For the past month or so I’ve been filled with an inner rage and desperation that has been screaming for help. I was hearing all the anger, fear, and sadness, but I couldn’t hear the call for help. This week I finally heard it. I finally understand that I haven’t been just reacting poorly to the stress in my life, or having mood swings because of a hormones, no, I’ve been having a bipolar episode. I still know my moods aren’t where they should be, but it’s better than it was, and I will be seeing my doctor about it very soon.
I have so many things I want to say, I don’t know where to start. hmmmm.
I have been reading about bipolar symptoms, specifically rage, and saw many things that are too familiar. The rage can be set off by the smallest of things, often something I would never even consider getting mad about on a normal day. The anger starts and builds quickly to a full blown rage! After all the screaming and throwing things, and who knows what else, is over I feel better for about 2 minutes then I suddenly think, “Oh my god, What have I just done?” Bipolar rage if often associated with mania, but can also manifest during depression. For me if the rage is from a manic episode I blow up fast and furious, but it burns out as quick as it started, leaving only the guilt and hurt behind. When the rage comes during a depression episode I will have a huge blow up and it will go down, but he anger is still there, and I will blow up again, or I just stay angry for a long time. The rage inside wanting to break through the surface. So rage during mania is like a short burst, the rage during depression is a short burst followed by underlying anger and possibly another burst or two. Both can cause everlasting damage, but the later is much harder for me to deal with. When the anger doesn’t just go away after a rage episode I start to think it’s not caused by my mood disorder I’m just a bitch, and I start getting angry at myself. So much anger, that is so hard for me. I’m not normally an angry person.
Sometimes I will get angry about something, but I don’t let it get to me, just slough it off – at least I thought I did. Often when the rage hits it’s after I’ve had a few things happen that have caused me to get mad, but I didn’t feel like it was a big deal, I thought I was just letting it go. It seems to me that it will often be a little thing that sets it off, but it’s like the last straw kind of thing, all those little things I have gotten mad about suddenly rise to the surface and that one little event that made me blow up was fueled by all those other small flames.
Rage can damage even the closest relationships. It can cause trouble at work, with your family, friends, authorities….rage can really mess up your life. I’m so very lucky that my husband understands that my rage may seem focused on him, but it really has nothing to do with him. Sometimes it does spark conversations and we fix all those little things that built up, but honestly the rage is never deserved. Even though he knows all this, it is still very, very hard on him. When I get to the breaking point I often leave. I will pack a bag and set off. I have no idea where I’m going, and I just get madder because I feel I have no where to go. When I leave like that it hurts and scares Stuart so much. During this last episode I made him cry. My husband does not cry often.
I was mostly stable for over 20 years, but over the last few years I’ve had more than one break through episode. I’ve needed to change medications too many times. I’m afraid we are going to get to the point where nothing works. In addition to Bipolar I disorder, I also have generalized anxiety disorder. Trying to find medications that treat both and I can tolerate has been a challenge. I’m hoping the gene test I did will help with that. I can definitely say, that the new medication she put me on is not working, we have to find something else.
For over a month now I’ve been dealing with severe anger mixed with depression and anxiety. I have also been getting tickled over the stupidest stuff and laugh until it hurts, but that doesn’t last long and I return to the negative moods quickly.
I think the rage has also been triggered by the return of my vertigo. I’m back to having attacks multiple times a day. I do think many of them are caused by migraine instead of Meniere’s because with some attacks I’ve been having aura right before it starts. The fear has been real. Not just the fear that it is coming back, I’m actually starting to accept that I am having a relapse, but I know the is a possibility for a remission. However, I fear for my safety. I’ve fallen 3 times in the past 2 weeks. I’m back to using my walker in the house and sometimes when we go out. (often when we go out I can use a shopping cart, or Stuart’s arm to steady me enough that I can get by for a bit) For the most part I’ve been confined to the house, without the ability to do much of anything except watch TV. I did sit outside once this week, but I had vertigo outside without anyone home, I had a very difficult time getting back inside. I don’t think I’ll be going outside when I’m home alone any time soon. I did ask my landlord yesterday if he would be a backup for me if I fell and needed someone and Stuart couldn’t get home, gratefully he said he would. Of course, he also might not be available, but I’m relieved to know there is someone can call if I need it.
I think that’s enough for today.
I’ll leave you with a few photos I took yesterday of the flowers around my yard. I miss seeing the leaves change colors, but I’m seeing a different beauty in the desert. (most of these are Lantanas, technically a weed from Mexico. It is very pretty and drought resistant. You will find them all over the area. I’m thrilled to see this gorgeous native plant almost everywhere I go)