Hi, I've been visiting this site for some time. I occasionally post and occasionally visit the chat, although most of the time I have nothing much to add. I suffer from depression and other disorders (anxiety, mania, obsessive thoughts). Whilst I haven't necessarily had an official diagnosis (I daren't tell the Dr. too much), I know enough to know that I have issues and am always acutely aware of my instability. I'm permanently wary of spiralling downwards out of control...alas I did spiral downwards yesterday - about 10pm I went into a manic state which lasted about 12 hours - I managed to go to sleep but the manic state was still present - I woke up and still felt manic - throughout the period I had to constantly talk myself down and out of it. This was an unpleasant state as I felt deeply out of control and it was as if there was nothing I could do aside from just tell myself that it would pass whilst being fully aware that it'll return again some time in the future. I'm on benefits and have been for some time. I would very much like to get off benefits but I'm constantly hounded by the anxiety of finding a job, starting work and then my state regressing, and then having to apply for benefits again, with the anxiety that they may not give it to me. I spend most of my week alone. I spend most of my time meditating, getting exercise and reading about mental health (directly or indirectly) in the hope that I can make myself better. Obviously I'm not so naive as to believe that mental health is something that can be 'beaten' but I guess I'm always hoping to move on. I think I need human contact for no other reason than because...well, humans need it. Unfortunately my condition forces to distance myself from contact and so I'm always in a double bind.