By Jen, a.k.a. Ghost
[Editor’s note: If you think you may be awakening, you might actually be suffering from bipolar disorder; its manifestations are remarkably similar. Read this article and if things sound too familiar, you may want to consider being checked out by a Professional. This is not to say that everyone who has these symptoms has BD, but it’s something you should consider before deciding you’re a vampire. This article is not intended as a substitute for professional medical or psychiatric advice.]
Author’s Note: I am a student of Psychology (who isn’t?), so everything about bipolar disorder or anything related to that here is completely accurate.
Bipolar Disorder and Awakening have some very similar symptoms, so here I discuss (mainly) Bipolar Disorder, with (very brief) references as to how that may be confused with awakening (or vice versa).
Bipolar Disorder (BD for short) used to be known as Manic Depression. This was from the (incorrect) idea that all sufferers have full-blown manic episodes and deep depression. Sufferers can have abnormally high or up moods known as hypermania and light depression. ‘Normal’ moods, which are neither up nor down, can be experienced before, after or in between episodes (depressive or manic). Mood imbalances are a normal part of adolescence and a sign of stress in adults but can signify awakening due to changes in energy level.
There are 3 types of Bipolar Disorder; Bipolar I, Bipolar II and Cyclothymia. Bipolar I involves true manic episodes. Bipolar II involves hypermania and deep depression. Cyclothymia ~ involves hypermania and either short-term deep depression or light depression. Most definitions mention rapid cycling, which is where a sufferer has four or more episodes in a year. A mixed episode is where a sufferer has both depression and a manic episode almost or equal to every day for a week or more.
Checklist for manic episodes:
Had an excessively high or irritated mood which lasted at least a week? If the answer to the above is yes, during that time did you have 3 or 4 of the following symptoms:
- became involved in risky situations?
- seemed to want or need less sleep?
- became more talkative, or spoke faster than usual?
- couldn’t slow your mind or the rapidity of your thoughts?
- became distracted easier than normal?
- became restless, fidgety or concentrated on certain goals or areas of life?
Manic episodes can make sufferers hallucinate, become deluded in their beliefs and lose touch with reality.
However the presence of all the symptoms for any disorder does not mean you have it, though I do suggest you get checked out by a specialist, just in case.
- feeling low whilst also not enjoying things which usually make you happy?
- being restless or having the feeling of being weighed down?
- feeling low on energy?
- having unusually low self-esteem?
- sleeping more or less than usual? (less due to anxiety)
- having incoherent thoughts, being unable to concentrate?
- increases or losses in appetite?
- increases or losses in weight?
- feeling a sense of hopelessness or having thoughts involving death?
Potential causes for BD.
Lack of serotonin or dopamine (happy hormones), due to a chemical imbalance in the brain. Change of blood flow in certain areas of the brain. Faulty connections in the brain (neuropathways). Genetic causes, especially if it exists in the immediate family. Stress is the best-known trigger for BD.
Melatonin, a happy hormone, can be produced in the brain, and is produced in excess when in dark conditions for prolonged periods of time (more than the average diurnal person). Even the least keen of readers will notice the similarities between BD and awakening. The differences in energy are most apparent, as these have the most impact on a person’s behaviour, e.g. insomnia. When a person awakening experiences these changes, it is important that all other reasons are ruled out, including the possibility of having bipolar disorder. Although some vampires do have bipolar disorder, they are few in number.
Good definitions of Bipolar Disorder can be found on most search engines. I recommend www.metacrawler.com, www.about.com and www.wikipedia.org.
The best book I’ve read on emotions in general is Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. There’s a sequel to it, too*. The best book I’ve read for learning more about disorders in general is Head Case: Treat Yourself to Better Mental Health by Dr Pamela Stephenson Connolly. They’re both written by professionals in their respective subjects. [You can find out more information or order copies of these books below.]
|*Books by Daniel Goleman|