From kernel manic to total system failure
As I have talked about in my most recent blog post, I suffer from Bipolar disorder. For roughly a week and a half or so I was in a manic episode. Luckily I was able to keep my focus on just a set number of projects instead of starting new projects that I never finish.
Unfortunately due to my manic episode I tend to rush through code without leaving a lot of comments for myself. I also tend to break stuff, as usual, and forget where I left off to even fix it.
In the past few days I’ve finally hit that period where I start to feel melancholic. This obviously isn’t good. I stop focusing on code, and start slipping into a depression which makes it difficult to stay motivated.
Trying to keep trying
Fortunately I have friends. Friends that keep me motivated to keep learning Java. Tonight has been the first night that I’ve been able to program and stay focused in the last 4 or 5 days. Because of my bipolar disorder, and my current episode of depression, I’ve been struggling to keep motivated to keep on learning. So tonight actually marks a point in my life where I’ve been able to push through the depression and keep on doing what I do. Even as I write this post, I’m finding it hard to keep motivated. The depression symptoms are often very crippling and leave me diving deep into just playing video games instead of getting projects and other work done.
Going back to school
Having finally paid off student loans, I’ve decided that it’s time to go back to school and finish getting my degree in business information systems (BIS), or maybe something else. I’m not really sure yet. Unless I can get my symptoms under control, it’s going to be a very difficult journey. I remember when I was in K-12 I would start off the years with a fresh start and the motivation to keep doing good. Unfortunately as depression hit me, sometimes for months at a time. The course work would just pile up to the point that I had a complete lack of motivation and an overwhelming amount of work to do.
Treatment of my bipolar disorder
I have some good medications, and as long as I keep to a schedule I’m usually pretty good. Unfortunately though, the medications don’t completely suppress the symptoms of my bipolar disorder. Fortunately when I’m manic, now days, I tend to be hyper-focused on my work. Often I’m able to finish projects quickly. This comes at the cost of sleep deprivation, high irritability, racing thoughts, and the inability to sleep. These, of course, are only a few of the symptoms that I face nearly every other week.
When I’m “normal”
I’m not really sure that I’m ever “normal” any more. I make the judgement that I’m feeling “normal” when I tend to get good sleep, take care of my needs much better (eat, sleep, social interaction), among other good habits. I can usually accurately predict my mood based on my sleeping schedule. When I’m manic I sleep less, and go to bed later. When I’m depressed I sleep longer, and just feel melancholy all the time. If I feel “normal” I typically get about 8 hours of sleep, I wake up feeling fresh and motivated, and I’m much more likely to take my medications.
Bad Manic Habits
When I’m feeling manic I tend to skip medications to keep the mania going. Even though it isn’t good for me, I tend to like feeling manic because I am much more productive. I like being productive. Unfortunately this means that I am much more likely to have a very bad depression episode once the mania wears off. Once again, I’m fortunate to have my friends. Friends who motivate me, who help keep me on schedule, and even remind me to take medications. Even given my condition, I’m a very lucky person to have a network of people who support me even at my worst.