Depression & Depression Cycles

I was asked to have a post about depression, and when I talk about depression, it is also good to talk about depression cycles. Yesterday, I had a bad day where I cycled between mania and depression– my depression left me laying in bed most of the night, day, in the dark and binge-watching my favorite shows. (If you want to learn more about my mania check out my blog post here.) So here is my discussion on depression and depression cycles. I hope this helps for those that asked about me writing this post!

Depression Cycles – The Thoughts From The Bipolar Writer

When I started my blog The Bipolar Writer, I wanted the connections that I made there help guide what I would write in my the story of my Bipolar life. I didn’t imagine that what I blog about would extend to my memoir right away, but sometimes it does just that when you least expected.

The last few days I found myself talking about depression cycles (or as some call them depression episodes.) To me, the two are one in the same; I think it depends on your psychiatrist and what they call these cycles/episodes. For the sake of this blog post, I will call them cycles.

To me, the defining parts of my depression cycles are the deep feelings of depression that last more than a week (some doctors would say two, but hey I am no expert.) My depression cycles always bring out the worst parts of what I like to call “depression me.” It starts when I have trouble getting out of bed or doing the simplest of tasks.

There is the not eating and feeling hopeless every second that I’m awake. The strangest part for me when I am in a depression cycle is that I’m tired, and yet I have no reason to sleep. I know things are going wrong when I go days without sleep. Instead, I just lay there for hours on end lost in an endless abyss of my depression. The worst part is that the depression cycle keeps me from leaving my house.annie-spratt-649938-unsplash.jpg

Depression for me has always been the hardest thing for me to deal with, and I haven’t ever managed it well. I fail to fix the problems that make me depressed, and then I feed the depression by not getting out of bed or eating. It only gets worse over time. I do nothing about it, and that is the worst part of my depression cycle. I eventually found a way to deal, but this came after many depression cycles lasting for years.

I wanted to talk about one of my worst depression cycles within the confines of this chapter. It started in 2007 and didn’t end until 2010. It would be one of the worst three years of my life. In late 2007, my diagnosis became Bipolar One after a failed suicide attempt, a psychiatric ward visit, and then a release. Around New Year’s 2008 I ended up once again in the psychiatric ward. I honestly don’t remember most of 2008, and I can count on one hand how many times I left my house that wasn’t a hospital visit.

There were many hospital visits in 2008. Several occasions I was taken by police car to the hospital from my psychiatrist’s office. There were late night hospital visits, but most of the time they released me if I had a “safety plan.” I must have been a convincing writer because most of the time the hospital released me.

Other than that, I spend most of my time in bed. I played video games when my concentration allowed it (although I have played video games my whole life, so it doesn’t take much attention) and I ate food only when I had the energy. I was distant, and I always felt hopelessness daily. I remember the terrible things that I did during this period, like falling through a glass table after taking a double dose of my sleep medication. It wasn’t until late 2010 when I finally came out of this cycle, the longest of my life, and it wouldn’t be the last.

Why do Ijohn-fornander-724778-unsplash.jpg write about this? The goal I started out with was to share my experiences over the last ten years since my diagnosis. Do you know why my depression cycles lasted so long at the beginning? The simple answer I let depression control me during those times. In my journey, I have had to learn the hard way when it comes to depression.

If I can impart wisdom about depression cycles it’s this: always have a plan to get better, do the little things like getting out of bed, making your bed, and eating some breakfast. Find ways to get out of the house for ten minutes or more so that you to prevent being trapped or allowing repeatable behavior. When I started this blog, I wanted the connections that I made here help guide the blog posts that I write. I didn’t imagine that it would happen right away, but sometimes it does just that when you least expected. I’m just going to see where the idea and direction of this blog post go in the following paragraphs.

The last few days I found myself talking about depression cycles (or as some call them depression episodes.) To me, the two are one in the same; I think it depends on your psychiatrist and what they call these cycles/episodes. For the sake of this chapter, I will call them cycles.

gabriel-762937-unsplash.jpgThere is the not eating and feeling hopeless every second that I’m awake. The strangest part for me when I am in a depression cycle is that I’m tired, and yet I have no reason to sleep. I know its bad when I go days without sleep. Instead, I just lay there for hours on end lost in an endless abyss of my depression. The worst part is that the depression cycle keeps me from leaving my house.

Why do I write about this? The goal I started out with was to share my experiences over the last ten years since my diagnosis. Do you know why my depression cycles lasted so long at the beginning? The simple answer I let depression control me during those times. In my journey, I have had to learn the hard way when it comes to depression.

If I can impart wisdom about depression cycles it’s this: always have a plan to get better, do the little things like getting out of bed, making your bed, and eating some breakfast. If you can get out of the house for ten minutes, or more if you can. Seek help and work at making the support you receive work in your life. Listen. Listen to what your psychiatrist or therapist is telling you.

Smile more.

I am not saying do all these things, and that it will all be better. You have to put in the work. It took me years to get to a place where I could function as healthy as possible, and still, I don’t operate all that well. But, the more you do can mean working towards getting out of the depression cycle. My depression cycles now last weeks or days.

Depression cycles are all about your point of view at the time. If all you want to do is get lost in the endless darkness of depression, it will feel as if your cycle is an eternity. I have wasted years at a time of my life, but that is in the past. You can learn ways to fight depression better. I do what comes natural, and I write. I also use uplifting music to change my mood.

That is the key to changing a depression cycle; you have to be willing to change your mood. Depression is a mood, and it can be improved. It might take a few days but just getting out of bed is a huge difference. In my worst depression cycles, I spend hours and days in bed. It’s counterproductive to breaking the cycle.joshua-earle-480378-unsplash.jpg

Also, give yourself a break. In my Bipolar Life, I spent way too much energy giving into depression. Sometimes you need to take a few days off to break the cycle’s hold on your life. But don’t entirely give in. Keep fighting, and you will break the cycle.

Always Keep Fighting

James Edgar Skye

Please Help me Publish my Memoir

I am almost done editing my memoir “The Bipolar Writer,” and I have decided to go down the self-publishing route. If you can donate anything towards my goal, it would mean the world to me. I am still working towards enough to pay an artist for a good cover. Those that donate will get a special mention in my memoir on a page dedicated to those that made my memoir possible. Thank you in advance!

$2.00

Photo Credit:

Ryan Whitlow

Annie Spratt

John Fornander

Joshua Earle

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33 Replies to “Depression & Depression Cycles”

  1. I read the whole content and I truly respect and salute you for what you went through and how you fought against it and came back…and now the way you are sharing the words with people and imparting wisdom is great ..Keep up the good work

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Its so easy to get into and get stuck in that state of depression. The best thing for us is getting support and the necessary help to overcome this horrible thing called depression..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This: “I let depression control me during those times.” So true. The moment I have learned that I can fight it, I decided to fight it, sometimes I win, sometimes I don’t but every little thing you have written about the cycle is so relatable. Thank you for sharing your story, it makes me feel less alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I hope you will be much better in time. I know how it feels. Losing years because of depression. Do you get any help from psychologist, i mean like sessions. You should’t ignore it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is actually written about the past. I am in a better place with my depression. I do see a psychiatrist once a month and a therapist weekly. I work really hard to get right with depression.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I truly believe in little steps whenever I’m trying to get out spiral. There was a particularly lucky time when I stayed in bed for most of the day then I got a glass of water. Before I knew it, I was doing the dishes, reading my book, and doing schoolworks. This isn’t always the case but I felt really proud of myself after my first step out of the bed. Good luck on your memoir! 💞

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Maia. The little things can make major differences in how long depression takes hold of our body and mind. I am happy to hear that you found ways to get through it.

      Like

  6. Nice article James, for the longest time I didn’t even exnolage that I had depression then I just gave into it for many many years basically I wasted 20 year’s of my life too depression, iv basically been fighting it for the past 6 year’s on my own without meds, I cycle hard at times where all I do is sleep for day and don’t even eat and I become losed from lack of food and drink but something always seems to snap me back at that point and I start eating again and after a couple of days get back to my normalsea but I normally cycle with just feeling down for days then back to normal for a couple of days, fighting it can get weary at times but I know it’s better than letting it run wild.

    ❤️✌️
    BY FOR NOW

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you James, besides not being able to afford meds they scare me ( the side effects ), what I really hate is the random mood swings of being alright then for no reason feeling down in just a minute.
        In part it was my being trans and not being able to figure that out and hating my self that keeped me raped up in depression for so long, it was my awakening that helped me see the light and want to change.

        ❤️✌️
        BY FOR NOW

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I hate the side effects of all the medication that I am on, so it makes sense the fear you have. I fear that I will never be off these meds and it will be for life.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hopefully one day you’ll be off them or hopefully they will find something that works right and doesn’t have all the bad side effects.

        ❤️✌️
        BY FOR NOW

        Liked by 1 person

  7. God bless you and your memoir and the help you are doing with this blog. Can you walk me through this. When in the depression cycle, the lowest lows, do you say things to people and make decisions you do not mean at all? Like telling a friend you don’t want to speak to them ever again and then later realizing that the friend thought you were serious but you did not mean it at all? Or do you know what you’re saying and mean it in those times? I have the same question about the highest times during mania. Do you say things to people that you do not mean at all out of being at a high? And what percentage of the time are you in neither the highs and lows but somewhere in the middle? Thank you for talking me through this. I really appreciate it. I don’t want to take up too much of your time so any response I will be very grateful for. Again, you’re doing wonderful things with the intention behind your writing here. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have said and done very hurtful things when I am manic or depressed and most of them I regret years later. One thing always sticks out in my mind. When I was first diagnosed I had a girlfriend who was really important to me. I thought she was the one. But knowing the hell I was living in the depression cycle I decided to abruptly end the relationship and I didn’t give her a chance to say much about it. I was hurting and I lashed out. Given what I went through it was the right choice but the things I said to her, I can never take that back. I have hundreds of stories just like this one.

      Liked by 1 person

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