Inflammation & Depression : The Symptoms of Illness

Life with Bipolar Disorder has introduced me to the symptoms of a number of individual mental illnesses including clinical depression, anxiety, compulsive behaviour and psychosis.

I now work really hard to stay afloat, travelling along the balanced, rose-coloured centre line of my imaginary mental world, and I find it easier to recognise the symptoms of ill health when they do appear. I have come to see each symptom as either too ‘up’: orange inflammation, or too 'down': grey depression. All of these symptoms are damaging and painful. If left untreated they can lead to psychotic red or clinically depressed dark grey: both of which can be life threatening. The science shows that a combination of genetic and environmental factors cause mental illness. I have learned from experience that whatever the cause, imbalance feeds on and is worsened by trauma, alcohol, nicotine, stress, an unhealthy diet and lack of sleep.

If you or someone you know is showing any of the symptoms listed below, please seek medical help. Be open about all of your symptoms, so that a thorough diagnosis can be made, and the right medication prescribed if needed. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, or for a second opinion. This is your beautiful mind, after all.

Mental illness is incredibly scary, and only becomes more so when you experience it alone. If someone you care about seems to be struggling, stay with them, or contact someone who can. If you are the patient, reach out and ask for help. People would rather love you than end up losing you, believe me.

Symptoms of Inflammation:
  • Anxious
  • Paranoid
  • Irritable
  • Irrational Anger
  • Lack of sleep
  • Delusional
  • Erratic
  • Flights of ideas & racing thoughts
  • Lack of self care
  • Rapid speech
  • Grandiose or risky behaviour
  • Self harm
  • All consuming fear or worry
  • Obsessive or compulsive behaviour
  • Panic
  • Mania
Symptoms of Depression:
  • Incessant feelings of sadness or worthlessness
  • Lack of self care
  • Changes in appetite & sleep patterns
  • Constant low energy & fatigue
  • Unexplained aches & pains
  • Problems concentrating
  • Irrational feelings of guilt & remorse
  • Self harm
  • Lack of interest in things you love
  • Crying for no apparent reason
  • Withdrawal from the world