Trying to Describe My Cycles

Those of you out there with bipolar disorder probably understand what I mean.

My therapist recently asked me how i know that I’m about to cycle. I honestly didn’t know how to answer. There can be little clues, subtle changes, warning signs that you’re going into a manic phase or a depressive phase. For some reason they’re so hard to explain to someone. Like for mania, it could be you’re getting more and more restless or starting to talk faster or mind is more scattered than usual or your brain-to-mouth filter is slipping, etc. Then there’s depression, you start to notice your becoming more lethargic or starting to lose interest in things you find enjoyable or, similar to subtle manic changes, your thinking patterns start to change, etc.

But how do you explain it when you get thrown into a manager position, working 7 days a week and 73 hours a week as well? This is bound to cause similar changes even in someone without bipolar disorder. So how do you explain in this type of situation that you still know you’re starting to cycle again without it sounding like “normal” things people would feel in this situation.

Living with bipolar disorder and trying to explain the subtle warning signs as well as determining whether something is a “normal mood change” or a “bipolar mood change” can be the most frustrating thing in the world.

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