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How to Know If Bipolar Depression Is Creeping Back Into Your Life

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Editor's Note

If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

Depression can be a tricky little devil when you have bipolar disorder. Before you realize anything’s wrong, there it is, with its cold stale breath on your neck.

• What is Bipolar disorder?

It starts with little things. Heavy sighs. Hitting the snooze button a few times too many in the morning. Skipping that cup of coffee you treasure so much in the morning because it just doesn’t seem all that worth it. Then you skip a shower or two because it seems like too much trouble and you might leave the radio off in the car because nothing good probably will come on anyway.

Fast-forward two weeks. Heavy sighs are long hard stares at the walls. The snooze button has become getting up at the last possible minute and going to bed as early as you can because sleep is the only place you find any relief. Coffee might happen if you can muster the energy to make it, but energy is something you only dream about. That shower? Might be happening once this week when you force yourself, but only because your hair starts to look embarrassing even when it’s pulled back. The radio stays silent as you stare out the car window, wondering if you should end your life.

As the monster envelops you further, you can lose your grip on what’s real. Does my family really need me or am I a burden on them? Is the world made worse by my presence? Questions like these swirl in your mind and, especially if you are in a mixed episode of bipolar disorder, they can take on an angry, accusatory tone that can push suicidal thoughts to a crescendo.

Does this sound like your experience? It’s definitely mine. If I don’t seek help before I lose my grip on reality, I’m at serious risk for hurting myself… and in the past, I have.

Depression is indeed a monster. We have to fight it because our lives depend on it. This isn’t a game or a pretty meme about finding your gratitude or letting nature cure you. This is the real deal.

Know yourself. Get to know your patterns. Get to know when you’re slipping. Seek help. Don’t let the monster take over and win over your life. You’re worth more than that. You matter.

Photo by Mean Shadows on Unsplash

Originally published: December 31, 2018
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