Thursday, November 16, 2006

Put down the flaxseed oil, Ayelet

Whenever I feel happy, I worry. Because the last thing I need, in my chaotic life, is to ascend into hypomania. That is the road to disaster and perdition.

Today we had a guest lecturer on a topic I'm very interested in. I listened to her describe the research she was doing, which had such -- to me -- fascinatingly counterintuitive results. I started imagining myself doing an internship at the institute with which she's affiliated, mining her group's data for my own research purposes. And I'm usually not interested in research; I'm mainly planning to go into clinical practice.

She encouraged us to contact her if we were interested in her work. I emailed her to ask if they hire students as research assistants, and whether I could apply for my second-year externship there. I got so engaged with the material and excited about the possibilities, I began to worry that I'm becoming hypomanic.

Signs are there. My mood has been very labile -- I'm up, I'm down, I'm thrilled, I'm angry. I've been taking more tranquilizers than usual (although NOT to excess).

It could be that for the first time in a long time I'm on the receiving end of a lot of male approval and attention -- even affection -- and that is really boosting my mood.

Or I'm so angry at the treatment I'm receiving at school that I'm overcompensating -- since I refuse to let it get me down, it's paradoxically inflating my mood and making me feel self-righteous and put-upon.

Or I'm taking too many flaxseed oil supplements. Apparently, as another person with bipolar has informed me, flaxseed oil as a source of omega-3 fatty acids -- as opposed to fish oil, which I can't overindulge in as it makes me feverish and lethargic -- is associated with kick-starting a hypomanic episode.

I'm going to speak to my psychiatrist tonight, and we'll talk about everything that's going on. School, men, my sister, and my current moodiness, which is a little unusual even for me. I guess the easiest thing to do would be to stop taking the flaxseed oil -- and if Matt, Marty, and/or the 25yo dump me, I could start taking a small dose again.
Copyright (c) 2006 "Ayelet Survivor"

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