Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Mood Watch - 36

From about March 12 through March 21, I hit kind of a bad patch, but of the sort that illustrates the subtleties of bipolar disorder. The symptoms aren’t always the classic ones. During that period I was “down” most of the time, but the two principal features were hypersomnia and what I’ve heard a psychiatrist characterize as a “reduction in mental coordination.” By that phrase, he meant a marked decrease in one’s ability to do sustained creative work (like research and writing).

But in other respects I was okay. For instance, I continued to enjoy activities that I would ordinarily find pleasant; e.g., watching movies, spending time with friends, and working at the animal shelter.

If I can point to anything tangible that pulled me out of it, it was a trip this past weekend to the Chicago area, where I was one of the presenters at a conference. I found the experience energizing. I’m not sure if it was the conference or the travel: I often find that my mood improves when I’m on the road. But in any event the transition comes at a good time, since Spring Quarter has begun and I’ve got a busy schedule ahead.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Mood Watch - 35

A lot’s been going on of late, and most of it hasn’t been pleasant. But to the extent that I can detach circumstances from biochemistry, I think the biochemical aspect is still running smoothly. Most nights I get enough sleep (but not too much), my energy level is OK (but not too much), and if I feel miserable at times, it’s pretty much the way anyone in my position would feel miserable. The one nice thing in all this has been the way my friends have rallied around me. And anyway, it’s impossible to be miserable all the time. I still have a lot of good moments, too.
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