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afraid of being happy

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this has probably been posted a hundred times but i can't find it.  typical of my scatterbrain-ness lately.  and besides if i make my own post i get to ramble.


i've spent the past year+ being depressed in various degrees, all of them leaving me less than "functional".  i've been so down that i couldn't even tolerate clonazepam or seroquel because they immediately knocked me out for hours.  that kind of physical depression is new to me.  even my heart rate had dropped from my usual 75 to 53 bpm.  my BP was majorly low.  it was like my body was as depressed as my brain.  as i got better mentally, my body followed suit.  but i never reached mental stability, just got out of suicidal mode.


a month ago i started zyprexa for hallucinations.  no sedation.  i tried clonazapam again (to get tired at night).  no sedation.  by the time i hit 5mg of zyprexa, my mood started lifting.  yay!  that was unexpected but very welcome.  it isn't doing anything for the hallucinations, but i'll take the mood changes.


i'm sleeping better, not oversleeping so much and it's easier to get out of bed in the morning.  also unexpected, but, yay.  so the lack of sedation and better sleep can be called increase in energy, which i sorely needed.


i actually want to be around people.  my tolerance for them isn't better so much as i'm too bored when i'm alone too long.


i want to get out of the house.  also, boredom.  i can't really think of anything i want to DO per se, but i want out of here.


i actually give a shit about how i look.  i shower every day.  i bought a whole season's worth of summer clothes (second hand) and new makeup and hair dye and stuff to make me look like i have a tan because i'm so damned pale and it takes me forever to get brown.  oh and jewelery. 


i laugh at stuff.  out loud.  i don't just think "heh, kinda funny".  i laugh and i mean it.


all of this is wonderful.


but part of me is afraid.


i crave not only sugar (thanks zyprexa), but cigarettes like whoa.  and alcohol (which i can't have and didn't care about until now).  and weed.  it is really hard not to smoke ALL THE TIME.  and that's not sedating me either which i am loving but makes the temptation worse.


buying new clothes, or spending any money at all, is usually really hard for me.  i always feel guilty for wasting money on myself (especially since i don't have an income, we live on my husband's salary).  this week i have shopped without guilt.  i spent money not only on myself but on my dad's birthday gifts, and on my adult daughter, and on my friend.  thankfully my husband is just pleased at this point that i want to shop at all, or that i want anything for myself for a change.


craving stuff could just be the zyprexa (or is it?).  buying things for me and wanting to look nice could just be a happy, normal thing (or is it?).  talking to people all the time just means i'm feeling more sociable (or is it?).  forgetting to watch what i say, or how i say it, is just me not being so anxiously vigilant about not offending people (or is it?).  i won't even get into the sex thing.


why can't i just be HAPPY and leave it at that?  i feel like i'm sabotaging my own happiness by picking it apart.  i want to just enjoy it.  but i'm scared that if i do, i'm missing the beginning of an episode, and if i do that and it goes really bad it will be all my fault.


i think i'm afraid because at this time last year, and the year before, i spent a month IP.  i didn't get the happy thing though.  i got the irritable thing happening.  but i'm not irritable right now i don't think.


i don't even know what i want out of this post.  if i wanted something i forget what it was.  i can't think about one subject for an extended period of time.  some of that is a lamotrigine increase, and probably the zyprexa too (or is it?).  i've lost my concentration and my words (well not all of them as you can tell by this post, my hypergraphic tendencies are always there).


ugh.  i guess i just wanna "me too" or something.  or a kick in the ass for even questioning why i feel good instead of appreciating it.


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Wel I have some thoughts. Your zyprexa dosage is really small. If you are still having hallucinations I would ask your pdoc about an increase. When I took it I was always on 20mg. It really does work well once it starts working at the right dose. It helped my mood and my psychosis. I was on it for quite a while but then asked to switch because it caused me weight gain. But it doesn't do that to everyone. It even helped me sleep at night until I got used to it. That seems to happen to me unfortunately.

I am too coming out of a long depressive episode. (although not as long as yours) I've been a little hypomanic, but I got some good sleep and things seem to be settling down a bit. I hope you aren't headed in that direction.

In the meantime I would say embrace your new happiness. It's great to care about showering, dressing well, coloring hair, etc.

If you start to worry more about your mood though or if others start to worry, call your pdoc and seek his/her advice.

I hope you are finding stability after suffering for so long.

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I used to worry that I would feel "too good" and be the start of an episode, but my pdoc reminded me that I don't usually start off feeling happy, I get more irritable and paranoid before I go manic.  He reassured me that I could enjoy feeling good.  Don't know if that helps any, but yeah I've been there, waiting for any symptom instead of enjoying feeling better.

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thanks for the replies :)


Cheesie, i'm glad you're coming back out of the darkness too.  that's a good point about how others see my behaviour.  it's been so long since i had a significant change in mood that they probably forget what i look like when i'm not depressed heh.  but my husband and my docs will tell me very quickly if i seem odd.  or rather more odd.  or something.


confused, that's a good point that this happiness is not usually how it starts for me.  it has happened in the past but i'm more accustomed to getting unreasonably angry rather than happy.  i have my irritable moments but they don't last all day so i think i'm good.


i'll do my best to stop analyzing and just enjoy it while it lasts :)

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thanks dancingteapot (nice name!).  as long as i can keep it to a *little* self-indulgence things will be fine :)


edited for spelling, argh!

Edited by lysergia
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I totally get this.  My baseline has been generally stable for some months now, and when I'm happy on top of that my head inevitably starts going "oh no, what's this? am I manic? am I getting manic? do other people think I'm getting manic? is this real? was that really funny? is it justified?" and so on, and so on.  I liked what the others said about using the people around you as a check, and also about considering how your mood episodes start... similarly to confused, mine start with anger and paranoia (I should have thought of that!).


Anyway, sorry I don't have anything useful to say.  I really just wanted to post to say firstly that I can relate, and secondly that I'm really glad to hear that you're feeling good.  Fwiw, nothing that you reported sounded manic or unhealthy to me - on the contrary, in fact! You deserve this.

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Boy do I identify with this topic. Over the course of the past few years I have questioned my new found stability, wondered if it was the beginning of a new horrible mania and picked it apart pretty much constantly.

I just could not trust it. Funny isn´t it, we aren´t surprised by the down turn. The decent into the netherworld. Not one bit. We don´t question its validity or wonder if it isn´t real.

I´ll tell you what I continually tell myself. The only thing constant is change. Chances are this too will pass.. Just give yourself over to the happy and hope it last for a very long time.

Edited by rein
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I think we're programmed, when we go through our drug therapy and tdoc that happy is not a genuine happy, but rather a red flag. I have this problem. I keep a notebook where I record what I did on happy days (bought furniture, for instance, is my red flag. Hung out with friends is good). Maybe this is cheesy, but it has been working for me. As I stabilize, my Pdoc is delighted I'm happy, where he used to be worried. My pdoc and tdoc can tell the difference. It's just a paradigm shift. Trust your "staff."

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When I started on Saphris I was worried I was becoming manic, or hypo, because it had been so long since I had been happy I didn't know how to place the emotion/feeling.  I pathologized normal, basically.

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I am afraid to be happy due to the fact that I have a major crisis every 3-6 months, due to kids, money, car trouble, government mishaps, family problems and it goes on and on.  I used to think I was being dramatic until my mother noted that we go through a lot of fucking bullshit, most of it not of our making. 


I am always afraid of dh not getting his money, the car not getting me to pdocs, my kids being hospitalized, my complex telling me to empty all my cabinets to spray for bugs the filthy neighbors brought here (and keep all the shit that was in my cabinets all over my house for 2 weeks so they can spray again) trigger for me is messy house so, this doesn't go well.  I have panic attacks every 2 hours for 2 weeks.  This has happened 6 times in 4 months, including the day I got outta the loony bin.  I am happy with my relationship with my SO, that's all i have to cling to sometimes.

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I've been stable and happy for the last six months. At first I was scared too. "What if it doesn't last? What if it goes away?"

With the help of my tdoc, though, I was able to work past the fear. Even if the depression comes back, that doesn't mean you shouldn't enjoy life now. Living in the past or the future causes anxiety. Enjoy yourself right now.

I'd like to offer some suggestions:

1) stay on your meds. They are part of the solution and a part of what is presently making you stable;

2) keep going to therapy even though you feel good. You can use the time to learn about how to stay stable;

3) keep track of your present coping skills. Sure them down. They are a great reference guide for the future, if and when you destabilize.

These are the major ones that help me. I truly hope you can maintain your happiness. It's a beautiful feeling.

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thank you everyone!  i don't want anyone else to not enjoy their happiness/stablity, but i'm glad to know i'm not the only one who has problems trusting it.


staying on meds and going to therapy has a huge priority in my life.  i don't know what i would do without either of them.  the last time i quit them both, i was hypomanic and decided i didn't need them (then got worse and worse until i ended up in hospital, typical huh).  i'm never doing that again.  besides that, the minute my husband notices that i don't need to go to the pharmacy or doctor's appointments or therapy every week, i'll get dragged to see pdoc whether i like it or not.  even my therapist will call my husband to see what's up.  :rolleyes:


i really am pathologizing my "good mood".  i don't want to.  i'm working on the idea that moods come and go, and that this one is enjoyable (mostly), so let it be.  i'm pretty good at telling myself that when i'm depressed.  i can't remember who said it up there, but it's true, nobody ever doubts if their depression is real, only if their happiness is real.


i should stop saying happiness, it's not exactly the right world.  damned if i can find the right word though.  happy or not, i'm still dumb as a box of hammers heh.  the downside of meds that make me happy i guess.  i always thought ignorance was bliss.  i guess i was right. :lol:


i think because my mood changed so unexpectedly i'm a little confused.  the zyprexa was supposed to be just for the hallucinations, not for mood.  i had no idea it could be powerful enough to pull me halfway out of depression like that.  we'll see what happens if i get an increase, which is probable because i'm still having the hallucinations.  will i get happier even?  i guess time will tell.  i just want it to work on the damned bagpipes.  if it doesn't i'm getting sent to neuro and i'd rather not.


thanks again everyone!

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oh and scatty that's a good point about life shit happening.  i'm afraid of that too, since we also seem to have something stressful coming up, like right now we're looking for a new apartment which means money for damage deposits and moving costs and all kinds of awful things like that.  my adult child is moving in with us.  then once that's all setttled something else will happen (it always does).  so any of that can blow my good mood real quick.  i get the feeling sometimes that more money would be the answer to all that.  well a lot of it anyway.  if i actually had an income or could hold a job it would help.  that's not the way it is though.  sorry you go through the one-hell-at-a-time-forever cycle too.

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