MY LIFE AS A BIPOLAR | MENTAL HEALTH SERIES

My Life as a Bipolar — Chapter 6

Depressive symptom #3 — psychomotor agitation or retardation

Kathy K
Speaking Bipolar
Published in
3 min readFeb 18, 2024

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cheetah
Photo by Christin Noelle on Unsplash
sloth
Photo by William Phipps on Unsplash

DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOM #3 — psychomotor agitation or retardation

Cheetahs and sloths. Fastest and slowest mammals on earth. Both are consistent in their behavior. Cheetahs will always be fast, except when sleeping or resting, of course. Sloths will always be slow, even when ‘running’ from predators. But someone with bipolar disorder while depressed will display either slow or fast behavior. Depends on the mood at the time of depression.

A video can play in fast or slow motion. That might be a good example of a person with bipolar disorder steeped in the throes of depression. But it’s usually either/or. One or the other.

DSM-5 depressive symptoms for Bipolar disorder
DSM-5 depressive symptoms in Bipolar Disorder — dsm-5-criteria-depressive-episodes-in-bipolar-disorder-l.jpg (1024×768) (slideserve.com)

Seems like a contradiction to be super hyper when one is depressed. However, another way to look at it is if it’s a notable and…

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Kathy K
Speaking Bipolar

I write about mental health and fiction, mostly dystopian. Imaginatively unusual is preferable but not always possible for me.