Wednesday, July 27, 2005

I am clearly suffering from Architectural Bipolar Disorder, or ABD. Notice, if you will, that the acronym could also stand for “A Bad Decision”.

(I realize I probably exhausted the comedic potential for this concept the first time I did it, but I couldn’t resist one more. This is the last one, I promise.)

Architectural Bipolar Disorder, also known as Chronic Career Remorse, is a brain disorder that causes unusual, and often quite sudden, shifts in a person's mood, energy, and ability to function. Different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through, the symptoms of ABD are severe.

ABD causes dramatic mood swings—from overly "hyper" and willing to work, to apathetic and hopeless, and then back again. The periods of highs and lows are called episodes. Sufferers can experience several swings in the space of a month, a week, or even a single day.

Signs and symptoms of a “high” episode include:
· Increased energy and willingness to work
· Overly good, euphoric mood
· Lessened need for Coffee Bribery
· Unrealistic beliefs in one's abilities and professional worth
· A lasting period of behavior that is different from usual (i.e., working consistently, and without surfing the Internet in the background)
· Denial that anything is wrong (This job isn’t so bad!)

Signs and symptoms of a “low” episode include:
· Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, helplessness, and/ or pessimism
· Decreased energy, episodes of “I don’t wanna”
· Difficulty concentrating, making decisions (which mindless task should I do next?)
· Restlessness or irritability (Dammit, why isn’t it 5 yet?)
· Increase in coffee trips, and the desire to take up smoking in order to get more breaks

Sometimes, severe episodes include symptoms of psychosis (or psychotic symptoms). Common psychotic symptoms are hallucinations (I swear I saved that file!) and delusions (AutoCAD is out to get me!). Psychotic symptoms in bipolar disorder tend to reflect the extreme mood state at the time. For example, delusions of grandiosity, such as believing one is a designer, or is wealthy, may occur during a “high” episode; delusions of guilt or worthlessness, such as believing that one is destined to be forever penniless or has committed some karmic sin resulting in an architectural career, may appear during a “low” episode.

I'm done now. Really.


Anonymous said...

CAD Monkey,

Sometimes I have your site open in the background while I'm drafting on AutoCAD. It Helps me sometimes. Maybe just knowing you are out there suffering like I am, makes it easier! hehe.

Until your diagnosis I was unable to understand my blue funk. Found a remedy?


CAD Monkey said...

I'm afraid I haven't found a remedy. The closest I can get is to continually take deep breaths, and take my watch off while I'm working, so I won't constantly look at it. :)