Bipolar Depression: Symptoms and Struggles

Marcia Purse Health Guide
  • Depression and mixed depression are the primary moods of my bipolar II disorder. When I'm severely depressed over a long period, I often find one pastime I do enjoy and do that. All day. In the past it has been crocheting, computer roleplaying games, just staring at the television, reading (and I mean reading - sometimes 8-10 books a week!).


    Three years ago my stress level was through the roof. We were trying to sell my mother's house after her death, in what had become a terrible real estate market. I was angry. I was frustrated. And I was depressed as hell. For months I spent my entire day on the couch, with the TV on, crocheting as if it were the only possible activity in the world. I had responsibilities I couldn't even think about. Yet on the days I went house-hunting for myself, I was soaring.

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    That particular episode ended when both sales were accomplished and I could move, only to crash into another one 6 months later which was made even worse by undiagnosed high blood sugar. Back to crocheting and television all day. Back to being unable to fulfill my responsibilities.


    Since then my depression has been more the usual kind (for me) - periods when I have to fight myself tooth and nail to get things done that need to be, must be done, or when all I want to do is sleep.


    When that happens, the simplest things like rinsing out an empty cat food can and putting it into the recycling seem too difficult. The cans pile up in the sink. Or like just now - I wanted mac and cheese, BUT you can't just stick it in the microwave, you have to take the plastic off partway through and stir it. That was too much work. I grabbed a Frappucino instead.


    My work gets behind. My chores get behind. And that leads to being overwhelmed, which makes everything worse.


    Losing focus and/or initiative is a hallmark symptom of bipolar depression. Others that really affect me are disorganization, indecision, lethargy, excessive need to sleep, indifference and memory problems.


    There are lots of other symptoms a person with bipolar depression can have, from unexplained crying to irritability to suicidal thoughts and a whole lot more, but the ones I mentioned are mine. Yesterday and today I'm struggling, and the unusually cold, damp and gray weather seems to have been the trigger. That's supposed to improve over the next few days, so maybe I'll be fine again by Tuesday. I sure hope so.


    One of the required characteristics for diagnosis of a depressive episode is that it interferes significantly with daily functioning. How much is your functioning impaired? Talk about it in the comments.

Published On: May 15, 2011