Saturday, January 24, 2009

I Ain't Manic Depressive, I'm Bi-Polar!

In today's Gospel, Jesus Himself was accused of being "out of his mind". We of course know that that is far from the truth.

But in my case, when I give my life testimony, I often refer to myself as "may toyo, may topak, may tililing" (crazy, demented, insane). That's not exactly true -- otherwise, I won't be able to write these words.

I have what my psychiatrist calls CRBPMD. That stands for "chronic recurrent bi-polar mood disorder". It used to be called manic-depression but somehow "bi-polar" sounds so much more politically correct.

My doctor tells me to research about my condition and to write about it. Hence, this blog. And I'm writing a screenplay (movie) entitled "Ang Mundo Ni Mundo". It is about a beautiful, intelligent, kind-hearted woman (sounds familiar?) who is bi-polar but ends up getting married to a handsome man (as writer, I'm entitled to my own happy endings).

For the unenlightened, my condition is a psychiatric disorder characterized by mood swings - hence the term "mood disorder". Each state, mania and depression, has its own signs and symptoms.

For people like us, it is very important to know and be aware what state we are in. Right now, let me see, where am I? I would say I'm in the hypomaniac state (mild mania) alternating with mild depression. How do I know? Below are two lists - the symptoms of mania and the signs of depression - and I will tell you which ones I have been experiencing recently.

One is manic if he or she exhibits the following symptoms:
  • Euphoria (I'm not there yet)
  • Extreme optimism (Optimism, yes but not extreme)
  • Inflated self-esteem (I guess I'll always be mayabang [proud] to some degree but can you blame me?)
  • Poor judgment (Hmm, probably but I can't be sure)
  • Rapid speech (Not really but loud speech is also a sign and one that signals to my family members that I'm getting manic again)
  • Racing thoughts (Not at this point)
  • Aggressive behavior (Nope)
  • Agitation (No)
  • Increased physical activity (With my painful back, how can I? But increased mental activity, yes)
  • Risky behavior (No)
  • Spending sprees (Not possible)
  • Increased drive to perform or achieve goals (Most definitely yes!)
  • Increased sexual drive (Uh, let's not go there. My former students are reading this)
  • Decreased need for sleep (Yup, guilty as charged!)
  • Tendency to be easily distracted (Um, what did you just say?)
  • Inability to concentrate (Talking to me?...Seriously, true)
  • Drug abuse (No way! Never will be a problem for me)
On the other hand, the signs of depression are:
  • Sadness (Occasionally, yes)
  • Hopelessness (Not really)
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior (No, never)
  • Anxiety (Yeah)
  • Guilt (Oh yes, I have plenty to be guilty about!)
  • Sleep problems (Yes, yes, yes)
  • Appetite problems (More yes's)
  • Fatigue (A little)
  • Loss of interest in daily activities (Not to a great extent)
  • Problems concentrating (Talking to me again?)
  • Irritability (No)
  • Chronic pain without a known cause (Not sure)
So there you have it, my self-assessment. Hope you're not sufficiently turned off to stop reading my blog. At least, I'm honest about it. And I'm doing some things about my condition. I take my medicines religiously (i.e. I pray before drinking them he he). I try my best to sleep early and early this morning, I obeyed my mom when she said I may not rise from bed till 6:30 am. I'm reading and writing about my disorder. I try to do things in moderation.

Now you see, I ain't crazy after all...just a little "moody".


  1. We still love you, crazy or not hehe. Take care! Health is wealth :)

  2. Thanks, Twin! That's why I feel so blessed. So many people accept me for who I am.

  3. My cousin also struggles with bipolar illness -- and man, it's a rough road. It's so tough, subjectively, to reject those "highs" of mania! I wish you all the best in your treatment & hope you can avoid those brain-damaging manic highs!

  4. Thanks very much for your concern. It seems that I've had enough manic episodes for a lifetime but for people like us, it's hard to tell.

  5. Hi ma'am!

    Yeah, probably I have a mild case of bi-polar mood disorder.

  6. There's only one way to find out, dear. Go see a doctor for confirmation.


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