The Face of Depression & Insomnia

Daily Prompt: Study via The Daily Post

IMG_0588Study this pic. Not a pretty sight, is it? I took this selfie at 4:52 this morning, over an hour after I woke up and couldn’t sleep again. I even practiced good sleep hygiene by taking my meds and going to bed around 10:30 PM, so I slept for about 5 hours. To anyone who has suffered from insomnia, that number may be plenty. Recently, when I experienced hypomanic symptoms triggered by my light box, I slept for 5 hours total the entire weekend. (Hypo)mania does that to you, but according to the Mayo Clinic, so does depression, which I associate with the opposite — sleeping a lot.

I’ve felt depressed ever since I’ve “come down” from my short hypomanic episode — even more than I was before my psychiatrist suggested I use the light box. It’s been so bad that I haven’t had the energy to shower in a week. That sounds disgusting, I know, but lethargy is not uncommon for people who are depressed. I changed clothes, though. Most days. Anyway, I only had to go out twice.

This morning, I couldn’t stand it anymore, but still couldn’t manage to get in the shower, what to me amounts to a monumental task right now, so my husband washed my hair in the sink. I at least found the energy to wash my privates. This blog is mainly about my experiences with bipolar, so I’m not hiding anything — the good, the bad, or the ugly. This is how it is for me.

I haven’t eaten breakfast in about 2 weeks. It seems like a waste of time, even though I know it isn’t. I almost always have yogurt, and lately, tearing the foil lid off the cup and mixing the fruit into the yogurt compartment is too much work. Is it any wonder that I can’t take a shower?

This past week, I contacted my psychiatrist about my mood, and asked about trying light therapy again. I noted that my husband didn’t think I should use the box at all because of the hypomania. The doctor agreed with him. However, I said that I’d prefer to elevate my mood without any dosage changes, so we compromised: if I still felt $hitty on Monday, I’d use the light box again, but only for 30 minutes a day, in the morning. So I started again today.

What I have managed to do is maintain my meditation practice. According to my meditation app, I’ve meditated for 290 consecutive days as of today. Go, me! I’ve also been writing daily, for both my blog and my fiction writing. I didn’t write for an entire year in 2016 because of depression. That was before I started blogging, something that  has helped me write regularly, even when I feel like $hit. So there are some good things happening, in spite of the depression.

Have you ever experienced insomnia? What was it like?

Do you lack energy when going through a depression?

What is “coming down” from (hypo)mania like for you?

RIP Dolores O’Riordan

Photo provided by author

12 thoughts on “The Face of Depression & Insomnia

  1. I have horrible insomnia. HORRID. Began almost immediately after my hysterectomy. I try to practice sleep hygiene or whatever it is called. I have meds I should/need to take but I hate taking them! Then I wait too late each night to take them (have to around 8-8:30 PM) in order to be even semi functional the next day. But, I stay up too late then I know I’m screwed because I can’t take them any later! Such a vicious cycle!

    1. I wonder if hormones have something to do with the insomnia. I know the cycle all too well. Thanks for sharing.

      1. I also wonder about the hormone/insomnia connection. I know mine are totally messed up and my insomnia, (the same type where I wake up super early), has been off the charts lately. It definitely triggers mood episodes in me, both ups and downs. I struggle to do the very basics like shower and eat as well when I’m terribly depressed so I completely understand where you are coming from. Hugs!

        1. My hormones are completely messed up. Thanks so much for sharing. It’s good to know others understand how basic hygiene and eating can be difficult. Hugs back! 🌻

  2. I feel like insomnia should be my middle name! There are days when I stay up for over 30+ hours, ktfo for a full day and I’m up for another 30+ hours again.
    Some days are harder than others. I know I have important things to do and people to see, but it feels like you’re being constricted by a cobra or something and your body just won’t move…
    Great post! Thanks for sharing! Positive vibes~~*

  3. I know usually people with bipolar II are not tired from a lack of sleep. I, on the other hand, am so tired but my brain just keeps whirling away. I am cranky an so not very pleasant to be around. When I come down from a hypomanic phase it is like a crash. I am exhausted mentally and physically. And so begins the depression, where yes I am too tired to care about anything let alone get in the shower. Thanks for sharing it is easy to forget that it is an illness and not me just being lazy.

    1. That’s exactly how I feel right now: mentally and physically exhausted. It helps to know I’m not alone. Thank you, too, for sharing 🌻

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