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severe depression but not 24/7?


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My current episode is boggling my mind.  Prior to my current episode, I was in mixed land, and prior to that I was probably either dysphoric manic or regular manic (w/ psychosis regardless of which one it was).  Now, I feel like I've landed in depression.  My test things come back as severe depression and although I challenge myself and say that I'm just making it all up, I realistically know I'm not.  It really is that bad.  My thoughts do get that hopeless, helpless, and worthless...I do get that sad to the point of crying over anything and everything or nothing at all...I do feel guilty and like a burden and ashamed of the whole situation...I have some cognitive issues that are complicating things...and don't get me started on things like sleep and eating.  I won't go through the whole list--you all have been there and know what I'm getting at. 

The thing that's different and that confuses me, though, is that it isn't 24/7.  From my past episodes, I'd land in depression and I'd be there consistently until I gradually got out.  There wouldn't be these periods/blips of feeling okay.  I initially thought I was cycling to hypomanic.  But I'm not sure that's really what I'm doing anymore.  It's almost like I'm cycling between crappy depression and something akin to my baseline, to the degree I have any sense of what that is anymore (the prior parts of the episode threw off my sense of what's normal more than a little bit). 

that's a long lead in...but have people found themselves cycling in and out of actually feeling the depression that they're otherwise experiencing?  In other words, by all measures, I'm really depressed and a lot of the time I feel it and agree with it.  But there are times--like now--where I don't really, and I haven't had that before. 

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Not sure if this is exactly what you mean or are experiencing, but a feature of atypical depression is that you temporarily feel ok/good in response to events aka mood reactivity (personally, I don't always even perceive or notice an "extreme" event...it can be something very minor that lifts me even just the tiniest bit, albeit very briefly. I experience atypical depression and have always had this type). 

I don't know where I read this but I may have read that atypical depression is more common for BP folks. (Ok I had to look here is something explaining it, I don't have the concentration to read the whole thing now, but I hope it's adequate....http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2990566/)

Here is an article about atypical depression symptoms (a more general overview)

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/atypical-depression/basics/symptoms/con-20035114

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Thanks Cheese!  That's not something I'm aware of, but what you describe definitely sounds like a possible match.  I'll read some mayoclinic info...I'm right there with you on comprehension/concentration for the other one, but will look when I'm doing better on those things.  I appreciate the info and time. 

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We get this pretty darn regularly.. We can get huge-ass "I'm depressed for weeks" things, but more often cycling between severe depression & dysthemia, or between severe depression & kinda-ok-if-shaky.

Being multi complicates things admittedly, but this has been a pattern since before we split.

Whisper

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I think people mistakenly assume that if you're depressed, you have to be severely, rock-bottom depressed 24/7.  That's not the case.

You can still have tiny moments of reprieve or pleasure even if your mood is very low.  And as you start to feel better, hopefully there will be even more breaks from the guilt, sadness, worthlessness, and tears.

I think the key is to focus less on labeling, defining, and dissecting and more on experiencing the present as it arises.

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I had similar experiences. I never knew anything about labels, which was probably a good thing. It doesn't mean my mood wasn't a problem, or didn't affect my life. I don't have any advice, just saying I had the same type thing, call it what you will. 

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