While cheerfully (yes, cheerfully ffs) washing up this morning, it hit me. I’m hypomanic. You know how sometimes it’s hard to see what episode you’re in? As I stood there enjoying the warm water (ffs) and the clean crockery (ffs), I had a hypopiphany, which may or may not be accurate (fucknose, my bright hyporevelations are not to be trusted). Anyroad up, I worked out a bipolar episode diagnostic scale.
I imagine that people who are experiencing euthymia, coinciding with a sink full of dishes, react to the matter in a calm, prosaic way. They might groan a bit, but they just wash the dishes and then proceed with their lives. Something like this…
Euthymic – I’ll just do the dishes, brb.
And then there’s the manic depressive experience…
Depressed – Oh god I need to wash the dishes. I can’t do it. I’m such a failure.
Anhedonic – Whatever.
Mixed episode – Fuck the fucking dishes, I resent housework grrrr.
Hypomanic – Yasss I wash the fuck outa those dishes quickquick.
Manic – What dishes, who cares? It’s time to partaaaaayyy!!
Psychotic – wow, talking dishes,
I walked the dogs extra far on the beach at sunrise, my laundry is hanging out in the sun, I was nice to the poison pygmy next door – I even gave her one of my baby guava trees. Ffs. I’m sitting down with a filter coffee, a smoke and my snuggly dog (fast asleep after running like a wild thing on the beach) and I’m chilling the hell out to avoid ascending to mania. So there’s that.
I think (hope) that the bipolar episode diagnostic scale™ might also be useful in working out where I crash/land/crash land after hypomania asap. Taking the BEDS™ (lol) notion a little further, the diagnostics might be more accurate if the condition of the crockery etc in and around the sink were factored in too. No wait, that’s bs, it’d just be:
Depressed – full sink.
Anhedonic – full sink.
Mixed episode – full sink.
Hypomanic – empty, shiny sink, or blahpolar rolling up her sleeves with a gleam in her eyes.
Manic – full sink.
Psychotic – wow, that is one chatty sink.
As far as my own personal manic depressive episodes go, the couch scale could be of some use (crap acronym though):
Depressed – miserable blahpolar under a blanket.
Anhedonic – seated zombie, with a thousand yard stare.
Mixed episode – blahpolar either sitting slightly forward with clenched fists, jaw and any other clenchable* body parts, or walking angrily along the beach, praying for a storm.
Hypomanic – blahpolar engaged in housework, gardening, walking etc.
Manic – empty couch, empty house and the subtle sound of dust settling.
Psychotic – wow, the couch can talk too.
I suspect that people in a euthymic state utilise couches, while people like me form relationships with them. I guess I interact unnecessarily emotionally with banal things. I guess my priorities are screwed. I guess being unconventional can be pretty cool, when it’s not causing agony. I guess.
Okay, I’m down a notch – the more I write, the more my headspace relaxes. I’m glad I’m not feeling that frayed edge focus thing anyway. And I suppose it’s just as well there aren’t any women around to ravish. I’m gonna stop writing before I raid the alphabet for cool acronyms and inventing more diagnostic tools. Ffs.
I even washed the ashtrays.
*not a real word, probably a sign of the general logorrhoea, circumstantial and tangential speech and all their friends (below) that are very familiar to me.
Word salad. (Schizophasia) A jumble of words that are not apparently linked and may be hard to understand. Philosopher Noam Chomsky is well known for his studies in language and cognitive science; his famous grammatically correct example of word salad is “Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.”
Disorganization. Jumping from one idea to another without transition.
Neologism. Making up words that have no meaning to anyone but the speaker.
Echolalia. Repeating others’ words or phrases.
Flight of ideas: (in psychiatry) a continuous stream of talk in which the patient switches rapidly from one topic to another and each subject is incoherent and unrelated to the preceding one or is stimulated by some environmental circumstance. The condition is frequently a symptom of acute manic states and schizophrenia.
(Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. © 2009, Elsevier.)