Dear Sleep: You Suck. Love Alice. (Happiness And Other Stuff, You’re Still Cool)

Are you coffee or vodka? Maybe you’re both. Happiness, hormones and sleep. 

Swallowing my sleep chemical cocktail, wishing it was wine. The booze was better than this tablet induced hangover. My elusive sleep plagued by parasomnia.

1 tablet
Nothing.

2 tablets
Nothing.

3 tablets
Nothing.

4 tablets
Sleep.

On the bright-side I’ve taken a proactive approach towards a healthier lifestyle…minus the drugs, but other than that I’ve been exercising and eating right. Fighting the bulge of medication, 1kg at a time. Life is better, the positives out weighing any negatives. I know I complain a lot about medication, but truth be told I’m too scared to go off them, afraid that it might ruin my nice new balance I have going. I’m vain enough that I care about my weight, my BMI normal, but that is never enough, I’m a perfectionist, I want my mind and body to reflect my current happiness. Sometimes it’s a hopeless intangible pursuit, other times anything can be possible. I’m writing less, no longer driven by the need to put my emotional turmoil of feelings into words, no longer motivated by depression. Depression makes good writing. Whinging is unbecoming, but it is also the recognition of dissatisfaction. Maybe I am just on the upwards spin of the bipolar spectrum, but all the same: I just don’t care; life can be good without it having to be on any emotional spectrum.

In the context of Bipolar Disorder there are high comorbidities associated between perfectionism/ anxiety and their relationship with bipolarity. Bipolar Disorder has a high co-occurrence with eating disorders, eating disorders often linked with a need for perfection. I’m not sure if people diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder have a higher likelihood of being perfectionists (would love to hear people’s personal experiences), the perfectionism of Bipolar Disorder is often motivated through anxiety, anxiety causing the person to see the inadequacies of their life. More often than not, binge eating is common among people with Bipolar Disorder, I will admit I have binge eaten, often in the search for a quick endorphin fix which will starve off negative emotions for a short time. The quick “fix” of endorphins can be seen through, sex, drugs and over eating/exercising, becoming a quest for endorphins. We try to manufacture our own happiness, these addictions often a response to depressive emotions. Through endorphins we experience contentment and euphoria. Realising that you can’t be a seeker for the bigger endorphin rushes, endorphins should become a more natural balance to encourage long term contentment.

endorphin_by_lepusplus-d80chg6Apparently people who are deficient in endorphins should eat protein with each meal, but I’m not sure how scientific that belief is. However, dopamine is released by foods with high protein, dopamine being a positive mood enhancing hormone. Looking at the more natural ways to deal with anxiety/depression – sunlight (serotonin),  exercise (endorphins), protein (dopamine), Phenylethamine (chocolate) and Ghrelin (for relief of stress – released when we are hungry, although this needs to be balanced by normal food intake, over-eating doesn’t maintain good levels). All these hormones can only be long term effective if you fix the root cause of your unhappiness, over doing it with any one hormone will not be beneficial in the long run. Moderating and persistence is key.

This was meant to be a post that focused more on sleep, as usual I get side tracked, and I also intended the post to be short…whoops.

Image by ElusiveDreams07 titled ‘Sleep Paralysis’

Image by Lepusplus titled ‘Endorpin’

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Dear Sleep: You Suck. Love Alice. (Happiness And Other Stuff, You’re Still Cool)”

  1. I find it interesting that many people write best when depressed. I usually just sleep a lot, and write/create when I’m more balanced or hypomanic. I always felt that manic/hypomanic episodes are our bodies’ naturally occurring response to depression. As in, our brains are pissed off about the depression and then bounce to the far other side. I infer from this post that we help craft the euphoria, although I thought it was something we don’t control. When you use the word euphoria here, are you implying a hypomanic state? Hope this is not a confusing comment haha.

    Like

    1. I more meant euphoria caused through endorphins, endorphins are often considered to induce euphoria, for instance through exercise – runners often getting a “high”. Endorphins enhancing a persons sense of pleasure, making you feel empowered and good about yourself. I do also associate euphoria with hypomanic episodes, extreme feelings of pleasure etc. I will definitely classify myself in the writing better when depressed category. I guess depression varies significantly between individuals. I agree with the whole bouncing to the other end of the spectrum – the whole “sticky” neurotransmitter concept, our moods getting stuck at extremes. I like the pissed off part 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah all right. Most of what I have read in regards to bipolar associates hypomania with the word “euphoria.” Because of the strong association, I was confused about your connecting that word with activities that you choose (such as exercising and drugs), in pursuit of endorphins. The high that you get from running, drugs, or [good] sex is not so much a pathological high like hypomanic euphoria. Not saying that I wouldn’t use euphoria in contexts outside of mania, it’s just my immediate perception of the word.

        Like

      2. I completely agree with associating it first with hypomania, it just seems to be in such a higher level than euphoria through endorphins. With hypomania I felt calm and beyond happy, everything became right. I do wonder what extent of euphoria people get who are thrill seekers, apparently their minds work a little differently as well (I heard something on the news, but I’m not sure how substantiated it is). Do you think hypomania has some aspects of ‘thrill seeking’ to increase euphoria or maintain levels of endorphins? I’ve never considered that euphoria during hypomania could also be high drives of hormones, but then again I’m most likely incredibly wrong. Sorry, my mind goes on different tangents the whole time I write, I’m just happy I mostly stayed on topic this time.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I can’t explain it and I think I think too much about it. I am like the others where I write best when I am …not depressed but on the other end of the spectrum. I think it may be partly because I want to enjoy the happy times while they are here. I don’t want to really write about my reality of the shitty side. Matter of fact, I am almost drawn to writing my negative thoughts and how I feel when I am down and I could never figure out why that is. Weird I guess.

      Like

  2. ” I just don’t care; life can be good without it having to be on any emotional spectrum.” Well said…and I can relate. Boy, can I. I haven;t been diagnosed as having BP II, but I meet the criteria. My psychiatrist was hesitant to put a label on me (perhaps because I demanded one). I’m defininately binge eat, I worry about my weight, and I’m a perfectionist/alcoholic. I tend to obsess about everything, though I’m doing that less. Depakote and Lexapro seems to be a good combo. Well, that and meditation and breathing. I have plenty of dark days, but I’m experiencing some good ones, too.

    I look forward to reading more of your blog. Take care.

    Like

  3. Sometimes when I’m hypomanic I feel calm/numb/happy, but usually it involves my thoughts racing/flight of ideas. Actually just wrote today about how I associate calmness with a balanced state! I can only speak from my own experience about thrill seeking to increase euphoria…I guess it’s complicated. When hypomanic you might be more driven to do risky (for lack of a better word) things due to lack of inhibition. I exhibit lack of inhibition, but don’t really seek out the positive hormones. I think hormones probably have a bit of something to do with everything! Sorry if you thought I was criticizing your writing style at all; definitely wasn’t, as I’m tangent-inclined myself…I just was interested in clarifying the euphoria aspect. Fascinating topic and obviously complex.

    Like

    1. I sometimes think of hypomania as having too many positive hormones, creating an inability to function at a regular level. I wish I felt balanced during hypomania, I’m extremely agitated and on edge, knowing full well that I sh6ouldnt be like this, my anger and irritability sky rockets. Sorry I didn’t think you were critisizing my writing style, I just think that I go on different tangents when writing, quickly getting off topic by new thoughts. I wish more was understood about the dynamics of hypomania and hormones/feelings of elation. Wish i was calm like you, balance would be nice.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s