What It’s Like Being A Manic Depressant

I’m a manic depressant.

Manic Depression is a genetic mental disorder that can be best described to be related to an individual who is bipolar and who also has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Like any (genetic) mental disorder, mania is triggered through events that carry overtime.

This means that at any moment, without warrant, I can plunge into a feeling of depression. Or, in another moment my brain can catapult into a high. In this post, I’ll talk about what depression feels like, what the high does to me, and what the pills do to my body… Let me explain:

Depression:

It’s strange. I could be having a nice conversation with a few friends (or colleagues) when suddenly some action or words from a friend triggers a negative thought in my brain and I go ballistic. Ballistic in the sense that I can feel my body shut down, I start to develop a speech impediment, and there is this overwhelming sadness everywhere. My brain and my body cannot connect.

I can cry. I can get angry.

Many times I’m unaware to why I’m falling into tiny pieces… but I am.

When I was young I couldn’t explain this feeling, but after really understanding my body (I’m still learning) I now have a better grasp.

I always have to watch out for these triggers and do my best to stray away by jumping (endorphins), running (endorphins), or talking about happy things to subdue the feeling of depression. I try to offset my depression by forcing my brain to head towards positive triggers. In the past it worked, but currently it’s getting harder because the chemical imbalance of my manic depression is getting stronger, which at times has made me really dizzy and sick.

Four months ago I stopped using my pill because I wanted to be independent of my pills. However, in the upcoming months to follow I would start puking, feeling sick, getting dizzier, and became really unproductive.

I would try to push myself, but nothing would happen and I would lay somewhere on the ground uninspired.

High

Imagine taking a sniff of cocaine and adding a hint of an omnipotence to your soul. What’s great is that I’m also an ENFP, which means that this combination, when I’m high, would make me unstoppable to anyone I interacted with on the street. I could do anything! I could easily sneak onto the front stage of a concert, I could finish essays and complete hard work in a matter of seconds; I could take my creative powers and actually create something masterful, I could convince a girl to lose her virginity to me behind a bar, I could steal anything, I could be anything, I could say anything…

I was omnipotent. My aura could be seen, heard, and felt miles away. Have you seen the movie Limitless? Exactly.

Here’s a scene that describes what my high can do:

I love the highs!

They’re one of the most addictive things I have (had) in my life and I live for it… it is unfortunate because they’re getting rarer and rarer as I get older. This is why I stopped taking the pills four months ago because even though the depression part would ruin me for weeks… the highs would outweigh the depression stage.

The highs would rebound and it would be a week (or a month) of just salivating goodness. It is unfortunate though because the depression part usually outweighed the high part. Why? The excuse would be that the world is a very negative place with a ton of negative triggers: people can be mean with their comments, news outlets showcase the worst in the world, and just random situations… so it’s harder.

In addition, if the high is wasted on something really inane and stupid; a situation where I’m not being productive; I go into a state of depression. It’s funny really. I have a ton of negative mental triggers.

Twitches

In every state my brain can twitch (like a nerve muscles twitches). It happens like once or twice a week. When I’m depressed as hell the twitches hurt… more than a headache (hence the puking). When I’m high the twitch feels like I’m gaining a new super power – it hurts but at least I’m getting an additional trait to my superhuman body.

Complacency

There are times where I’ll be in the middle of my highs and lows. I’m not necessarily on a low, but not on a high. It’s beautiful. It’s calm. My brain isn’t working so hard on both sides. The only word I can say to explain what I go through during my complacency phase is… sustainability.

Sustainability.

I’m able to think with enough high particles that I’m really smart to function. However, the low is kicking in where everything balances out. Basically, it is during complacency that I have utter control of everything.

This is something I crave and want. However, it’s a very rare event. I probably get that complacency feeling one day of the month. This is why I get upset if I’m not productive when I’m in this phase.

If I’m productive, I know that the day is going to be a great! Yes, it’s not going to be perfect and I’m not going to be omnipotent. But, at that moment, I feel great.

The Pill

I take 200mg of Lamotrigine on a daily basis (supposed to). The pills are great but they come with a ton of side effects: dry lips and sometimes a rash.

It’s supposed to bring me to the complacency level at all times. However, it doesn’t do its job completely. See, the medication is supposed to be coupled with a pill called Abilify. The sad news is that Abilify costs $1000 for a 30 day supply (even with my insurance)!

Trust me. I’ve had Abilify and holy fucking shit. I cannot explain how beautiful Abilify & Lamotrigine work together.

I cannot afford Abilify so I just take Lamotrigine. [I could mix some generic brands (like seroquel or risperidine) but those pills make me numb and not complacent].

This is what happens when I take my pill…

Lamotrigine will serve as a semi- conductor placebo. I have control, but I don’t. This means the pill allows me to speak and think. However, I still have a down at some point of the day and I still have a slight high during the day. I can function, kinda. Basically, Lamotrigine allows me to interact with society.

I have control… However, I have to work hard to obtain the right triggers to be able to act correctly.

As I’ve said before, sometimes it can be seen as a placebo because there are many times where I need to trick my brain that I’m in control for the pill to work: the pill isn’t strong enough to do its job.

Mental Triggers / Other Triggers

Mental Triggers are things that can make me act in a weird way. I’ve noted a ton of things down.

1. Gummy Bears or substances like that candy: the glucose and gelatin ingredients can fuck me up pretty good. I do not get depressed but it offsets something in my brain where I can barely think. I mumble and develop a speech impediment.  I think gelatin mixed with high glucose / processed foods hurts my brain.

2. Negative Triggers: I have a lot of skeletons in my closet (it’s cliche to say but it’s true). Really bad memories of how I was treated in my family home, my parents, my siblings, my high school classmates… which has led to pretty disturbing things to why and how I act now. I’m improving though…

3. Positive Triggers: a happy memory, an idea that might spark up, a hug, but most of all –  some thoughtful comment usually does the trick. Like a simple, “Thank You” or “Good Job” or “You’re Awesome” or “Congratulations” will edge me into a high state.

4. Fresh Air: My brain is really productive in the early mornings from 7am – 11am because the fresh air is amazing. I’m not talking AC. I’m talking FRESH AIR. Also, I’m also really productive at around 7pm because of the same thing. These are my creative hours because my brain is on FIRE with beautiful things (usually).

It sucks because at this time of my life I do not get the chance to really use these times to complete my creative projects. I have to work / participate in activities that stray away from my own ultimate goals. It all depends.

Also, The best is when I have classical musical playing the background with a wide open window (with a fresh breeze). My brain says “Yummy.”

5. Salmon: Eating Fish (like sushi) makes my brain happy. Basically, eating something that doesn’t make me too full and isn’t too high in sugar is a great thing for my brain. I try to stray away from hamburgers unless I know that I won’t be working later in the day (I love hamburgers though). For example, Korean BBQ will transform me into the most unproductive person I know.

6. Unnatural Medications: adderall, molly, and ecstasy are just examples. But, they’re the worst for me because I’ll crash. Everything I do must be natural. My brain, (well for anyone in general), is very sensitive instrument.

Clarification On How It Works

Please understand that a high phase & a depressive phase can last for many months. I will have small bounces to the opposite direction (if its a high phase, I’ll have a day in the depressed zone… vica versa), in those phases. However, in general, I will stay high in those high phases and the months ahead will be blissful with productivity and just amazing things.

What’s Next

I hate defining myself as a manic depressant. I love to joke about it and my past depressing shit. But, I don’t want to define myself as such. Mental disorders are very real and I HATE it when it controls the way I live.

For example, the worst is when I’m acting weird and someone says, “someone needs to take their pill.” Seriously?

In addition…

I think mental disorders get a bad wrap because a ton of people are known to abuse the medications they’re given: the stereotype that rich individuals, who don’t even have a mental disorder, take medications because they “feel” a certain way (when it could be just laziness or some inane excuse).

This wrap hurts people like me (who actually suffer) because it brings a negative stigma to the way I live my life… though it’s very fun to joke around about my past and the pills I take. It lightens the mood.

The next steps I’m taking is to really analyze every action I’ve done in the past and what I’m currently doing everyday. I’ve hurt a ton of people, not only through my mental disorder, but also through my own ENFP malicious behavior. Pre-mediated stupid decisions that I will always regret.

I’ve made so many mistakes that it eats me inside and I think this is why I have more negative triggers now.

I’m going to do all I can to change for the better. I’m very watchful of my triggers and I am always trying to figure out how to control my brain. It can be tiring. But, I’m getting better. This year and many years to come will be limiting… but through practice, I’ll be able to become forever limitless.

Until that day.

Until that day.

Till now. It’s 10:09 AM in the morning and I can feel myself drifting off. It’s time to take my pill, drink some water, and put some light food into my stomach.

Thanks for listening.

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