Sunday, April 10, 2011

Feeling ON is so much better than Feeling OFF!

Photo Credit
Here's a list I wrote several years ago.  It describes what feeling off is like and what feeling on is like.  I'm sure this could apply to a myriad of other mental illnesses, like ADHD, generalized anxiety, etc.

FEELING OFF (not well)
Paranoid Thinking
Difficulty in Making Fast Decisions
Inability to Detect Subtleties (jokes, nuances, sarcasm etc)
Increase in number of errors (when working)
Anxiety - flushing, sweating, nervousness
Sensory Overload - Flourescent lights bothersome
Weird Feeling
Dazed Feeling
Out-of-it Feeling

Good Memory
Good Decision Making
Sure of Myself
Fast Thinking (at a normal pace for me, though)

I think at the time when I wrote this, I wasn't taking any medicine.  I was going through a period of "See, I don't need medicine!"  I was med free and proud of it.  Now I am medicated and happy about it. Times change.  I can tell you that I now spend way less time feeling off.

I know that the feeling off list doesn't exactly read like a list of Bipolar Disorder symptoms.  I think that's because I was having anxiety too.  Also, the in-the-moment sensory experience of being in a hypomanic or depressed mood doesn't exactly read like a list out of the DSM manual.  There's a difference between the internal experience and the external view of what's going on.  


  1. This is interesting. After seeing this list I think my son is still off :(

  2. Hi Meg,
    Sorry to hear that. I think the list of what feeling on is like probably varies a lot from person to person...

    Perhaps a good activity would be to ask your son to write his own list of how he feels when he is on or well feeling compared to not feeling well. This might give him and you insight into recognizing the different moods.