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

Efforts to take control of your illness

Control sign
The Hope sign is bigger than the Despair sign, and points to the sun.

Taking control of an illness is possible for many, to various degrees, but anyone who has had a serious illness knows control isn’t always that easy. It takes work and often support from various people in your life. Sometimes control doesn’t necessarily mean curing the problem, but just lessening the symptoms and the illness progression. 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

Jolts causing rapid emotional or psychological switches

lightening major

I think we’ve all experienced emotional jolts at times in our lives. Imagine one moment we feel happy and positive, and then during a conversation someone says something that brings on a sudden feeling of fear, self-consciousness, fury, or the like. Or imagine that you go to your living room and discover your beloved pet is seriously ill, and are later told that he/she needs to be put down.

funny joltPowerful emotional jolts can also work in the opposite ways, as well. Continue reading

Unraveling the mystery of my past brain quirks

via Daily Prompt: Unravel

avalanche

About 12 years ago, one “thread” of my brain’s tapestry got pulled hard, and some of the rest started to quickly unravel. It wasn’t just the blue threads, but the red, yellow, and purple threads seem to unravel too. The image of stability and mental wellness started to disappear. Doctors of various sorts, and numerous therapists, tried to weave my brain back to before, but the various colored “threads” became misaligned at times and the image was sometimes unrecognizable and disturbing. Continue reading

I’m not mentally ill. This will go away like the flu.

via Daily Prompt: Denial

denied-1936877__340

The most significant denial I have ever experienced was denial that I had a diagnosable mental illness. It didn’t help when I was younger that people around me didn’t recognize I needed a thorough psychiatric evaluation. I lacked insight into what was really happening, and so did people around me. It is common that people with bipolar disorder are not diagnosed for between 10 and 15 years after the illness begins. Continue reading