The title is not a rhetorical question… Bipolar folks: what do you do when you feel the depression is returning?
I always thought I was a naturally upbeat, productive person, who just periodically went through some rough patches. The rough patches never seemed inevitable though; it was just unfortunate when they happened – and then I got over them.
Being diagnosed with bipolar disorder a little over a year ago changed all that. For the first time I knew the depression was inevitable – It wasn’t just a quirk that everything fell apart periodically; it was part of who I am.
As someone who is more or less newly diagnosed as bipolar I’m curious as to what some of the “veterans” out there have discovered – How do you know the depression is returning? And more importantly, what do you do about it?
For me, I don’t know the depression is returning until I’m already deep within it. For me that looks like not caring about anything, and losing the will to do whatever project my mania had me engrossed in. My hypomanic bestowed superpowers disappear slowly and subtly; perhaps over a week? Maybe two?
I take medication. I go to therapy. But trying to halt depression, or even just slow it down feels about as useful as trying to block a river with my hands.
Matt is a husband, father, and professional who was recently diagnosed with type 2 bipolar disorder. He is the owner of Loudest Minds, a site with humorous and informative posts to help those suffering with mental illness and addiction.