Up, Up, and Away

A week ago I increased from the 40 mg of Geodon I was on to 60 mg of Geodon.

The increase has been pretty similar to when I first began taking it (only the side effects -headaches, nausea, stomach pain-  lasted for only three or four days), which means a big jump in mood. Elevation, my dear Watson.

December Graph

This graph is for the month of December, and I increased at the dot that is between the 8th and the 10th.

The last time around I felt wonderful for about a week before crashing into depression, and then bobbing back back and forth until I leveled out. I am definitely curious to see how things go this time, and I am really hoping I can maintain some of the good, albeit slightly hypomanic, traits (motivation, less anxiety, alertness) in a more permanent fashion.

Lately, though, I’ve been hanging out in something of a pre-mania, which is almost mimicking what happens to me before depression. I have periods of fleeting manic symptoms that come and go, increasing in severity as time passes. When this happens with depression (with depressive symptoms, obviously) it usually bottoms out into a longer episode… so I am interested in seeing if I’ll top out into mania. I did, to some degree, when I started the Geodon.

The most prevalent symptoms I have been having are intense hyperfocus, mind multi-tasking, and an overwhelming amount of motivation. Mostly mental sorts of symptoms (as opposed to earlier with Geodon, which was primarily physical symptoms of mania like being unable to sit still, compulsively doing things so I was never at rest, and feeling an overwhelming amount of energy), with a few brief physical symptoms as time has gone on.

The mental symptoms are generally nice things to have, being able to intensely focus, for example, is great for getting things done… except it also means I periodically (pre-mania) focus through all of the things I should be doing. Eating, tasks with higher priorities, sleeping… it is easy to shrug them off (or, well, it just sort of happens, I don’t mean to) for whatever I’m focusing on.

The mind multi-tasking can be nice at times too, it is a lot like going to the library and taking out 15 different books and laying them out on a big table so I can read all 15 at once, and draw conclusions from all of them at the same time. The problem with this one is that there is this grouchy librarian who keeps walking around telling me to put the books away, and I can’t seem to remember how to do that. They just sort of keep piling up.

And then, when this symptom phases out for a bit before returning, it is like I’ve suddenly realized I can’t read 15 books at once (what was I thinking?) and I get totally overwhelmed with the amount of information hanging out on that table in my head.

The motivation I enjoyed at first as well. It is nice to feel compelled to do things, especially after being unmotivated for so long. Unfortunately, this has gone beyond a motivation to simply do the dishes, or go Christmas shopping, it has transformed into a motivation to do all things equally. I feel equally as motivated to cut snowflakes out of paper as I do to make sure my dog is fed. Prioritizing has gone out the window, and it seems like whatever feels like the most compelling task at hand is the one that ultimately gets my attention.

If anything, the phasing in and out is the biggest bitch of all. I feel like I’d be way more likely to be able to adjust to all of this if it was happening in one straight shot, but since the symptoms keep coming on strong and then receding before coming on strong again, it is like being at the beach being pelted by waves that keep activating my brain, but after the waves crest there is this sort of desperate, exhausted, overwhelmed feeling (unpleasant, to say the least) when I’m between waves.

I find the timing on these waves to be incredibly confusing. I changed the times I was taking my medication  when I began taking Geodon to avoid the 2-4 pm energy drain from hell I was having (rendering me unconscious during that window of time) which worked until I increased the dosage. Now I’m getting the energy drain again between 2-4, how did it catch back up with me?

In any case, this has been an interesting ride, and a state that I don’t think I’ve talked much about before so it seemed to warrant a few notes. This is the first instance I’ve really been able to see symptoms of mania coming on like symptoms of depression have for me (at least, this is the first time I’ve noticed it) and this is the first time I’ve also been able to actively identify when my symptoms were moving from nice, friendly hypomanic ones to those more akin to mania.

Mania is always something I am interested in, but I have a hard time really focusing on it because I am usually so intensely focused on other things when it happens. The threshold between hypomania and mania is of particular interest to me, so I guess for that reason (at the very least) I can thank the Geodon for letting me take a long hard look at something elusive.

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3 responses to “Up, Up, and Away

  1. This is a very nice, articulate piece. I so very empathize (I’m on 240mg geodon/day) I’m glad to know I’m not the only one with that energy sapping between 2 and 4 p.m. I usually take a nap and my husband teases me to no end.

    • Thank you Karen! It seems like I can’t avoid the nap either, and that used to be the most productive part of my day! In any case, I’m glad you have the good sense to take a nap, despite the teasing 🙂

  2. I’ve had this kind of mood swing from increasing lamotrigine doses. It’s distinct from hypomania induced by travel or time zone shifts in that it involves a *lot* more hypersexuality – no idea why, but it’s a dead giveaway.

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