So I’m on the depression side of manic depression. It’s not so much of a shock considering the mixed episode is the crash. I was reading my journal and I wrote an entry whislt manic about becoming a famous artist. Well, if that doesn’t count as delusional I don’t know what does. I remember thinking that as I read it but my memory is always poor especially when depressed. When manic I’m too focused on myself to be able to take in the information I need to remember so that’s not memory issues, it’s just not encoding the memories. Depression I listen and take on board what people are saying, I just forget it. So of course, I googled and this is what I found:
Memory Loss and Bipolar Disorder
Memory problems in bipolar disorder typically have been considered a side effect of the manic highs and depressive lows of the condition:
- Mania. Some studies have shown that memory and cognition problems are at their worst during manic episodes. Patients operating at high speeds due to mania have a hard time encoding new information into their memories and also show difficulty accessing memories.
- Depression. Other research has revealed that depressive phases also can create problems with memory. “When your mind is preoccupied with negative thoughts about yourself, your world, your future, you aren’t as able to concentrate and [be] in the moment,” says Michael Thase, MD, professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center in Philadelphia. “If your mind is occupied at one level, there’s less capacity to pay attention and encode and store information.”
- More recent research has found that bipolar patients who are between mood swings also have memory problems and other cognitive deficits. That has lead some doctors to question whether mood swings are the real reason patients endure memory loss issues. Other possible explanations include:
- Differences in brain chemistry and function related to bipolar disorder. “It may be that depression causes memory troubles both in a mental way — by occupying your mind — and also in a neurobiological way by inhibiting the connectivity between nerve cells,” Dr. Thase says.
I’m not really looking forward to depression, which I know is the most obvious statement I could make. But it’s awful, it’s so debilitating. I literally can’t stand it. I have two more weeks left at school before blessed half term comes but it just seems so long away. I know, I moan a lot about school. But let’s put yourself in my shoes.
You hardly slept the night before, you awake, you’re still depressed. Instead of being able to cohearse yourself out of bed with such scary thoughts like “if you don’t get up and brush your teeth, they’ll fall out” or “if you don’t get up and go to the bathroom, you’ll wet the bed” – it’s essentially just a scare tactic and a damn argument. But on school days there isn’t that chance. Like today, I fell asleep around 1am, woke around 4am and didn’t get up until around 11am. Even then I was only up for about 20mins, brushing my teeth etc before I go back to bed. But back to where I was. On school days, you’re awake on average two hours until your dad comes in and says “GET OUT OF BED! IT’S 7AM!” But you both know you’re not getting out until 7:30am, the maximum time you can get out of bed and still be on time for school. Then you’re in the car and it’s essentially a funeral procession except not all the cars in black. But with the way you feel it might as well be. Your stomach feels like it’s trying to drive itself up through you, that’s the anxiety. You feel like running away. You contemplate the idea of jumping out a moving car because it seems like such a better prospect than being at school. But you chicken out because you look at the two in the front and think that they’d prefer a better reason for your untimely death than avoiding school. Though really it’s hell in disguise. You get to school, on time for you but late for your brother. If it’s a Tuesday, you purposefully make yourself late just so the creepy teacher that everyone knows creeps you out but still insist on mocking you about can leave, so you can avoid social interaction. If it’s not, you wait until everyone has walked past your car and made sure that’s there’s at least 2 minutes between you and the next person. All this and you’re not even in Hell yet.
You walk through the carpark, you walk through the library because it’s icy and let’s face it if you go in through the main building you have the horrible reality of bumping into someone you know or getting caught in a crowd. You walk into the little building containing your form room and there is a teacher (who I swear is pregnant) and another teacher who is adopting her bitchy attitude because it seems only your form tutor is training her. One of the two will ask why you’re late and at this moment in time it’s pretty fucking obvious it’s the snow and ice and so you sit there wondering how the hell they got to be teacher considering that severe lack in common sense, I know they’re PE teachers but still. Your friend asks you if your okay because you look like you’d rather be putting mouse traps in all your orifaces than be sitting there, so you smile and tell her you’re fine even though your wondering whether jumping from only a high two storey building would be sufficent enough to kill you. You get out your phone and hope someone has messaged or texted you just so you have a good enough reason to stay out of any conversation. You get dismissed from class and you wait for your friend to hurry the hell up because as much you will hate your first class you don’t want to be late. *Decides I’ll talk about a Monday*.
Your first lesson is a double. Double English. You like writing but you don’t like what we’re doing because it’s repetitve and boring and isn’t engaging enough so you wander into your own little dream world which is when your depressed full of self hate, depressing thoughts and flashbacks. If you haven’t flashbacked more then 10 times on a Monday double lesson of English, it’s a good freaking day. Breaktime comes and your thrown into crowds and so you control your breathing. You stay with a person who can be good or wind you up at the best of times so it’s a love-hate relationship. You don’t want to be alone in lessons because you’re stuck with your thoughts then.
Next is PE, you only take off your skirt and hide the non-white top your wearing behind the black jumper you were also wearing to hide the self harm scars. You do PE but you hate it because no one really wants to be your partner and you hate doing anything that is too vigrous because of your chest problems and hate the cold because it’s cold and can aggrivate your migraines. The RE, you find RE interesting and like it because it’s the only subject you’re not failing completely and utterly in but it’s a lot of talking so your alone with your thoughts. Then maths which you don’t understand and is made even harder by the fact your bipolar mind won’t let you do maths so you don’t and complain to said friend who annoys you that you hate it and if the teacher talks complain about how his voice is grinding and aggravates your migraines.
Then lunch where you also spend a lot of your time looking at your phone while listening to random stories and feeling guilty about the fact you’re spending a lot of time one on one and not with your other friend because she’s in a group of friends and you can’t tolerate a group. Then health, you sit there, take notes and occassionally catch a worried glance from SK (the good friend) as you hold your head, rub your eyes or look into the distance all the time wondering whether you can run out the door and into a car.
That’s school, on a good day in depression. It’s no wonder I equate it to hell.