When Medicine ‘Fails’

I think an effective treatment approach for Bipolar disorder is a combination of medication and psychotherapy. However there are still times when my mood will go down and I felt the vitality in life drawn out completely.

Being depressed

The lost in liveliness usually begins with an increase in sleeping hours. I am relieved to get into bed earlier than usual and wake up at a later time. I will fall back onto the bed to catch one to two hours of nap before the next meal. The pattern repeats after lunch.

Personal upkeep is not on my to-do list. Actually the list is not in motion. When sleep is evasive, I will tune into online drama and games. Procrastination effectuate for daily tasks. I will keep the must-do tasks to the last hour. Lethargy prevails and often the energy level remains at zero or neutral. Short-term goals not in sight and have little or no motivating reverberations.

Waking up is an uphill route

With these tell-tale signals, I seem to know that I am depressed. Yet the mind is oblivion to these indicative you-are-depressed alarm and the feeble attempts to get out from the down cycle. Counter thoughts like ‘let’s focus on the next hour’, ‘you need to break the pattern’, ‘don’t feel, just do it’, or shorten the snooze interval with a few more wake-up alarms, are ignored. I am simply unable to shift the gear from neutral to one to bring back the vitality in living.

It is true that what one focus on expands. My depressive cycle encourages inactivity. The state of being inert begets discouraging lifestyle and robs the will to love myself. I condescend to overeating and agrees to missing out a day or two of medication, exercise is no longer mandatory. Should alcohol be easily available, I would have drank to my heart’s content. These meaningless behaviors are a reflections of the mind.

My mind seems like any physical substance with no feelings and no thinking abilities. I have shorter attention span and my memory is a blob of glue. My brain system has gone for hibernation. The danger of my mood spiraling downwards is lurking closer.

My way

Sensing danger, spikes of survival instincts comes into action. I urge myself to sleep less, Uplifting Moodjust sleep two to three hours for one night. When I wake up, my mood seem to be uplifted. Perhaps it is the adrenaline rush to counter tiredness, more energy is ignited. The neutral gear has move up one level. I ride on the momentum of the upward cycle, actively completing the to-do list for the day and drawing out the list for next day. I make sure I do not sleep in the day, so that I get a good night sleep.

Somehow I can kick-start the day with a lack of sleep. I may feel irritated during the day, but at least I become more energetic. The yearning to be alive with more energy is desirable. The positivity let me resume my medication faithfully.

And I continue to work on my goals …

5 thoughts on “When Medicine ‘Fails’

  1. Hi Cheng,

    You are very brave to document the struggles with depression.
    I have not really suffered myself, but we all have darker times. I think recognising the fact that you are have some difficulties is a big step. From there you can get the help that you need.

    I am very big on natural therapies. I have read that a good diet, omega oil supplements, Vit B, sunshine and exercise can make a big difference to one’s state of mind if you are having a hard time mentally.

    Have you tried any of these techniques, and have you found them beneficial?

    Kind Reagrds,

    Dr Brad


    1. Hello Dr Brad,
      Thank you very much for your encouragement. Being aware of one’s problem gives clarity to the situation I am in.
      I believe in good proper diet and I am into exercises (only possible when my mood is in the normal range). My supplements include antioxidants, digestive enzymes and probio. My recent goal is to include tumeric into my diet and keep to a low carbo, more protein diet. I am not sure my approach can be considered as natural therapy. So far I am all right, I guess!

  2. You allowed the reader to see a little beyond what we normally see in a person who suffers from a Bipolar disorder. I am very close to someone who suffers from this disorder, your post is very enlightening and offers much hope, helps you understand some of what is happening in the place that we can’t see or understand, what makes a loveable person turn into someone else. Keep posting, you are truly helping me.

  3. Awesome message Cheng. I think you paint a great picture of what Bipolar disease is and what it feels like. I think the word choice was espeically good. Stuff like ‘it robs you’ and ‘evasive’ really help bring home your point. Its unfortunate that you have to go through what you go through but keep on pushing – are are an inspiration to us all.

    1. Hello Matt
      Thank you for your comments and encouragement.
      Yes, pushing on and being hopeful is essential to manage it.
      Cheers Cheng

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