As I was taking my nightly dosage of my prescription cocktail, Diego asked if he could have some (jokingly). He asked what would happen if someone who didn’t have depression were to take an antidepressant. I said I don’t think it is an instantaneous happy pill, but it may leave you feeling more apathetic because it’s not what your body needs since your brain chemistry is different.
He then asked if he was depressed, what the antidepressant would do to him and I said in 4-6 weeks, you will start to slowly feel like yourself again. If your dose is too high, you will feel numb and apathetic, but that’s usually when you’re on more than one mental health med.
He said he might need it and I told him to bring it up when he sees his primary care provider come January. It was big of him to even suggest that he might need medication because in his culture and how he grew up, you don’t say you have mental health issues and you certainly don’t do anything to combat said issues.
It made me think of how did I get to be so stable and wonderful to be around? I used to cry all the time and be delusional and act on impulses from said delusions and now I am Miss Nice Gal. So I figured I would blog about all the symptoms of bipolar II disorder and right what I do to combat said symptoms.
Symptoms of Bipolar II Disorder
- mania or hypomania. Manic episodes include complete euphoria, delusions, elated feelings, pressured speech, etc. Hypomania is mania on a reduced scale or spectrum. Hypomania is related to bipolar 2 whereas mania is related to bipolar 1
- depression. Both bipolar 1 and 2 gets depression and it can vary from depressed moods, to apathy, to suicidal ideation in various degrees.
- delusions/paranoia. I used to not think I had delusions until I realized that my whole life I feel like I had people out to get me and every experience I have had with my jobs and I have gotten fired, I had the delusions that they did not like me and wanted me fired and gone because they didn’t like me.
- mood swings between mania and depression. It’s like a spectrum.
- concentration and cognitive issues
- increased or decreased sex drive
- panic attacks
These all vary based on if you are more manic or depressed. So what do I do to combat these symptoms? Let’s get to it!
I currently take:
- Prozac – antidepressant
- Abilify – antipsychotic
- Lithium – mood stabilizer
- Birth Control – for the sexual recklessness
- Vitamin D3 – Because I live in the coldest and rainiest place in the continental U.S.
This combats the majority of the symptoms above. The only thing the medication doesn’t really help with is impulsivity, cognition issues, and delusions.
I think the meds help reduce these issues, but they definitely do not erase them all. I would tell you about how effective talk therapy is but since I am not currently in counseling services, I got to tell you what works for me first hand.
People to talk to honestly about your mental health
If you cannot afford or get a therapist, that’s okay. I bet you have at least one really good friend that you can talk to vividly about your mental health status no matter who you are. With that being said, I usually check in with three different people at least weekly about the status of my mental health and I ask about theirs as well. Sometimes this happens more or less depending on life happenings but the goal is at least one check in with one person a week. Make this like your counseling session; rant about work or school, cry over the guy who broke your heart, yell about your show, I don’t care If it’s on your mind, let it out and I assure you, you will be better for it.
is important. It’s important to prioritize your mental health at least for some part of your day each day. I like to do little things throughout the day that prioritize my mental health because then I feel more motivated to do my other tasks.
Self care looks different for you as it does me. It can look like taking your meds, going to therapy, getting a coffee drink, budgeting your funds, lighting a candle while you work, watching tv with your essential oil diffuser on, it doesn’t matter. Whatever makes you feel good, clean, and whole. I like to do something mental health / self care related every hour so if that’s writing in my planner, stretching and taking a break from school or work to look at social media or read an article.
Now these things don’t mean that I don’t feel any of the above symptoms throughout my day. I constantly battle between feeling manic or depressed or somewhere in between. However, some of these coping mechanisms allow me to not get as stressed out about things as I would before and my feelings were 1000x worse!
What do you like to do for your self care? What makes you feel better when you’re down? Let me know in the comments. 🙂