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Episodes vs. Normal Feelings


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Hiya-

I've been medicated for almost 10 years now, and do have my share of ups and downs, despite my drugs of couse.

My question is- how do you tell the difference between a normal mood, like regular happiness or sadness or just apathy, and either an episode or the beginnings of one?

I've forgotten what it feels like...

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For me, normal moods don't rule me when they happen. I can feel it, I can say "This is the way I'm feeling," and I can deal with them. They normally happen in response to an event, and I can influence them by what I think about, whether I take a break from work, whether I take a few deep breaths, etc.

My crazy moods are constantly there and painful even when I try hard to focus, and are uninfluenced by my normal strategies for dealing with moods. They are inflexible, long-lasting, and interfere with my ability to function.

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First- mood tracking, which is subjective so really needs to be done consistently over a long period of time and that can be difficult.

For a while, you may just need to look at situations as logical problems.

If I do question a mood or reaction I need to look at what might be having an effect. Have I eaten enough or the right food today? Is there something bothering or frustrating me?

And at the same time, it's ok to Just Feel Good if it's a nice day out and I got a lot of sleep.

Sleep, general stress, health.

It sucks to have to question things so much, but eventually you don't have to do it so much because you realize what is in the 'normal' spectrum and what isn't. For a while, it's about paying attention to what you are doing and the contributing factors and if reactions seem in proportion to what is going on. Which is why a moodchart is helpful [even with notes if there is anything you notice]- you can't always tell what is reasonable if your mood is starting to go off.

It's different for each person and it takes a while to figure it out.

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I think how your mood relates to what's going on in your life is. If you're really down, and there's nothing you can point out as being the reason why, it's symptomatic. I notice more carelessness, speed, and urgency with upswings. Almost always inappropriate to my situation, which is my biggest tip off.

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  • 9 months later...

Hiya-

I've been medicated for almost 10 years now, and do have my share of ups and downs, despite my drugs of couse.

My question is- how do you tell the difference between a normal mood, like regular happiness or sadness or just apathy, and either an episode or the beginnings of one?

I've forgotten what it feels like...

Man, do I hear ya on this one! Every now and then I can say " I feel like my old self again" and then I get too manic. I have come to believe that my "old self" might not be a good place for me...that was my problem. Who am I now? I'm still deciding....

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