Saturday, 19 November 2022

Bi-Polar Depression

In 2000 (aged 36), I was diagnosed and suffer from ongoing bipolar depression ("Bi-Polar ii") (BP) and anxiety issues as well. (It used to be known as "manic depression"). I've been hospitalized a few times as a result... no fun.

Before 2000, I'd just lived with it all my adult life and just assumed that the way I felt was 'normal', until... it simply overwhelmed me, and I knew I had to get some help with it.

Please watch this video:

This is one way of picturing what it feels like when it starts to creep up and envelope me:

This is what it certainly can be like for me. It's awful when it strikes.

And yes: it's always there for me - just in varying degrees.

Fortunately, it is under control for me at the moment.

This is me:

► Please watch this video:
Video Source:

We're working together to get on top of things and nip things in the bud before they blow out into something bigger. It's all generally going well at the moment, tho, thankfully. One day at a time. "Some days are better than others", as U2 said.

Yes, I am medicated for it (the antidepressant Effexor 150mg daily). These help a simple 'chemical imbalance' inside me, that help me find a sense of 'balance' between the highs and the lows, the 'Swings'. For me, it really helps.

And yes, BP can be very debilitating for me at times, unfortunately. The three conditions (MS, UC & BP) sometimes go hand-in-hand, though it's not always so simple to recognize a 'trigger' for me.

Plus, going 'public' with this condition has caused me some angst along the way... BUT the hugely positive benefits of sharing myself with others outweighs any negatives that ignorance, denial or bigotry might throw in my direction.

Black Dog, please stay away from me!
Pugwash, from their 2005 album "Jollity".

It's often very difficult to explain how "The Black Dog" (cf below) affects you, or how you are feeling/thinking (it's like living inside a black canvas bag!), especially while you're going through it. Here's one way of looking at what it is like.

I am very thankful and blessed to have a good support network of real, true friends (both face-to-face and online) - they continue to be vital for me, especially at times when I've needed help and someone to just 'talk' to - unconditionally.

I even wrote and recorded a song of my own;
"Must Be the Black Dog", on 2009's "Lancelot's Pram" album!

I, I don't know what to say
Tho it's not unusual for the way I feel today

Sitting in a dark cave all by myself
Trying to kill some time
I try to block my ears
Block my ears from the barkin' black dog

She barks at me all day and night
All I wanna do is hide
I get tired of life at times
Is there no-one on my side?

I'm, I'm feeling like a fool
It's not so unusual
All thanks to my black mongrel bitch

She yelps by me day and night
All I wanna do is cry
I get fried of life sometimes
Is there no-one on my side?

Somedays feel better than you know
Don't let life get you down, don't you worry.
It's not alright to feel like this
She sometimes comes around
You gotta run from your black hound

I, I don't know what to say
Tho it's not so unusual for the way I feel today

Must be the black dog
Must be the black dog

Copyright © 2009 Mal Kiely / Lancelot's Pram. All Rights Reserved.

What is "Bipolar Depression"?

50 Sufferers Describe Depression For People Who’ve Never Been Depressed

Bi-Polar ii - some of its effects 

The 9 Depression Symptoms Nobody Ever Talks About

Depression... and why I feel like a failure

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Here's one way to try to explain what it can be like for me, with the "Ups and Downs"

With bipolar depression, it's about finding and maintaining the balance with the swings in mood

The medication helps me stay in that blue-shaded area below (to help stop those up and down "swings"), hence bringing a relative sense of 'balance'.

"Depression is humiliating. It turns intelligent, kind people into zombies who can’t wash a dish or change their socks. It affects the ability to think clearly, to feel anything, to ascribe value to your children, your lifelong passions, your relative good fortune. It scoops out your normal healthy ability to cope with bad days and bad news and replaces it with an unrecognizable sludge that finds no pleasure, no delight, no point in anything outside of bed. You alienate your friends because you can’t comport yourself socially, you risk your job because you can’t concentrate, you live in moderate squalor because you have no energy to stand up, let alone take out the garbage. You become pathetic and you know it. And you cannot stop the downward plunge. You have no perspective, no emotional reserves, no faith that it will get better. So you feel guilty and ashamed of your inability to deal with life like a regular human, which exacerbates the depression and the isolation. If you’ve never been depressed, thank your lucky stars and back off the folks who take a pill so they can make eye contact with the grocery store cashier. No one on earth would choose the nightmare of depression over an averagely turbulent normal life. 
"It’s not an incapacity to cope with day to day living in the modern world. It’s an incapacity to function. At all. If you and your loved ones have been spared, every blessing to you. If depression has taken root in you or your loved ones, every blessing to you, too. No one chooses it. No one deserves it. It runs in families, it ruins families. You cannot imagine what it takes to feign normalcy, to show up to work, to make a dentist appointment, to pay bills, to walk your dog, to return library books on time, to keep enough toilet paper on hand, when you are exerting most of your capacity on trying not to kill yourself. Depression is real. Just because you’ve never had it doesn’t make it imaginary. Compassion is also real. And a depressed person may cling desperately to it until they are out of the woods and they may remember your compassion for the rest of their lives as a force greater than their depression. Have a heart. Judge not lest ye be judged" - Karlee Ironside.

(NOTE: This post is not a "pity-party/woe-is-me" thing, as I'm simply sharing a very brief insight into some of the reasons as to why I may act so "up-and-down" from time to time.
All of this is quite frustrating for me, as I was always quite well health-wise overall, until my mid-40's! (I'm 57 now).
Blimey... I don't drink, don't smoke, don't do drugs, nor gamble, nor video games (Boring old fart, huh? lol)
I guess the 'joys' of a life lived with stress, anxiety, and depression has caught up with my physical health!)

English writer Samuel Johnson used the term "the black dog" in the 1780s to describe his own depression, and it was subsequently popularized by depression sufferer former British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.

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Peas be with ewe 


  1. My niece is bipolar. Her highs were manic and her lows dreadful. Her mental state has affected the upbringing of her twin children. Her drugs have been adjusted so many times and she is too bad now but still fragile.

    1. I am so sorry to hear that!
      Mine is practically under control now, thank gawd! But I still have 'down' days now and again, tho - I guess I'm more aware of them and how to respond when they happen now - mostly!
      Depression is very hard to describe to someone what it's like.