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Question re: mixed episodes


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Okay, just had a minor run in with family member.

Instant simmering rage over a comment. Until then - all day I've been pretty mellow. Plenty of sleep, stress free. Family member made snippy comments that I took probably way too personally.

Then I tried playing with her when I asked her a favor, something along the lines of "oh pleeeease tell me you're able to be here to watch the dogs while we go away for a week" - the whole thing is in my blog but anyway

can a mixed episode be triggered by something so ...mundane?

do meds control that kind of thing? what kind? the AAP's or the ....mood stabilizers?

how long/short can a mixed episode be?

can you have 1 mixed episode a day and not have it be all day long?

and if you have them more than twice a week with normal moods in between - is that what they call rapid cycling?

Thanks

Tempestia

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For myself, during mixed states I can "usually" identify one underlying mood...elevated for instance, but then I might have a crying spell for no apparent reason, then go back to the underlying mood of elevation...or vice versa. When coming up from a depression it often happens overnight and I wake up hypo or manic.... the best I do to try and explain it in words...

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Like Di and Sasha, I don't relate to real short instability. What I do relate to is overall instability that fluctuates, seems okay, then isn't, then seems okay. I was like that a lot for a while. Reactive sometimes. Or, would get worse for no reason. I thought I was stable because it'd been so long since I'd been stable that I forgot what true stability was like. When I finally did stabilize, I realized that those time I thought I was stable, I wasn't at all. I was just less volitile. If you have lived untreated for any length of time, it could be the same with you. Dunno. Just thought I'd put this out there.

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For me, if it doesn't last at least 4-7 days, it isn't a mood episode - it's just a normal emotion for me.

It took me a long time to realize that I had normal emotions just like everyone else. I got angry, I got pissed off, I got scared, I got stressed. And that was normal. And if those emotions lasted an afternoon, that was ok. What wasn't normal was when the feelings snowballed for days until I was a sniveling mess of a person that could barely function because all I could think about was THAT. That's the bipolar, definitely not normal.

Probably not what you want to hear, but it's my outlook on my weird little world.

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I would chalk it up to emotions. And us bipolars have PLENTY of emotions to go around. Emotions are a reaction to situations or interaction with others. These things are short term. Like minutes or hours. Moods are underlying tones that are consistent for days, weeks, months. Though I'm not saying that you can't for instance be deeply depressed yet still enjoy an afternoon picnic, or playing with a kitten. But those are probably good examples of emotions (reaction to situations) on top of a depressed mood.

ok. heh. a.m.

p.s. But yes to original question, a family argument is stress, and could be the trigger for a switch to manic/mixed/depressed episodes. Stress and sleep disturbance are the top two triggers for bipolars.

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I can't remember the last time I felt "normal". Then again I'm going through a lot of med changes. I've always had mixed episodes...the manic and depressive symptoms are sometimes mixed together at the same time or I might be hypomanic for half a day and really depressed the other part of the day. For the most part. Other than that I am at a constant mild/moderate depressed state. Nothing's ever stable. The episodes aren't triggered by anything. I can't explain them...they just happen. Now sometimes I'll get depressed because something set it off...something little or big, doesn't matter...but I realize that that mood has been brought on by something and thereby differentiate it from my mixed episodes.

I don't know if that was clear or not...it was the best way I could describe my experience with mixed episodes.

If I had manic or depressive like symptoms due to a comment I didn't like from a family member, I'd not consider it an episode but would consider it life and the things everyone goes through.

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All the replies are appreciated - there's nothing I wanted or didn't want to hear... I just needed to know from others because I was confused.

I'm not always in a bad mood - but I do get triggered by some things, my daughter being one. The ONLY way I know how to make it better is to talk to her and work through it. I'd rather run away but that's another issue.

The rapid cycling issue... I didn't know if BP could be rapid cycling and where's the line? How would one know? I just didn't understand it. I have to keep reading up on this stuff...some stuff sinks in and some just...sifts its way out and I don't retain it at all.

I think more than anything the strong reaction I had to my daughters comment seemed like it was a mixed episode.

I don't know how a trained professional can be so ignorant of her own feelings. It's too close to home. I'm so busy being appropriate and not hurting peoples feelings (uhhh, can you say codependent?) that I forget somewhere in there is ME)

I think stress keeps me from seeing things too.

Anyway, before I confuse the issue more I'll shut up.

I have a long way to go and a lot to learn but thanks for the input.

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The rapid cycling issue... I didn't know if BP could be rapid cycling and where's the line? How would one know? I just didn't understand it. I have to keep reading up on this stuff...some stuff sinks in and some just...sifts its way out and I don't retain it at all.

Bipolar can most definitely be rapid cycling (of varying degrees). You can look up the different types online so see where you fit in if at all.

Regarding mixed episodes being triggered by something...i've been thinking about this, looking back at what i remember and what i've written in mood journals. The vast majority of the time the mixed episodes come on for no reason. It's just like being depressed and not knowing why. It just happens. Every once in awhile, though not often, something can trigger a string of mixed episodes...something little or something big. When that happens, though, I don't have just one mixed episode, I have one after another for days/weeks/months...

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