Bipolar Disorder with Obsessive Thoughts & Behavior
Bipolar disorder is recognized by mania and depression and usually anxiety. One area of bipolar disorder not usually talked about is obsessive thoughts and behavior.
The lucky ones recognize obsessive behavior early and identify what it is that makes us obsessive. Most of us however get stuck in the obsessive brains. We know that something is not right but we don’t know what. Rational thought seems to be pushed aside.
The obsession comes with balance and/or mania or hypomania. We have energy and are doing things. Hopefully we are accomplishing things that need to be done. But then there is trouble.
One thing we are doing makes us feel good at first. Since it feels good we want to do more of it. Soon we are thinking of nothing else. Our normal daily activities get left by the wayside and soon all we are thinking about is the one thing we want to do.
From here it is not pretty. We think about it when we go to bed. Obsessing about it at night keeps us from falling asleep. We wake up tired and thinking about our obsession in the morning. We know there are other things that need to be done at home, at work and with friends and family. We try to think about these things. But our minds keep going back to the obsession..
This is happening to me now. I recently started gardening. I enjoy it until it is all I am thinking about and all that I am doing.
This is the toughest blog I have written. I usually look forward to writing and sharing my experiences with you. But today my mind is in another place.
I know I am obsessing in the garden when I keep having the same thoughts over and over again. I will go from one thing to another and then come full circle. I will do this over and over because I want to keep “gardening” even though there is nothing left to do.
I find myself just sitting looking at the plants for a long while. Then I see a stem that needs trimmed and I do it. Then I look for more stems. Then I check the water for the fourth time. I am being pulled to stay there. So I sit.
I try to distract myself and pick up that book that I started reading six months ago and am only on chapter 3. However I can’t concentrate. My mind drifts back to the garden and I am drawn to it again.
I like watching basketball on TV. Usually I have no problem sitting down to watch a game. After the game starts I am into it. Until the first time out and commercial. Then my mind goes back to the garden. It is not that I have to do something specific. It is just that I can’t stop thinking about it.
At this point the obsession doesn’t feel good. It feels like a flaw and I feel guilty for the things I have neglected.
But still I can’t do these things. At half time of the game I am back in the garden. I am looking at plants for the tenth time today.
Today is my blog day so I set my alarm with two reminders. I wanted to ignore them and keep staring at plants. I knew I was wasting my time but I could not stop. After the second reminder I knew that I needed to start the blog in order to meet my deadline.
By writing I am accomplishing something. It feels good but I still have that gnawing negative feeling in the pit of my stomach. I wonder what will happen when I am done. Will I be drawn back to the garden or will I put in that load of laundry that I have been putting off for three days.
I know I need to do more than watch plants grow. I know I will feel guilty if I continue to ignore important parts of my life for the sake of an obsession. I’m good at feeling guilty. I have lots of experience with it.
So as I sign off I don’t know what is going to happen. Will the good feeling from writing carry over so I can do other things that need doing and that I will feel good if I do them? Or will these obsessive thoughts and actions win out? Now is the time to get control of my thoughts. I hope I can.