Pandemic Depression

Content Note: depression, suicide, racial injustice

I’m depressed. Yes, in the existential dread of a pandemic sort of way. Duh.

But my three week bout of hypomania turned the corner into depression. I am grateful to be moving through my symptoms toward a stable mood, but depression ain’t fun.

The transition was bumpy. I bounce from hypomania to depression in what’s known as mixed states or rapid cycling. It’s like someone is using a yo-yo in my brain.

My meds were bumped up earlier in the week, but its unlikely they would kick in that quickly. Still, knowing they were coursing through my body made a difference. Like a safety net.

But … then the lows puncture my sense of serenity, dragging me down to uncomfortable spaces where doubts and worries and fears lurk.

I do not have suicidal thoughts. That’s a positive. I know intellectually and feel emotionally that this will pass. That’s another positive. I am surrounded by people offering comfort.

Mostly I am tired. My body is worn out from the hypomania symptoms. Both my pdoc and therapist have been urging me to nap. A lot.

People also offer unsolicited advice. I guess mustering comfort minus what you deem essential information is hard for most of us, myself included.

But even though I am experiencing symptoms, I am not broken. I wonder how many people compelled to advise me take the time to read this blog and my Facebook feed first?

I had another appointment with my pdoc again this week. She incorporates several depression and suicide screenings into our appointment. I am pleased that I notice and appreciate her diligence. Hypomania can be masked by artful chemical misfires to protect itself from discovery aka treatment.

She also noticed I was stretched out my bed so I showed her the room to prove there is no chair in the room with the best acoustics.

I am not fine, but I am not broken.

I am weepy, my feelings are easily injured by casual comments, i don’t sleep well. Still not hungry. The effort to eat and stay hydrated is more difficult in depression because my “what’s the point?” thoughts are deeply entrenched.

We did a social distancing visit with Laura’s mother. I offered to fix her Amazon Fire. It takes me many tries to realize a reset is the only option. She is patient and seems pleased to finally have access to Hillary Clinton’s book.

I am relieved I could solve the problems and get the device running. I am exhausted by this. I cannot tell if she is being kind to me or will use it, but I am comforted that it’s now usable.

It would be irresponsible not to acknowledge losses of life.

I am heartbroken by our losses – to coronavirus and Republican ineptitude, to racial injustice and systemic oppression, to physical health issues, and to death by suicide.

George Floyd

Aaliyah Johnson

Xero Yo

Shaka Ashad

Rest in power.


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