Do you know . . .
The effects of insomnia on mood? It has been studied many times and results can be found in scholarly journals, medical journals, psychology journals, psychiatry journals, social work journals. And there are many anecdotal accounts by sufferers themselves. The effects of not enough sleep are exacerbate in individuals that already have mood disorders such as dysthymia (chronic mild depression), moderate depression, clinical depression, or bipolar disorder.
The cause of the emotional and mood disruptions is kind of like the chicken and the egg. Which came first? The lack of sleep? Or the onset on mania? The research, and common thinking among those who treat sufferers, does not try to answer those questions. The focus is on treating the insomnia allowing for more accurate assessment and treatment of the status of the mood issues.
So why am I talking about this? First I have a “mood disorder.” It has a name. Bipolar disorder. I have suffered from mood swings, periods of insomnia, and hypersomnia (sleeping abnormally long) since I was a child. There were times when I was so full of energy that I would stay up all night writing or drawing (and occasionally doing homework). There were other times when I couldn’t bear to face the day because I was sure nothing good, and probably lots bad, would happen.
Lately, I have not been sleeping well. A couple hours a night are not even close to enough to maintain a healthy mood balance. I recognize that. Even though I do not want to admit it, I can tell there are increasing signs of mania, the energetic part of my bipolar. The problem is that energy, combined with the lack of sleep, has in the past led to losing touch with reality (psychotic). So I am again struggling with my mental illness. I know it is cyclical in nature, but I still get tired of dealing with it.