One of the parts for my IOOV (In our own voice) talk that I need to do is on acceptance. What did it take for me to accept my mental illness. Right now, I can't say. Because right now at the minute I am disbelieving the diagnosis. I am pretty sure that I am just easily irritated and emotionally fragile and all the other crap is just made up by Big Pharma.
It's one of the times (like when I am doing Very Well or Slightly Poorly) that I am less convinced of my bipolarity.
During Very Well times I can't quite remember the bad crap. Or I am convinced that I am Cured. Or that I was once a drama queen. OR a diva. And that I am no different from everyone else. Carbon copy with slight variations. No worries. All better now.
Slightly Poorly times I can't view what is going on as a result of any kind of mental illness because it lacks a certain quality of... gravitas? Maybe because while I being treated/medicated the lows aren't as low? Or as a function of being low I am convinced that whatever is going on with me is a character flaw and not a brain chemistry issue?
I am always me, is the problem.
I have always been me
I always will be me.
That is fine. The position is not open to other applicants, I'm just saying that my me-ness makes it difficult for me to self-evaluate what is going on in my brain. In my amygdala.
I can't tell if how i am feeling is a normal part of being me
Or a normal part of having bipolar
Or a sign that things are going awry.
Popped out for a bit of brain research and found this from Chicago Psychiatry Associates and read that bipolar people tend to overuse the emotional centers of the brain even during "cognitive challenges." Drawing on their amygdala when calculating sums. And NOT because they don't like math.
Is this part of why I become weepy when I am trying to figure out how to tackle a particularly intractable problem in teaching? Not just because I feel for my students and want the best for them, but because I'm using a weepy part of my brain to process things? Interesting thought.
Looks like the main problem according to the 2013 stuff they reference is the communications difficulty between prefrontal cortex and amygdala. They likened it to a faulty surge-protector. Prefrontal is supposed to do a whole score of things including regulating emotions and on impulse control. The amygdala is fear, anger and pleasure. Ego and Id.
BUT it strikes me that everything is a question of degrees. At what POINT is it clear that a person has bipolar disorder? And not just "alsmost bipolar disorder." If physical/neurological signs are progressive and differ from one individual to another...
Say that my amygdala is bigger than yours and will keep on getting bigger. And my prefrontal cortex is shrinking (which are two things that are observed in progression of bipoloar).
Aren't there some people who have larger-than-average amygdala? And what does that mean?
Also, an interesting question raised in the article was whether the enlarged amygdalae were a result of overuse of the emotional processing area OR if they had become enlarged due to the overtime they needed to put in as they attempted (with decreasing ability) to reign in bipolar emotions.
Brain full. Going to the Y.
Grateful Crap: internet
10.5 hours of sleep last night
(will take meds now; fell asleep in clothes without meds or brushing teeth. ew!)
talked to Spouse/coworkers
ate good foods
Quaker, teacher, parent,