Monthly Archives: May 2013

Short Form; Long Form

For me, the nature of my bipolar episodes usually goes one of two ways.

The experience can either be short, somewhere between an hour and a couple of days, or it can be long and take up weeks if not months of my life.

Short episodes tend to come on quickly. They’re the sort where I’m walking around, minding my own business, when suddenly POW! Immediately my being is being separated from my body while everything tingles and I find myself grinning like an idiot.

Or POW! And I’m suddenly completely lethargic, walking in slow motion, dragging my feet because nothing seems to matter anymore.

These short form episodes are usually intense and immediate, but that is the trade off because they don’t last very long.

A short episode might sound like a walk in the park, but they’re enough to be entirely jarring, especially when lined up and experienced back to back to back to back. For me, short episodes are destructive, but in a different way than a long episode. Short episodes are more likely to bring along impulsivity, and do so in sudden situations where the impulsivity is definitely not appropriate.

Long episodes are an entirely different can of worms. They come on more gradually usually, over the course of a day or a number of days, and once it is there, it seems stuck there.

Sometimes I get caught up in long form episodes of depression that aren’t very intense, but are just draining enough that it is grueling trying to accomplish anything for weeks and weeks at a time.

Other times I get caught up in long episodes of depression that are quite serious, that get worse and worse and worse over time.

And still other times I have had long episodes of hypomania and mania, to the point where they clamp down on my life and assimilate themselves into it.

Long form episodes are destructive because they integrate into part of my life and begin to feel normal. Once they feel normal, it becomes easy for me to become persuaded into acting out in some way against them, or worn down enough to consider acting out.

At this point I believe I am moving into a long episode, after being depressed the best part of last week and again this week (only a bit worse). I’m hoping it isn’t a sign of things to come in the next few weeks, but the nature of these episodes (namely that they can end at any time without warning) gives me some hope that I wont be continuing down that long road.

And hey, I didn’t wake up frowning, so today is already off to a good start!

The Fringe of Psychosis

Since last week’s short bout of psychosis I’ve been on edge.

I’ve been thinking about the last time this was an issue (in October when I thought my boss was trying to sabotage me at work) and wondering, quite nervously, if this was a one time blip or the fringe of something bigger.

Should I avoid the things that triggered it last time? Or is there a way to talk to the people involved to dissolve the overwhelmingly persistent delusions I am having? What’s worse is that I called out sick at my last therapy appointment (as I was psychotic) and I haven’t heard from my therapist since. I’ve called twice now with no answer, which only tends to add fuel to the already paranoid flames.

I feel like psychosis is one of those things that once you’ve experienced it, you can almost go crazy with the fear that surrounds it happening again. Should I lock myself indoors? Should I stay away from people?

How can I know if I am safe?

The most helpful thing I’ve found when it comes to psychosis is making a plan while it isn’t an issue. If you make a plan while stable (or stable-ish) to do whatever “x” when experiencing psychosis (whether that is call your doctor or therapist, take an emergency medication, or even force yourself into a state of hibernation) it takes a lot of the fear out of it. 

Even so, I have to admit I am scared. When life is already unpredictable, living with the possibility of psychosis can make things seem out of control. All I can do is watch for warning signs and follow through with my “plan” if it does come up.

Pill Dispenser For the Prevention of Prescription Drug Abuse

Some students at Brigham Young University have created what they’ve dubbed the MedVault Pill Dispenser.

The cylindrical dispenser is tamper proof (the woman on the news said you could hit it with a hammer and not be able to open it) and the program in the device is programed by your pharmacist when it is filled to determine what pills are dispensed and when to the user. To make security even tighter, users enter an access code on the top of the device when it is time for medication to be dispensed.

Though I know this device is primarily to keep people from abusing or stealing people’s prescription drugs, I’ve been known (on occasion) to take the wrong pills or the wrong dosage, simply due to confusion. On that account I think this little device would be pretty helpful, though also taking some medications “as needed” sort of defeats the purpose here. I also think having to enter an access code would be a little dubious for my purposes, as remembering when to take the medication is also a problem.

Maybe it could beep when it was time to dispense medication?

In any case, I thought this was an interesting device. You can find more on the MedVault Pill Dispenser here.