Borderline Personality Mood Swings – Rapid Cycling

In some research, doctors talk about BPD and the propsensity to have rapdily cycling moods. Put simply: one moment you’re up, the next you’re down. Mood changes can be evident every minute, hour, a few hours, or daily. Sometimes external events, such as an argument, or alternatively, a very happy event, will make the BPD swing one way or the other. Personally, I have a tough time with these mood swings, especially since I am a bit isolated.

For example here is a breakdown of my daily mood swings ( somewhat accurate ):

12:00 PM Wake up – initially sluggish, sleepy, not really interested in the day. Slow to get out of bed and begin the day. I know I should exercise, but I don’t and go right to testing my blood sugar and taking my mental meds.

1:00 PM I’ve finished eating breakfast and showered for the day. My mood is up al little: I think the meds have kicked in and I’m ready to sit down at my computer for a few hours and work. The highlight of my afternoon is always checking my earnings, which lately, haven’t been so great – but I hold out hope for better days.

Along the way I consume 1.2 liters of Diet Coke ( 2 600ml plastic bottles ). This is part of my daily routine and the caffeine gives me an extra boost.

5:00 PM Now I feel down and sluggish again. The caffeine has worn off and my bladder aches because I need to expel all that fake sugar and chemicals from my body. My mind wanders off to negative thoughts: people who have robbed me, past failures, bad relationships, anger, etc.

At this point my eyes become heavy and I get very sleepy and immediately lose all motivation to do any more computer work.

6:00 PM I return to bed for up to a 2 hour nap. When I wake up on the other side, I feel tired, bored, and anxious to eat dinner – just because it will give me something to do.

8:30 PM I begin cooking dinner, and as usual get hung up on being a perfectionist. I try to tune my very modest electric stove to cook the perfect grilled cheese, or if it’s pasta night, to make the pasta soft, but not over cooked. My mood is generally neutral at this time – for the moment cooking distracts me, but I am consumed by trying to be overly efficient and perfectionist.

9:00 PM I put dinner on the table and watch CNN. I almost always watch Anderson Cooper 360, an amazing news show with very intelligent political commentators. Their election coverage on November 4th was unmatched by any other network, and was stunning with the speed at which they predicted the outcome and covered the various speeches. If the news is troubling, I usually feel down. If it is something that doesn’t bother me, I feel indifferent.

10:00 PM – 1:00 AMI watch regular TV after the news. If one of my favorite shows is on, I’m happy and look forward to being entertained for an hour ( especially if the shows are new episodes). I know it may sound pathetic, but since I live alone and don’t go out much, TV is actually a highlight of my day.

If, however, there are no good shows or movies on, I get agitated and feel extremely bored. This feeling gives way to frequent trips back and forth to my computer, where I try to assuage my boredom by randomly browsing the net, with intermittent trips back to the TV to see what might be on later.

If I’m watching late night talk shows, I usually only watch the monologs. The guests usually bore me – I like to hear actual comedy, not some actor promoting his/her new film.

After boredom sets in, the hopelessness and self interogation begins. What am I doing with my life? Why do I feel like Shit all the time? How crappy it is to be stuck in this apartment all day watching? How do I shake this boredom? How can I feel good about myself?

1:30 AM I start my bed time routine, a ritual of oral hygiene and bed time meds. At this point, I actually feel relieved that I’m going to bed, because this gives my mind something to do and I get some peace and quiet.

….and all again the next day.

I really wish my moods wouldn’t swing so much. It can make me happy and fun to be around one moment, but an hour later, I hate the people around me, get annoyed by loud music (if I’m out), and want to go home. I don’t get “second winds” at parties unless I’m unusually drunk.

Before I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, my mom thought that maybe I was Bi-Polar, and this was probably a good guess at the time. Unfortunately, with my BPD, I feel depressed more than elated – or euphoric as in Bi-Polar mood swings – and I cycle back and forth on an emotional yo-yo of sorts.

How can I feel just “normal” for the day? How is possible to feel positive?

I need to figure out how to regulate my moods, and, especially if I’m in a social situation, find coping mechanisms to get through the event and depart without giving people the impression that I felt uncomfortable, turned off, or irritated in their presence.

When I see my Doctor over the holidays, this will most certainly be one of things we talk about.