I’m unsure if I’ve spoken about this before, but it needs to be discussed more – so let’s get into it.
I deal with Mania and Depressive episodes regularly. Typically they last about four to seven days, followed by either a stable period or a four to seven-day reversal (Manic to Depressive, and vice versa).
Now, I’m currently trying to cope with identifying when an episode is starting so that I can put safety measures in place, whether it’s to prevent me from doing something irreversible while in a depressive episode or losing control over impulses while in a manic episode.
My main issue is knowing when I’m in an episode. I suffer from far more manic episodes than I do depressive ones, but the mania feels normal to me since I’ve been dealing with it for so long, making it harder to spot in the early stages.
If I make a decision during a manic episode, it could affect everything.
I’ve quit jobs, ended relationships, and made unnecessary purchases that financially ruined me for at least six months during manic episodes…
Are these mistakes my fault? Yes.
That said, I can’t always know if a decision is good because my mind isn’t always rational enough to know the difference between a good or bad choice.
Hence, I’m trying to learn when an episode is beginning.
Something I’ve come across recently that is a semi-good indicator is my music taste.
In a stable state of mind, I will listen to many different music genres. I’ll typically flick between 80s Pop, 70s Rock, and Instrumental – there’s no limit because as long as I like the lyrics, the beat, or the vibes – I’ll listen to it.
But, when I’m heading into a depressive episode, I will only listen to instrumental or sad ballads. Effectively, if a song sounds sad – or has sad lyrics – it’ll be on my listening list. When I’m heading into a manic episode, the music will be upbeat, whether with a happy vibe or just fast-paced. The faster the music, the better, leading me to go back to 2012 and listen to nightcore remixes on YouTube…
While I will listen to all this music in a stable mindset, the difference is hyper fixation.
If I’m suddenly craving only one type of music, it appears to be a good indicator of my mental state.
I went into a manic episode a few days ago, which peaked last night. But now I’m listening to a very solemn playlist because I’m slowly spiralling into a depressive episode. Typically, the spiral happens over a couple of hours; this one is happening over a day – so it’s noticeable.
What I’m trying to say is: my YouTube Music algorithm knows my mental state before I do – 9 times out of 10.
And I’m explicitly implementing this into how I handle myself now, or at least I’m trying to.
I’ll get back to you on that one.
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