If you are able to identify your depression symptoms before you get sick, you can manage this illness far more successfully.
Today, I’m continuing my list of the 20 Unexpected Signs of a Bipolar Disorder Downswing.
Here we go!
10 More Signs Of Bipolar Depression
- No joy gets through to the brain. You see something you know should bring you joy, such as seeing your own child or an animal or a funny movie, but there is a wall between you and the joy.
- You stop your hobbies. They seem pointless and a waste of time. They don’t bring pleasure.
- You are suspicious and see the behavior of others in a negative way. If someone says something nice, they probably want something from you! (This can also be a sign of psychosis. If you actually feel people are looking at you, filming you or following you to do you harm, it’s more paranoia than typical depression suspicion.)
- You worry. A lot. Things are not going to work out. You can just feel it. Unfortunately, you can be very vocal about these worries such as saying, “We will never find a parking place.” or “There is no point in going. There will be a really long line and the food isn’t good anyway.” The people around you really, really dislike this symptom.
- Deep inside, you feel completely overwhelmed and worn out by life. Life feels hard. Life feels difficult. You read the news and it just confirms what you feel inside. The world is going to hell and there is nothing we can do about it.
- You can pick apart anything nice and lovely and turn it into something dirty and worthless. You practically do this with a child’s painting. Finding something nice to say seems pointless. You say, “This is just my opinion. Do I have to be Mr. Happy all of the time!”
- You are mean. Pure and simple. You see it as… telling the truth, setting the record straight, giving her what she deserved, simply stating my opinion. People are upset by what you say and you simply can’t understand why.
- You can’t stick with anything due to everything feeling uncomfortable and or pissing you off. “This restaurant is too loud and I’ve had it with this cheeky waiter. We are leaving!” And off you go.
- You can be physically aggressive. Kicking things, slamming doors, punching walls, pushing against someone a bit too hard. (As you read in Part One of the list, if there is a lot of energy around these symptoms, there is a chance it’s dysphoric mania and not just angry depression.)
- It’s very, very hard for you to see that you’re ill. This behavior is not how you act when stable. This is a mood swing and the others around you can tell something is wrong, but because part of the mood swings is a lack of self awareness, you feel normal and can’t see that you’re sick. This leads to a lot of arguing with people who keep asking you what’s wrong.
That finishes the list. I will now let you in on a secret. I made this list about myself during a particularly nasty downswing. I had ALL of these symptoms in one morning. ALL of them. I already know that these are my signs of an angry depression episode. I wasn’t manic as I didn’t have the mania symptoms that go with dysphoric mania. This was simply an angry and irritated depression episode.
I have bipolar disorder and even though I use the plan that I write about in all of my books, I still have mood swings. It’s an illness. By knowing the signs of an episode, I’m able to catch it in the middle and do something about it.
If we know what our symptoms look like before we get sick, we can manage this illness far more successfully.
If you recognize yourself or a loved one in these symptoms, write them down. Memorize them. When they show up again, you will then be able to stop yourself from acting on the symptoms.
I was rude to someone during this episode and I felt terrible. I knew I was sick and I knew I needed to be careful, but this illness is strong! I apologized and then moved into management mode and the episode was gone by the evening.
I believe that symptom awareness and management is the secret to stability.