I think examining your thoughts with CBT is important too, though I've never had a CBT therapist. Working with the sensations of your body as you move and breathe is an effective technique for pulling your attention out of looping thoughts that spiral you down. It is isn't about physical effort if you can make the mental shift...it's about leaving the thought world if you can and it's about being right here right now in a body that breathes and metabolizes and a heart that beats and a gentle quiet that is your very own precious home and best place to be:o

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Finding, you keep making such sense! Yes, I can see the bodywork is not about physical effort; I used to meditate in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and this was precisely the point, to let go of thought and simply be. (So why did I forget that???? Laziness.)

Please tell me more about the book Inner Work? It's not in the library but I could probably order it online. What kinds of exercises are involved and how does one access these deeper strata when one's thinking is dulled by depression?

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Here's what is posted on amazon about INNER WORK

From Library Journal

In this book Johnson introduces a simple four-step method aimed at helping us explore the unconscious. He encourages us to pinpoint the symbols that appear in our dreams and active imaginings; to note our conscious associations to these symbols; meaningfully to personalize what we have accomplished in these first two steps; and finally through rituals to translate the insights gained into memorable conscious experiences. By providing clear instructions, with illustrations, he gives us a feeling for inner work, making it feasible without reliance on formal analysis. Johnson's well-written book should appeal both to general readers and to specialists in the field. Paul D. Huss, Psychology & Clinical Studies Dept., Andover Newton Theological Sch., Newton Centre, Mass.

Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Description

Noted author and Jungian analyst Robert Johnson shows how working with our dreams and active imagination can integrate our conscious and unconscious selves, leading us to wholeness and a more satisfying life.

It was a fun book to study with a group, but it would be good on your own too...

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Okayyy, something VERY WEIRD is going on with me. I seem to have switched!

Late last night (I couldn't sleep), I was in bed but began to get very restless. My thoughts were racing, I couldn't lie still, I wanted to get up and start doing things, had all sorts of ideas, started feeling excited and was very amused by my thoughts and laughing. I was talking to myself too. I stayed in bed and resisted the impulse to leap up and finally fell asleep at 1am. This morning I woke up and felt just fine, energised! All symptoms of hypomania.

I'm not complaining(!) but the speed of the switch is very bizarre. Who knows, in a few days I may plunge again and a few days after be all chirpy again.

Thanks to all who wrote to me; I feel like such a fraud now! I really was in despair and feeling hopeless. Three days ago was probably the worst day - but now it feels like something that happened much longer ago. I got all alarmed that I was falling in the Black Pit and posted about it but now - I'm so sorry.

(Still very interested in that book, finding.)

I'm a bit nervous that the depression is waiting around the corner to pounce on me again, but hey, today is good and I'm not going to spend it worrying about tomorrow.

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I'm about 30% cashew and 70% pistachio. :)

(Mixed Nuts is a new personality typing system I just invented (much like the Myers-Briggs). :) Yeah, I'm speeding up; I'd MUCH rather be manic than depressed! :D)

To go back to what you posted, finding:

So the book is about dream work. I've often thought I should keep a dream journal and I'm ashamed to admit, it is sheer laziness that has kept me from doing it. But it occurred to me that I keep a mood chart just fine, so it's probably just a matter of habit and if it would help me during depressions and generally give my life more meaning, then there's nothing to lose and much to gain.

I'm going off to order it. :( Woo hoo, shopping.

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Hi Luna, I'm sorry I missed offering you support when you were down, but I'm glad the mood has passed and you are feeling better now :) Like you, I have moods that shift very quickly. Now I count on the fact that the depression is with me for a time, but I know that it will pass, so I don't worry about those dragging myself around days anymore and use them to catch up on rest and relaxation...

May you mood remain stable for a good long time!

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Hi Luna, how are you today?

the book is about the language you can interface your depths with... the language of dreams, fantasies, projections, active imagination. It's a more archaic part of the mind that speaks in living symbols. He gives a concrete method for working with this stuff, and once you experience an "ah hah!!" more will come, and you have a route for connecting up with your resources for meaning. It is a different type of "thinking," much more midbrain, but it has the incredible value of connecting upper brain to lower to midbrain, giving you the opportunity to experience more of your totality. There are precautions; you need a healthy enough ego to handle the journey, and it helps to have others to dialog with about it. Hope I haven't discouraged you with all my blah blah:p

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I ordered the book and no, you didn't discourage me. :) I read all the reviews on Amazon as well. Sounds good.

Today is ... this morning was fine, I am dipping a bit now, but really just a bit, nothing like the depths of before. I am wondering if I can exhale now - was it just a very brief thing or is it a prodrome? Let's go with the first one! ;) But I'm gathering my psychological "weapons" together just in case ...

"A healthy enough ego to handle the journey". Uh-uh. Do I have that? I don't know. How healthy is enough? How does one know? Does the ego fall apart if it's not healthy enough? Can I survive with just a Persona? This is sounding perilous! :eek:

Edited by Luna-
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