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It takes a while to notice how things have changed

February 9, 2011

Looking over some of my blog posts, I noticed when I mentioned a incident of mood swings or depression, automatically assume that I am heading for ‘an episode.’ whatever that means.

It’s taken me a long time to realize this, but I no longer have ‘episodes’ that last for months at a time. They used to be clearly defined (i.e incredibly intense…) and lasted for months at a time. Last time I became depressed and withdrawn, I assumed I was heading for a episode like last time. I began to worry. But then along would come some other symptom and I’d assume I was going to experience that for months or weeks. But in reality that doesn’t usually happen. It hasn’t in years.

I do notice groupings, if I’m depressed or catatonic I’m likely to experience another day like that the same week, but it doesn’t necessarily mean I will. I could have a really really bad day, and feel better the next day. When symptoms I haven’t dealt with in a while rise up again, It makes me nervous, sure. But to think it is always a “sign” things are about to plunge downhill into a relapse briar? A little much. It’s more likely it means I had a hard week, and these symptoms are the ways I express my difficulties.

Because of my memory problems (which are much better now) I am prone to assume the past resembles the present. If I am feeling well but can’t readily access how I felt yesterday or last month, I’m going to assume I was feeling well yesterday and all last month. If I’m crying and tearing my hair out, I’m going to assume I have been forever. I also use the present and the past to make predictions about the future. We all do this to some extent: It rained yesterday, it’s raining now, it will probably rain tomorrow. But eventually the weather has to clear.

Anyway, realizing this has been a weight off my shoulders. I now know I don’t have to worry so much. I know I need to keep track, and if I’m consistently getting worse it’s time to take a break or do things differently. I think those of us who have had severe breakdowns, we know the edge is there, where the rest of the world doesn’t. But we have to remind ourselves we are mobile beings, and to assume we are always on the edge probably isn’t the most accurate. But sometimes we do walk along it.

I talked about this in a post a bit ago, about mood dependent recall.

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