This is an account I have written about my recent “mixed episode”. I agree with Kimberly over at themighty.com (a great read by the way) that there’s not enough written about what these actually feel like. I also think they could be better diagnosed; I am only just learning about the mixed features of my own depression which have been overlooked by professionals all these years.
It is not ordinary depression nor is it mania
But a concoction of the two,
A mad science experiment,
Where the worst aspects of both have been combined.
It is a storm,
That feeds off stress, sleepless nights and the cyclical plummet of hormones,
Sucking it all in like the shoreline,
While it builds power and momentum.
You’re up all night and sleep all day.
The stillness of the night is comforting
for the world’s volume has been cranked up.
Traffic swirls all around
Closing in on you from every angle.
Suddenly you notice that the toilet hisses
And you can feel the moods of the people you live with seeping
under your door.
The loudest noise of all is your own insurmountable pain.
It is so intense you wonder how no one else could possibly hear it.
No one is knocking at your door,
And you receive no texts for days.
You are left alone to drown in your misery.
You open your laptop and begin emailing your psychiatrist.
You send more and more emails before he has a chance to reply.
His name fills up your “Sent items” list.
You are a factory for words,
Churning them out
into the early hours of the morning.
Weaving them into stories, into poems, like a diligent throwster.
Yet at the same time, you are behind.
The state of your bedroom is deteriorating;
A mirror image of your mind
as if it has been flipped inside out.
The energy is stale.
The sheets on your bed are old
And whenever you wake up the blankets are sliding off.
The room starts to feel intolerable.
You move into the living room.
But you wake up early to the whirr of traffic outside
as though there were no walls in between.
The tsunami hits.
It is not euphoria but rage
tearing at your insides.
It wants to run freely,
To rip down everything in its path.
It is an unstoppable force,
And you will collapse violently inwards if you try to contain it.
It has no clear direction or target.
Hatred towards the world morphs into hatred towards the self
like the changing patterns of a kaleidoscope.
You feel far from “grandiose”.
No, you feel pathetic.
A burden on everyone.
Coupled with the ferocity, energy and feverish passion of mania,
You are consumed by suicidal rage,
An inner sadist
Condemning you to crucifixion.
You don’t even know who or what you’re angry at anymore.
You just yearn to bring this crescendo to one crashing end.
Your mind is racing but your thoughts are engrossed in death.
You want this day to be your last.
You open YouTube
to turn noise
You are going to ride this wave.
First up is “Youth of the Nation”,
Followed by “Blurry” by Puddle of Mud,
“You Get What You Give” by New Radicals
“Goodbye for Now” by P.O.D
“Alone I Break” by Korn
“Tell me why” by P.O.D.
“Down” by Jason Walker
You feel the music with the same depth of emotion
that just about destroyed you.
You pace up and down your room
and a few hours later the wave dies down.
You find yourself shaking, but you are not nervous.
You are left to clean up the debris before the next wave hits:
Your fucked up circadian rhythm
Your mess which has spread throughout the house
The mountains of clothes stacked so high they can barely stand
And a creeping sense of abandonment
as your psychiatrist has not made contact.
You are surprised this wave did not leave more damage.
A part of you wishes you had a visible scar
To show the world what you just went through.