I wanted to use these articles to help educate both myself and others about this distressing, unpredictable feature of bipolar disorder. It has come to my attention because of the unique state I’ve been experiencing lately. Sometimes I feel [hypo]manic, then I can be triggered into depression, but I can also experience what seems to be a mix of both, and it’s not a good place to be. I’m most at risk right now.
I included an article about the effect of social media on bipolar persons, especially those in a mixed episode. No matter what I say online, someone takes it as annoying, or at worst, trolling. No. I’m using my humor to cope with the shit I’m feeling right now, but at the end of the day, the only one who can help is myself, no one else; no one else’s virtual validation. At least I see my psychiatrist on Tuesday.
Mixed Episode Criteria for Bipolar Disorder
“While one mood state will typically predominate during a mixed episode, in their totality, the body of symptoms will be contradictory. An example might be someone in a hyperactive state who has feelings of deep guilt or remorse (the latter feature being symptomatic of depression). Alternately, a person may be crying uncontrollably but be fixated on performing a task that has to be done now (the latter feature being symptomatic of mania).”
“The doctor would need to ensure that there are no other explanations for the depressive symptoms, such as alcohol abuse or pharmaceutical or recreational drugs like opioids or benzodiazepines.
This is especially important to note given that more than half of the people diagnosed with bipolar disorder abuse drugs and/or alcohol. As a rule, substance abuse is associated with greater disease severity and poorer control of bipolar symptoms.”
This Is What a Mixed Bipolar Episode Feels Like
“Speaking generally, “This is a person who is really ramped up, their thoughts are racing, they’re talking a mile a minute, they don’t need as much sleep—mood elevations symptoms,” Dr. Marsh explains. “But at the same time, they feel sad and blue, they’re beating themselves up in their head, their self-worth is down.” Dr. Marsh also says a person experiencing a mixed episode commonly has thoughts of escaping the misery or even death. “While they may not have suicidal ideation, they may ask themselves questions like, What would happen if I died? What would happen to my children?” she describes. This can be particularly dangerous for a person in a depressive episode with manic symptoms—they’re feeling helpless and miserable and they have the energy to act on that.”
Social Media & Bipolar: The Good, Bad and Ugly
“There are individual and societal examples of highly unethical uses of social media that cross the threshold into the downright ugly. Bullying has occurred over the ages in the schoolyard, family, workplace, and pretty much most environments where humans interact, but in these settings the effects are mitigated by watchful and responsible adults. It is nearly impossible to monitor toxic chatter on social media. Mood disorders, depression, and bipolar may increase one’s vulnerability.”
“In the decades since I’ve learned to deal with “the darkness.” It’s a creature of its own free will. BPPs have a curse (the disorder), but we also have a gift to fight it with, a special weapon I think we have been given because of our disorder. Most of us have a slightly higher than average intelligence. This intelligence is our weapon, it’s what we have to keep our disorder in balance and we must learn how to use it to survive. We must know ourselves.”
Please let me know if you have any experience to share about a mixed affective state.