I wrote With This Pill in extreme aggravation. I have a theory based on observational findings about the pattern.
I cycle around every two months. Pendulum began June 19, 2011, with the post To See If I Still Feel, describing an incident involving depression and self-injurious behavior. Three days later, on June 22, 2011, in Shifting Gears, I described the sparks of a hypomanic episode. Eight days later, on June 30, 2011, I detailed panic attacks and highly reactive emotions in Overdrive Mode.
There was a period where I went through a fluctuating depressive episodes varying throughout the spectrum of twos through fours. It was a result of Somatopsychic trauma from a six-week long, progressively debilitating bout of Walking Pneumonia. During a two-week long prednisone treatment, I had erratic emotions, which sent me reeling into a serious depressive state. It was quickly fixed in two weeks by a medication adjustment.
That medication adjustment threw me into the first dysphoric hypomania I can ever remember having. I had another incident of self-injurious behavior reported in Confessions of the Pain of Payment, on September 22, 2011, three months after the first noted episode.
That was followed by the longest, most intense hypomanic episode I have ever marked. I marked it at 16 days, but I have a feeling that it was closer to 30. I had a brief reprieve when I was down for the count during an illness. I eventually attributed the extreme hypomanic episode with a chemical change in Big Money, No Whammy, STOP!.
Prior to my first post, my last hypomanic episode happened three months prior in late March into early April for 14 days. That was my first record breaking hypomanic episode. I attributed that to anxiety, that led to insomnia, which paved the way. As for what happened between then and late May when I recall my depressive episode first beginning, I’m not sure. I will have to check my personal logs to shed some light on that.
I’ve always looked to external factors to explain the occurrences. But, the pattern is emerging. I cannot deny that.
Now, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. I have always had a depressive episode closely follow a hypomanic episode. What Bender? detailed an alcoholic relapse at the start of a long depressive episode. The depressive episode lasted for about two months and left three weeks until the onset of my next hypomanic episode.
However, it has been three weeks since my hypomanic symptoms subsided, and I am now only feeling small pangs of depression here and there. I am not entirely convinced they are depressive. I am irritable and reactive, but I have not yet had the urge to isolate myself. I am not entirely disinterested in enjoyable activities – actually quite the opposite. I am only interested in the most enjoyable activities and have had quite the hedonistic urge to indulge myself.
That is unusual for me. I am not a creature of hedonism. The Irish and Scottish had a philosophy that with every great pleasure in life came a great pain. It was kind of their own yin and yang in their society – a way to describe the balance of the universe. I am mostly of Scottish heritage and was raised in such an environment. There was no escaping the pain that accompanied indulgence. Therefore, I am not inclined to do so. In fact, I am quite disciplined to do the opposite by taking on the role of the martyr.
What to do, what to do? Do my brain and my body know something that my conscious mind does not? Is this impulse a way of circumventing a depressive episode?