Thursday, October 18, 2007

What's The Mood, Dude?


What's the mood, dude? Or is it dudette? For the person with Bipolar Disorder (BPD), and those around him, there is always some difficulty deciding if the present mood or personality characteristic is a normal (typical) one or not.

Everyone has both good days and bad days, so when someone with a depressive disorder has a good day, are they being hypo/hypermanic, or are they simply expressing the true positive characteristics of their personality? If they are depressed much of the time (BPD type 2), when their mood lifts, are we seeing the real person or are we seeing atypical attitudes and emotions that are to be interpreted as the manic side of their BPD cycle?

I know that at my house, this occasionally becomes a debatable issue. I sometimes feel that I'm not always being allowed to experience a good day without having to prove that I'm not going into a hypomanic phase of my BPD. That can be frustrating. I suppose, from my wife's point of view, that it's sometimes hard to remember what the non-depressed Stormy is like.

In the last twenty years, I have taken numerous personality characteristic tests, including the Keirsey Temperament Sorter and the Meyer-Briggs Personality Test, with almost exactly the same results each time. I took these tests many times when I was depressed, and yet the typology was closely similar to the times when I wasn't depressed. I believe that I can safely conclude that my true personality characteristics were emerging in spite of the masking of my bipolar disorder.

So what's the mood, dude? Is it hypomania or are you having a good day, week, or month? The following terms describe someone who could possibly be experiencing either. You will have to decide for yourself, or with a little help from your friends. Who's the true you?

Are You Sometimes?

00-EXUBERANT-full of happy high spirits and vitality
00-ZESTFUL-lively enjoyment and enthusiasm
00-ENTHUSIASTIC-showing passionate interest in something
00-GREGARIOUS-very friendly and sociable
00-OPTIMISTIC-tending to take a hopeful and positive view of future outcomes
00-SMILEY-often smiling
00-HOPEFUL-feeling fairly sure that something that is wanted will happen
00-CHEERFUL-happy and optimistic by nature
00-STIMULATED-interested in or excited about something
00-FRIENDLY-pleasant and welcoming
00-FUN LOVING-seeks and enjoys life's pleasures
00-HUMOROUS-witty or able to make people laugh
00-HAPPY-feeling or showing pleasure, contentment, or joy
00-ADVENTUROUS-willing or eager to participate in risky or exciting activities
00-DYNAMIC-full of energy, enthusiasm, and sense of purpose
00-GOOD-NATURED-having a pleasant or obliging disposition
00-INSPIRING-making somebody feel more enthusiastic, confident, or stimulated
00-LIKEABLE-pleasant and friendly, therefore easy to like
00-CHARMING-having the power to delight or attract people
00-PLAYFUL-fond of having fun and playing with others
00-PERSONABLE-having a pleasant personality and appearance
00-VIBRANT-full of liveliness and energy
00-LIGHTHEARTED-not weighed down with worries or troubles
00-WHIMSICAL-slightly odd or playfully humorous, especially in an endearing way
00-AMUSING-causing someone to smile or laugh or be amused, often in a subdued way

Maybe my wife and I can work out a compromise. I will agree to be "hypomanic" half of the time, if I can have "good days" the other half.


["I'm so low, I could do a ten minute free-fall off the edge of a dime."]
sandtward@alltel.net

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