Bipolar Anxiety Confusion


It is amazing how much medication affects our brains.  What I thought was part of a hypomanic episode this past month turned out to be a side effect from a migraine preventative medicine.  I was seeing all of these vibrant, deep, rich colors in everything, almost like everything was super saturated and outlined in black.  Turns out this is a side effect of propranolol, of which my dose was doubled in the beginning of September.

As to the project oriented, high energy behavior and lack of sleep – well, I am now more apt to chalk that up to anxiety versus hypomania.  This is all important because if my doctor is to consider medication changes, she would change a different one for the anxiety than she would for the mood fluctuations.  Having both bipolar disorder and anxiety disorders is so complicated.

All in all, I think my mood is back to normal, so I am not too worried about that.  My anxiety, on the other hand, is always an issue.  No matter what we do with the medication, it seems like nothing really helps.

I am not anxious about anything in particular.  I just never seem to feel all the way relaxed.  I am always worried about gaining weight or not losing it, about when I am going to get my next migraine, about having to leave the house, about not leaving the house, about my husband’s weight, my daughter’s weight, my daughter’s mental health.  Ha!  I guess there are particular things I am worried about after all.

I am still not sleeping well and am experiencing cognitive deficits.  I am usually very good about planning ahead and making sure I have my prescriptions called into the pharmacy or requested from the doctor well before I run out.  This week I realized I didn’t do that with one of the them, so I may miss a dose or two.  Last week I completely forgot to put a medicine in my pill-box and missed its dose.  These things are just not like me.

I can’t seem to focus on what people are saying and I forget what they say, thereby embarrassing myself asking the same question over and over again.  I’ve checked and these symptoms are not side effects of the medication increase I talked about above.  I see my psychiatrist this week so I will talk to her about it then.

Mostly, I am just sick of not liking the person I am.  I have tried so hard to combat the negative judgements I have about myself this month, but sometimes I just breakdown in frustration at the fact that pretending to like myself is just that – pretending.  It is a freaking lie, and lying about it feels worse than the actual negative thoughts themselves.

I am also sick of merging some of the dichotomies of life.  I suppose this marks progress for me because I used to be such a black and white thinker which was not healthy or helpful at all.  But wanting to do something at the same time as not wanting to do it because of my anxiety is confusing.  Liking someone at the same time as not liking them sounds crazy, right?  Well, it feels crazy, too.  Wanting to be at home, but not wanting to be at home makes me want to pull my hair out.

Now I just feel like I am complaining and I hate that.  I will end by saying I am grateful for many things in my life.  I have a good life with good friends and a good family.  I need for nothing, except for better health, and I’ll keep working for that as best as I can, day by day.

Photo credit: j.rozek via / CC BY-NC-ND

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