I’ve found that there are two kinds of bipolar depression. Here are the signs of an angry and irritated downswing.
It’s easy to spot what we consider traditional depression symptoms: crying, lack of movement, sadness, silence, brain fog, slumped body, lack of desire, fear, hopelessness, helplessness and an overall worry that life is not worth living.
I’m here today to talk about the OTHER depression that is often mistaken for a personality flaw or seen as someone simply being in a bad mood.
I call the first kind of depression WEEPY DEPRESSION and I call this depression ANGRY and IRRITATED DEPRESSION. People with bipolar tend to experience both, but rarely get help for the second type as helping someone in this kind of a depression is like talking with a really angry snake.
Are you ready to explore your own depression or the depression of someone you care about who has bipolar disorder? Let’s Go!
Ten Signs of Bipolar Depression
Pissed off at everyone and everything. Kittens and puppies make you mad.
Thinking is out of control. You think about thinking about thinking. Then think about thinking about the fact that your thinking about thinking about thinking. ARRRGGGGGG!
You second guess everything you do. Turn right and your brain says, “You should have turned left moron!” Unfortunately, you do this with the people in your life as well. Nothing anyone does ever feels right.
What is the point of doing anything since everything is so #$#@ed up! There is a LOT of cussing in this downswing. This can’t be ignored or softened just because people don’t like vulgar words. When you’re in this mood swing, your language WILL change.
You feel you will never reach your goals and will be stuck in this current ‘hell’ forever.
The body hurts. Headaches, backaches, eye strain, painful hair (yes, your hair can hurt when you’re really depressed). You can’t get comfortable and change locations a lot looking for a better resting place that never arrives as the pain is internal.
YOU JUDGE EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING. Especially yourself, but outwardly, you will tell people what you think and can be very, very unkind to people you love.
Your face looks displeased. Your judgmental feelings come out in pursed lips, signs, rolled eyes and other physical signs that you are not pleased with something.
Your world view is negative. You will find the garbage in the gutter when there is a rainbow in the sky.
You can’t see the positive. It’s not that you don’t want to see the positive, you simply CAN’T see it because this kind of depression makes you focus on everything that is going wrong.
Wow, that is only ten of the symptoms of angry and irritated depression. I can tell you from a lot of personal experience that this episode is a relationship wrecker. You are miserable inside and miserable to be around. I will list the final ten symptoms in my next blog and also offer some tips for managing this type of depression.
Please note that these are also the signs of a dysphoric manic episode, also called mixed mania, but only if typical mania symptoms are also present. Mixed mania is a combination of mania, anxiety and depression.
How do you know if it’s dysphoric mania and not plain old angry depression?
It’s all about the energy behind the symptoms. It’s possible to have all of the above symptoms and still sleep normally, talk regularly, watch your spending, keep a regular libido and stay at a consistent and often low energy. If the above symptoms are actually dysphoric mania, you WILL have one or more of these symptoms: noticeable sleep changes, an increased libido, the desire to spend, rapid speech, goal driven activities that you actually do and an overall sense that your organs are trying to jump out of your body due to profound restlessness.
Isn’t bipolar disorder fun! The only way to manage this illness in my opinion is through symptom recognition and management. All of the above symptoms are from my own life…. on the SAME DAY.
Julie A. Fast is the author of "Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder," "Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder," "Get it Done When You’re Depressed" and "The Health Cards Treatment System for Bipolar Disorder." She is a columnist and blogger for BP Magazine and won the Mental Health America journalism award for the best mental health column in the US. Julie was also the recipient of the Eli Lily Reintegration award for her work in bipolar disorder advocacy. Julie is a bipolar disorder expert for the Dr.Oz and Oprah created site ShareCare. Julie is CEU certified and regularly trains health care professionals including psychiatric residents, social workers, therapists and general practitioners on bipolar disorder management skills. She was the original consultant for Claire Danes for the show Homeland and is on the mental health expert registry for People Magazine. She works as a coach for parents and partners of people with bipolar disorder. Julie is currently writing a book for children called "Hortensia and the Magical Brain: Poems for Kids with Bipolar, Anxiety, Psychosis and Depression." You can find more about her work at JulieFast.com and BipolarHappens.com.
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