For those of you who experience mixed states, can you explain to me what they feel like? I’m having a difficult time understanding the clinical descriptions - you are happy and sad at once! - but have found a few personal accounts that seem to make more sense.
Lately, I’ve been having episodes of what I thought was extreme depression, but now I wonder if they aren’t mixed episodes. Example: I feel like there is a whirlwind in my mind, constant howling thoughts saying, you’re worthless, you’re ugly, you’re incompetent, you have wasted every opportunity you have been given, no one likes you or will like you, you are a burden. It feels like a sandstorm, stripping everything away. I find myself out frantically weeding the garden, sobbing, thinking about how ugly the garden is and how much the neighbors hate me for it. I ended up with three piles of weeds about six feet tall last time I did this. At work I can’t focus on anything, it’s just one thought about how badly I am doing something or how far behind I am on something after another, and I jump from task to task and can’t seem to complete any of them, even the simplest ones. I can’t sleep, I just think of terrible things all night long. Is this a mixed state? There’s no happiness, so I thought no, but this doesn’t seem like simple depression, either.
I was diagnosed with depression as a teenager - the symptoms really started when I was 12 - but had many lengthy episodes of intense anger and irritation and also euphoria, but was told that this was all part of depression and didn’t meet the criteria of manic depression (what they were calling it at the time). I was put on Prozac and then Paxil but had an extreme rage issue on them, and was finally switched to amitryptaline, which worked pretty well.
When I read now, these cycles of elation and irritation that I experienced no longer seem to be part of the depression spectrum, and seem more like bipolar ii.
I am seeing a psychopharmacologist in October, but was hoping for input if anyone had any.
I guess the other thing I would add is that my grandmother, who has had a lifelong diagnosis of depression, was just rediagnosed as bipolar.