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jacques

Bipolar Euthymia & Stability

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So, if anyone in here is familiar with my postings, they'd know I'm both newly diagnosed (stuck with the label of bipolar i about a month ago, though I've been showing symptoms as early as 12-13, am now 21), and therefore new to being medicated.

My moods fluctuate quite a bit and I'm still trying to nail down a pattern for my cycles (thus far I've mostly gotten that I get manic around the holidays and depressed a little before Valentine's Day usually, but I know there's more), but it's possible that I'm rapid cycling. Anyway, thinking through all this I've come to the conclusion that I'm not really sure what euthymia or a stable mood feels like. I know mania, mixed, and depression very well because they've left, well, quite an impression.

My question here is, what does euthymia / stability / baseline feel for you? Cause I think I'm starting to drift toward there but I'm not sure. All feedback is appreciated!

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euthymia / stability = boredom.

i'll take it any day.

beats being in the loony bin or jail.

 

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Euthymia works a couple of different ways for me.

When I'm not depressed or manic, my OCD likes to fill up the leftover space. When depressed I don't care enough to follow through on compulsions and when I'm manic challenging obsessions feels "exciting" and my OCD tends to lessen. So yea... if I'm feeling super OCD, I'm probably euthymic. Evil, right?

The other way euthymia feels for me is controlled. I feel like I can control myself. The number one way I measure this is by whether or not I can read for an extended period of time. I cannot do this when depressed or manic. In either state my concentration is shot. But when euthymic I can read and understand what I'm reading and recall it later. 

One other way I can tell I'm euthymic is that I call my mom a lot. Once she starts messaging me asking me what's up, I know I must be getting depressed or manic. 

So yea... this is all very idiosyncratic, but hopefully it helps or at least is interesting.

Edited by aura

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Reading is the same for me too, aura - can't read on either side of the spectrum.

I think that's why I have trouble identifying with manic stereotype of overproductivity. I can't get anything coherent done. I have broken down in tears while manic because I can't do what I need to do and I hate that.

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I go to a bipolar support group every month and a big thing I hear is embrace your happy moments. If your manic moments are not too destructive to your overall mental health state, embrace them. Accepting yourself is the biggest thing you can do to your self-worth.

If you're on medication, stability will come but you'll have to wait. All I have to recommend is patience.

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When I was euthymic, I was me. My true self. I never knew I who I was underneath before that. I don't know how to describe it, other than to say it is worlds apart from being depressed or hypo. A different person entirely. I am such a fucked up piece of shit most of the time. When I was stable, I was a decent guy. You will know it when it happens.

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On 1/9/2017 at 4:50 PM, jacques said:

 

My question here is, what does euthymia / stability / baseline feel for you? Cause I think I'm starting to drift toward there but I'm not sure. All feedback is appreciated!

I have the hardest time figuring it out! I am the worst at self-insight. I have to rely on others to observe me and tell me if I seem "normal" ... but I do notice when my brain calms down. It feels so much better. I cycle to mania pretty quickly back and forth, back and forth, and so I never know when the stability starts and the mania ends. Only rely on others (meaning my girlfriend) to tell me what I am. lol

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The biggest takeaway from what I've written below is that as far as hypomania vs. euthymia goes, the difference was feeling euphoric instead of content or happy.

Since being on a mood stabilizer I deal almost exclusively with depression... so euthemia for me it means that I have desire, motivation, cognitive function and energy to do things - both pleasurable and work or project-type activities. This is beyond, say, having the ability to make coffee that indicates that my depression has lifted a tiny bit. I also have the desire to socialize... Those are the biggest things that cross my mind right now.

For a long time I struggled with recognizing the difference between hypomania and euthymia and really had no idea who I was. With hypomania though, in its mildest forms, I would have motivation, desire, and energy but perhaps struggle with attention. Likely my mood was euphoric - beyond content or happy.  From there, I was unable to regulate myself and maintain any kind of balance... I would also be unable to stop myself from working, which would impact my sleep. That would progress to getting fired up about multiple projects at once, or working maybe 16 hours a day on things, and then hypersexuality, rapid/excessive speech, feeling like I was on the verge of being famous for something I was working on or something like that.

Then there were mixed episodes but those are so obviously not euthymia that I don't struggle to differentiate there.

Hope this helps.

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Stability for me is having an interest in things. I love to read but I am out the other side of 3 months of instability, mania and depression since Christmas. It is only now I can read. I have been able to watch and enjoy TV and dvds for a few weeks. I am now content within myself not filled with despair and angst and confusion and agitation. I feel good. I feel well. I have hope. I have a future. I have a life. For me that is stability or euthymia 

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