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Hello board. I am new to therapy and it is believed that I have MDD and bipolar II.  I have a simple question that steams from my first appointment.   Do you ever feel happy or excited about life?  Think of it as a wave that dips below a line in depression but goes back up to a "normal".  Does this describe you at all?

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1 minute ago, BatsBelfry said:

Hello board. I am new to therapy and it is believed that I have MDD and bipolar II.  I have a simple question that steams from my first appointment.   Do you ever feel happy or excited about life?  Think of it as a wave that dips below a line in depression but goes back up to a "normal".  Does this describe you at all?

Sometimes.  I used to feel happy and excited about life more than I do now.  I mean I am "happy" ... but not true happiness.  That is rare though, and only usually lasts a short amount of time when it does happen.  I have an underlying depression that is constant, with SZA over that, which I'm pretty sure contributes to all of this.

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My so-called "normal" seems to be a consistent, chronic low-level Depression. The depression varies in severity (sometimes it's major depression with more anxiety, then it returns to more of a manageable (but still tortuous) dysthymia/boredom/apathy/loss of interest) however, I don't think I've been "happy" in many years. I do recall being happier when I was young & up until my 20's/early 30's maybe..after that, the depression has never really gone into full remission.

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Interesting.  So I guess that when I get excited and energetic that is the bipolar talking.   I'm new at this and since bipolar is hard to pin down I wanted to see if what I have as symptoms is really just depression that is currently turned off.  Hope that makes sense.  

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1 hour ago, BatsBelfry said:

Interesting.  So I guess that when I get excited and energetic that is the bipolar talking.   I'm new at this and since bipolar is hard to pin down I wanted to see if what I have as symptoms is really just depression that is currently turned off.  Hope that makes sense.  

Yeah, Bipolar is tricky...a gray area. You can always refer to the officially DSM criteria of what constitutes hypomania or mania, but you also really need an outside person (and/or pdoc or therapist) to see your different behaviors/mood/energy over time, in action, to assess. There are people that have a pattern of chronic intense moods (like BPD personality), but Bipolar disorder (IME) presents with a pattern of cycling & polarity in mood - distinct up & downs or mixture of both)

i mean, I think it's normal to get excited and/or energetic about something (doesn't necessarily mean you're hypomanic) but when you start looking at other behaviors (racing thoughts, racing speech, making lots of random plans, not needing much sleep for days..feel overly irritable/agitated, activated/wired, way more sociable than usual, inappropriate happy reactions that aren't justified to the situation) those can all indicate something that could resemble hypomania.

Edited by cloudmonger
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2 hours ago, BatsBelfry said:

Interesting.  So I guess that when I get excited and energetic that is the bipolar talking.   I'm new at this and since bipolar is hard to pin down I wanted to see if what I have as symptoms is really just depression that is currently turned off.  Hope that makes sense.  

 (in bold) Not necessarily ... 'everyone' (MI or not) gets excited and energetic at one point in their lives.  I think it depends on the severity of how excited and energetic you are.

1 hour ago, cloudmonger said:

i mean, I think it's normal to get excited and/or energetic about something (doesn't necessarily mean you're hypomanic) but when you start looking at other behaviors (racing thoughts, racing speech, making lots of random plans, not needing much sleep for days..feel overly irritable/agitated, activated/wired, way more sociable than usual, inappropriate happy reactions that aren't justified to the situation) those can all indicate something that could resemble hypomania.

^ I agree.

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Yes, of couse, you can have normal moods and still have depression. Even depressed people occasionally have good days. I used to try to figure out what was different on my good days so that I could apply it to make more of them. Well, things like diet, etc. I never could find a pattern so I was left believing that it had to have something to do with dreams I was having and couldn't remember. I don't know. Just I knew what was a good day from the moment I opened my eyes.

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You can be depressed and still have good days or good times. You can be depressed and still have periods of happiness. You can be depressed and still genuinely smile and laugh. As my therapist says, you're depressed - not dead.

Unfortunately, pretty depressed is "normal" for me. I have better moments and short periods. Spending time with people helps me not drown in my depression. That combined with a really good mask means it's hard to get people to believe me when I try to explain how bad things are.

I don't spend much time in a state that isn't clouded by pain and unhappiness. 

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I have "normal " periods of time.  I can feel engaged and happy and social.  I can have a normal span of emotions. I can also experience deep depression or mania in between this.   I had a particularly bad mixed episode lasting over two years.  It took forever to string normal days together.  A mix of therapy and meds made it possible.  My personal goal is trying to have more normal days than symptomatic days.  I don't think I will ever be symptom free, nature of the beast. 

Welcome to crazyboards.

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5 hours ago, Geek said:

That combined with a really good mask means it's hard to get people to believe me when I try to explain how bad things are.

Has happened to me too.  If i am not symptomatic it is hard explaining to others how I am because all they "see" is a person who doesn't "look" like i say I am. (Seeing is believing hits a nerve with me).  I mean, like we are supposed to look a certain way or we aren't (whatever the diagnosis is)? 

 

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