My 1st through 10th painful psychiatric incarcerations (Part 4 of 4)

depression falling down

Please consider reading Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this four part post series before continuing with this post.

***Some content in this post may be disturbing or triggering. This post primarily focuses on a major depressive episode of Bipolar disorder type 1***

At the end of Part 3 of this post series, I had attended my eighth out of 10 hospitalizations for mania and/or mania with mixed features, and was again in an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). The remaining major depressive episode eased briefly. I had improved sufficiently enough to return back to work part-time and resume care under my private psychiatrist, Dr. Ripley.

Only two months later, the depressive episode worsened to severe, but there were no hints of mania involved. Continue reading

My 1st through 10th painful psychiatric incarcerations (Part 3 of 4)

insanity Van Gogh

Please consider reading Part 1 and Part 2 of this post series before continuing with this post.

***This post may be triggering. It details my personal experience with Bipolar type 1 full blown manias and mixed manias. Not all people with bipolar disorder behave as severely as I detail, or even severely at all. Experiences with bipolar disorder vary.***

At the end of Part 2 of this series, I mentioned that it was after my sixth Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) that I likely quit my medications cold turkey. Because of that, my transition from quasi “wellness” back to complete mood instability was quite rapid. The scariest part was that I had recently returned to work part-time. Continue reading

My 1st through 10th painful psychiatric incarcerations (Part 2 of 4)

outburst

***Some content in this post series may be very triggering***

In Part 1 of this post series, I mentioned that I do not remember at least half of my 10 psychiatric hospitalizations, mostly the second half. In order to write this part of the series I’ve had to refer to the past hospital records I collected to figure out what likely happened when. I may still mix some things up. The hospital records do not contain the full story of my experiences. I remember mentioning that to my current psychiatrist of 12 years, and he said he wasn’t surprised. Continue reading

My 1st through 10th painful psychiatric incarcerations (Part 1 of 4)

psychiatrist

***Some content in this post may be very triggering***
Before I start this post series, please note that I do not remember all of my 10 psychiatric hospitalizations. Many are mostly lost from my memory, so I will use hospital records to assist me in writing about them. This first installment is actually a part of this story series that I do remember in some detail. My bipolar disorder was not at its very worst at this point. My episodes worsened over the four years that followed. In this post I was 33 & 34 years old.
This series is being written in preparation for a chapter in my working memoir.

Continue reading

Mental chaos half across the world (Part 3 of 3)

Wat Arun-Temple of Dawn in Bangkok
Wat Arun – Temple of Dawn in Bangkok, Thailand

First read Part 1 of 3 set in Taichung, Taiwan

First read Part 2 of 3 set in Hong Kong

As I revealed in part two of this “Mental chaos half across the world” series, I have no recollection of my flight to Bangkok from Hong Kong. So, I’ll just say that one day I showed up in Thailand and went directly to Sukhumvit Road, a popular area for expats in Bangkok. I found a $5 a night shed room (yes, shed). Sorry, I tried to find some photos online, but all the “sheds” were just too luxurious comparatively. Of course I never took a single photograph during my trip. I don’t even remember if I brought a camera. As a reminder, this was mid-1990s, one had to use a camera to take pictures. I had no cell phone. Continue reading

Mental chaos half across the world (Part 2 of 3)

Hong Kong skyscrapers mountain
Hong Kong

Please first read part 1 of 3 set in Taichung, Taiwan

When I made the decision to up and leave everything in Taiwan I must have been approaching a moderate to high level of hypomania. I was impulsive, but with still some ability to put on the brakes. But, once hypomania is triggered, it can grow to a full blown mania in people with bipolar disorder. The following part of my Asian adventure shows one such a transition. Continue reading

Mental chaos half across the world (Part 1 of 3)

Taichung street scene motor scooter
Taichung, Taiwan R.O.C.
The following three-part post series is based on true events that happened to me at 24 years old. At the time, I was not yet formally diagnosed with bipolar disorder type 1. I didn’t receive a formal diagnosis until I was 32 years old. I had, however, sought help earlier in my youth for depression, anxiety and what I now know were bipolar mixed episodes. This series of posts describes hypomania, mania, and depression half across the world.

Continue reading

MC, Day 5: Beethoven’s flight of ideas

Thanks go to Robert Matthew Goldstein of Art by Rob Goldstein for nominating me for the Five-Day Music challenge. I had a wonderful time writing these posts. To read my whole series of five day music challenge posts go to this first post. Links to the other posts follow.

Several months ago my husband and I received the annual music program from the local university in my town. We are very lucky that we live in a town with a university that attracts some of the best classical musicians and other artists in the world. This year the main focus was on Beethoven String […]

via Beethoven’s musical flight of ideas — Bird Flight

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MC, Day 3: Surprise song playing in my head

Joshua tree night sky

At 15 years old, I experienced the first major mental breakdown of my life. I won’t go into it in detail here, but I will say that it was bad enough that my public school recommended that my parents switch me to a nearby alternative private school. I had gone through the gamut in terms of major mood fluctuation, a somewhat traumatic event. I was pressured to quit ballet after years of serious study. The love of my teenage life! Now without the rigors and routine of ballet classes I felt that I lost my identity and lost my way. Continue reading