Category Mania

Bipolar irritability, Part 2 — High, low, everywhere we go

This is part 2 of 3 in the “Bipolar Irritability” series. These three videos were created in an attempt to convey what it is like to experience teeth grating irritability in extreme bipolar mood states. This second clip attempts to express how this irritability is a feature in manic states — hypomania (beginning of clip) and full blown mania (images at the end of the clip). The soundtrack however is Beethoven depressed irritability at its most impressive, creating a nice mixed state ambience.

Bipolar Irritability – Part 1. A dangerous cocktail of agitation, depression, and anxiety

This is the first of a multipart series on “Bipolar Irritability,” a descriptor I am using to refer to a deadly cocktail of depression, anxiety, and agitation. The video clip attempts to convey what it is like to experience this combination, primarily through sound. Some viewers won’t understand terminology or why this mood is hellish and important, so I’ve added a beginner’s primer to mixed mood states and the result of combining depression and anxiety.

Navigating between two disasters – Part 1. Skylla and Charybdis

This is the first of two posts about the myth of Skylla and Charybdris. In this first post the myth itself is detailed, with many beautiful illustrations. The second post will explore what lessons this myth can teach us about living with bipolar disorder. What do we do when faced with what seems to be a forced choice between two dangerous outcomes — the dilemma in which Odysseus was placed on his long journey home. As Odysseus asks Circe, “Come then, goddess, answer me truthfully this: is there some way for me /to escape away from deadly Charybdis, but yet fight the other one off, when she attacks my companions?”

10 reliable, nonpharmaceutical antidepressants

When I am moderately to severely depressed, my brain is mushy enough that I have trouble remembering how to take care of myself. So I keep a list on hand to remind myself what to do when I’m in trouble. When I’ve done everything I can, then I cry uncle and ask for drugs, but before that point I need to rely on these antidepressants. 

Evoking the manic and depressive states

Looking for images for the last post, I stumbled upon these two works in the same series, “In Silence,” by Chiharu Shiota. The fiery self-destructiveness of mania and the deadened, isolated experience of depression are skillfully evoked by these images.