I turn into a disorganized slob when I am depressed. Anyone else have that problem. - Forums at Psych Central


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Old 03-03-2012, 12:14 PM #1
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Default I turn into a disorganized slob when I am depressed. Anyone else have that problem.

I am now being given a new diagnosis. Well, others have suggested it in the past. I have been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. Now I am being told that I am on the Bipolar Spectrum. As evidence for this my pdoc says that there is a very cyclical nature to my difficulties. Well he sure has got that right. I just thought it was due to depression coming and going.

Well, whatever it is due to is sort of academic, as far as I am concerned. I mainly want to come up with better strategies to manage it. There has got to be others besides me who deal with this. Somehow I don't think this problem is totally unique to me. I just don't know anyone else who is like this.

So here is the problem: When I am "UP," I have one of the neatest apartments you could ever be likely to set foot in. I've always been a renter. Landlords and landladies who have stopped by when I was in my "UP" mode, have told me I was the most perfect tenant they had ever rented to. I am not making this up. Even when I was a child, my siblings would ask me if they could show their friends what my bedroom looked like. That's how pretty it was.

The trouble is that I only maintain this for limited intervals of time. When I become depressed, everything goes to blazes very rapidly. I turn into a complete and total slob. Even my gums are bleeding for failure to attend to my oral hygiene. (When I'm "UP," I'm fastidious about hygiene . . . practically obsessive.)

I have hoarding tendencies and they get out of hand too when I am in the "down" mode. Paper work is strewn everywhere. Right now I don't have a clean glass to drink from. I don't have a clean fork to eat with. I haven't done laundry in well over a month. The apartment is just strewn with stuff dropped wherever I happened to be when I finished with an item. Weeks of unopened mail has formed a mountain on the kitchen table. I keep the blinds and drapes drawn so neighbors can't see what a disgrace the place has become.

Now I'm starting to come out of the "down" phase, and I want to get this chaos under control. I want my cozy home back again. And I'll probably accomplish that, or get a good start on it today. I can sort of feel the "hypo mania" kicking in. I don't know if I am really hypomanic, but I can feel a "drive" welling up in me, and when I get it, I sure can get fascinated with cleaning. I just love when I get this way. Soon I will be singing to myself as I work - just like Snow White. I will dart from room to room, working on several cleaning projects at once. I will possibly even become ebullient. And what's more, I will be busting with confidence and telling myself that I'm never going to get depressed and disorganized and sloppy again.

But the cycle just repeats and repeats and repeats.

Does anyone experience anything like this. I would love to know that I am not alone trapped in this bizarre cycle. Is it something that Bipolars go through? Is it the tension between my obsessive need for order alternating with my hoarding tendencies? I was suicidally depressed last week. Two days ago I went swimming, and since coming out of the pool, I'm so delighted with all the opportunities that life offers that I just about can't keep from busting with exuberant hopefulness.

Can anyone relate to even a little bit of this? If so, do you have any strategy for leveling out the extreme cycling? I got put on Seroquel. So far, all that does is make my sleepy, prone to stumbling and very hungry. I stopped the Seroquel and went back on the Restoril (Temazepam) with pdocs permission, and I sure feel better. I should edit this down. Sorry it is so long. Maybe I'll come up with a more concise version later.
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:39 PM #2
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Default Re: I turn into a disorganized slob when I am depressed. Anyone else have that probl

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOL0rMBdNKwThis video depicts my "UP" state of mind, that I was just getting into. It started to fade because I didn't get up and start when the mood hit me. I will try to regain this mood. I literally sing this song and feel like how the song feels. It's hard for me to believe that there is not something really wrong with me. I'ld like advice (or just acknowledgement) from anyone else who recognizes this syndrome. I better get going because I have such a mess to unravel. My home that was so lovely at Christmas time has become the Augean Stables. But I'm not Hercules. You'ld have to see this to believe it. Hard even to know where to begin.
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:39 PM #3
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Default Re: I turn into a disorganized slob when I am depressed. Anyone else have that probl

I can relate to this. I alternate between the two. I will go on cleaning binges when I am up and then I feel horrible when all my work goes to waste when I am down. I am fairly good at forcing myself to wash dishes and clothes, but everything else goes to heck. I am meeting with my T this week and thinking of asking about cyclothymia as a possibility instead of the dysthimia she currently thinks I am dealing with.
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:58 PM #4
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Default Re: I turn into a disorganized slob when I am depressed. Anyone else have that probl

Thanks Sconnie892,

Yeah, dysthymia is kind of the default diagnosis they go to because no one wants to be the first clinician to label you with something heavier. That was my diagnosis for a very long time, until my problems became so severe that they had to kick the diagnosis up a notch or two.

Cyclothymia has been described to me as being on the bipolar "spectrum." One pdoc thought that was maybe what I had. I'ld be interested to know has this been a longstanding issue with you? Do you recognize things that trigger you into one "mode" or the other.

Thanks for mentioning the feeling of "waste" that comes over you when things go to pot. It is such a demoralizing feeling. Also, people who see how things get in my life when I'm not "UP" get so disgusted with me and express such scorn. Like - "You are perfectly capable of keeping on top of things some of the time, so what's the problem that you got like this?" My boyfriend just shakes his head and mutters. He has no idea the pain that comes with decompensating. I am interested to know if you, or anyone checking this thread, has any strategy to try and stop that downhill roll . . . or at least delay it for some time. Good luck in your discussion with your T. I hope you can be understood, because I think it's hard for others to grasp this.
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Old 03-03-2012, 02:04 PM #5
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Default Re: I turn into a disorganized slob when I am depressed. Anyone else have that probl

I can relate. I find it interesting you mentioned being in the pool, I was just telling someone what an amazing thing water can do! I too can be a real mess when I get down, then I force myself to shower and little by little I feel better. I think water has healing powers for sure! I wish I knew the answer to stopping the cycle but I don't.

Last edited by gma45; 03-03-2012 at 02:09 PM. Reason: added a sentence
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Old 03-03-2012, 02:19 PM #6
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Default Re: I turn into a disorganized slob when I am depressed. Anyone else have that probl

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rose76 View Post
Thanks Sconnie892,

Yeah, dysthymia is kind of the default diagnosis they go to because no one wants to be the first clinician to label you with something heavier. That was my diagnosis for a very long time, until my problems became so severe that they had to kick the diagnosis up a notch or two.

Cyclothymia has been described to me as being on the bipolar "spectrum." One pdoc thought that was maybe what I had. I'ld be interested to know has this been a longstanding issue with you? Do you recognize things that trigger you into one "mode" or the other.

Thanks for mentioning the feeling of "waste" that comes over you when things go to pot. It is such a demoralizing feeling. Also, people who see how things get in my life when I'm not "UP" get so disgusted with me and express such scorn. Like - "You are perfectly capable of keeping on top of things some of the time, so what's the problem that you got like this?" My boyfriend just shakes his head and mutters. He has no idea the pain that comes with decompensating. I am interested to know if you, or anyone checking this thread, has any strategy to try and stop that downhill roll . . . or at least delay it for some time. Good luck in your discussion with your T. I hope you can be understood, because I think it's hard for others to grasp this.
Thanks for your thoughts about the dysthymia Dx. As my t says, "we've been dancing around this topic." I've been very resistant to the dysthymia Dx and part of that might be me thinking it is really something else. I am also very hesistant to start any meds.

I've dealt with depressed moods since I was about 13, but it took 20 years for me to get help. (That's a long story.) I've been in t for about six months now and am slowly learning to identify emotions, triggers, etc. It is taking me awhile since I have 20 years of practice hiding and bottling these things up. It's something I want to talk about with my t on Thursday - identifying the triggers for the downs and figuring out ways to manage them. We did the same thing with the anxiety I first presented with and now that is much more under control.

I too would be interested in hearing what others do to prevent the downs. For me the downs are often very rapid - happening in minutes or hours and then lasting days or a week or two.

I deal more with the "why is your office so messy. It was clean the other week" at work. It's very frustrating since my job is also very stressful right now.

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Old 03-03-2012, 02:24 PM #7
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Default Re: I turn into a disorganized slob when I am depressed. Anyone else have that probl

Thanks gma45, I sometimes turn on the shower and just sit in the tub with the water coming down on me. I call it being in the "rainforest." I imagine that I am in the Amazon - in the jungle - where warm rains come down all the time. It can be more soothing than a regular bath. I imagine colorful tropical birds perched high above me, and the rain falling between the leaves of the trees.

Back in the 40's and 50's, a standard practice for treating patients in psychiatric hospitals was to put them in tubs of warm water. A sort of a canvass was put over them so they were confined to the tub. I don't believe in forcing people into tubs, and they no longer do that, but I'll bet it made some people feel better. (Well actually I just googled it, and it doesn't sound like it was done too humanely.)
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Old 03-03-2012, 05:44 PM #8
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Default Re: I turn into a disorganized slob when I am depressed. Anyone else have that probl

Rose76 - a post on the Psychotherapy boards made me think about this post. It is about how messy or neat a t's office is. My t keeps her office very tidy and it really contributes to me feeling calm and relaxed. Made me think that keeping my house tidy might evoke the same feelings.

Earlier this year I was struggling with maintaining a cleaning routine. T had me start with cleaning for 10 minutes. That was it. I could stop after ten minutes and say it was enough or I could keep going if I wanted to. It's been helpful to me. I've worked up to 15 minutes, although when I was really down I didn't follow through. I felt bad about it later when my house was a mess, but realized there was nothing from stopping me from starting my 15 minutes again. That's what I did this afternoon - 15 minutes and my kitchen sink area feels very organized right now and I feel better for it.

Not sure if that is helpful to you or not.
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Old 03-03-2012, 06:19 PM #9
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Default Re: I turn into a disorganized slob when I am depressed. Anyone else have that probl

Sconnie - Very Helpful!

I'm going to set a kitchen timer for 10 minutes right now.
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Old 03-03-2012, 06:20 PM #10
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Default Re: I turn into a disorganized slob when I am depressed. Anyone else have that probl

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rose76 View Post
Sconnie - Very Helpful!

I'm going to set a kitchen timer for 10 minutes right now.
Glad it is helpful. I use a kitchen timer too!
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