It's spring, and while I might not be feverish, I'm definitely hot.
One of the signs of hypomania is "excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for painful consequences." That includes sex.
In past hypomanic episodes, I've had more sex than a nice frum single girl should. More than any single girl should, probably. I lost my virginity during my second major hypomania, to a guy I'd only been dating a few weeks, and engaged in excessive pleasurable activities during other hypomanias until I learned to control my activated behavior -- which is difficult, but easier than pulling yourself out of a depression.
Right now, I look in the mirror and see a sumo wrestler, but I'm a sumo wrestling heat-seeking missile. It makes my misery about my weight even worse, because I'm frantic with desire but feel completely undesirable. I acutely notice good-looking men at school (not that there are so many male students at a school of social work, but more than in psychology), on the street or the subway. I can't tell you how much I miss Little Marty, not so little. Not emotionally. Purely physically. I even miss G.I. Josh, who, for all his hostility and passive aggression, was a pretty considerate and energetic lover. And I've developed an entirely inappropriate crush on my classmate Jerry.
This last has me very puzzled. I've never been drawn to older men -- I'm usually most attracted to men in their twenties or thirties. But Jerry is a tall, handsome, rugged guy, who's brilliant and who thinks I'm brilliant. There's a ton of transference going on -- he's like an idealized father figure and sex symbol. Kind of like Paul Newman circa "The Color of Money." We have a great, jokey but intellectual rapport. He thinks I'm terrific, smart and funny and caring. And I find myself dying to sit on his lap and snuggle with him. Horribly inappropriate, especially since he's married and my colleague (and not Jewish), but there it is.
Part of it is the fact that he's married to a woman with bipolar and he's so supportive of her. He told me that he found her storage unit, which was crammed with clothing and other stuff she had bought (another excessive involvement in a pleasurable activity, overshopping is something I also used to indulge in during hypomania). Unopened. Unused. Just evidence of her frantic need to shop. And he was so understanding and nonjudgmental. I wished, when he told me about his wife's illness, that I'd be able to find a husband who would support and love me despite my illness.
After class last night, Jerry and I talked a little about the Virginia Tech gunman. His take is that Cho suffered from undiagnosed childhood bipolar disorder. Many school shootings, including Columbine, took place in March/April. Jerry reminded me of the term March madness, which refers to the seasonal sensitivity of people, especially children, who have bipolar disorder. They get depressed in November, manic in March. It's a good point -- I'm certainly experiencing it -- although other experts in forensic psychology have been postulating that Cho suffered from avoidant personality disorder or paranoid schizophrenia.
Fortunately, I was able to discuss this with him without throwing myself at his feet and pleading, "Let's ride off into the sunset on your motorcycle...." (I told you he was cool.)
Even more fortunately, Dr. Roda agreed that it was safe to up my lithium dosage. Which I'm really, really hoping will both quash the activation and help me drop a few pounds; I've always lost weight when my lithium dosage increased in the past.
Copyright (c) 2007 "Ayelet Survivor"