Is it a bipolar mixed episode, ultra rapid cycling, or just “mood lability”?

mixed episode face

Putting a label on what’s happening to one’s mood can sometimes be difficult for people with bipolar disorder (BP). Having visited bipolar online forums for years, I encountered the questions in the title quite often. I know what is written in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fifth Edition (DSM-5) and highly-regarded textbooks on the disorder, but that hasn’t always cleared up my occasional confusion, either. Some questions have been mostly answered, but others not fully. Truth is, answers can vary by mental health expert. Even the teams of doctors and consultants working on the DSM debated on some of its contents. Regardless, I hope some of what’s in this post is interesting food for thought. Continue reading

Week 7 – Friday Fitness and Weight Loss Update

jet lag
I hate airports and jet lag!

TGIF! I’m happy to report that I’m finally tracking my eating again, after not doing so during the full course of my recent two-week vacation, and four days after my return.  Those following my updates saw that I gained much more than expected during my time away from home. Stress eating and illness unfortunately played a part. Continue reading

Taming anger – Calming that Tasmanian Devil

Tasmanian devil

She could be the funniest, sweetest and most happy-go-lucky girl around town. She was constantly smiling, on the move, dancing in a field of flowers. She loved people, and most loved her, until the inevitable moment struck. There was a change in the moon, a single word misspoken, a plan suggested off her route, and BOOM!  Goodbye angel girl, hello to the Tasmanian Devil! Continue reading

My 1st through 10th painful psychiatric incarcerations (Part 3 of 4)

insanity Van Gogh

Please consider reading Part 1 and Part 2 of this post series before continuing with this post.

***This post may be triggering. It details my personal experience with Bipolar type 1 full blown manias and mixed manias. Not all people with bipolar disorder behave as severely as I detail, or even severely at all. Experiences with bipolar disorder vary.***

At the end of Part 2 of this series, I mentioned that it was after my sixth Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) that I likely quit my medications cold turkey. Because of that, my transition from quasi “wellness” back to complete mood instability was quite rapid. The scariest part was that I had recently returned to work part-time. Continue reading