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, though this post can be of interest all alone.

***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

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

Psychiatric Avalanche Effect – Unraveling the mystery of my past brain quirks

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 knit 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.

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

My kluk (“guy” in Czech) and my nook

via Photo Challenge: Security

DSC_0057-001

I realize this is a photo challenge, but I could not resist responding to the word “security”, without a story attached.

When I was a young holka (Czech for “girl”) through perhaps 32 years old, I had very few fears. It didn’t phase me at six years old to walk two miles to school by myself. At 17, I didn’t mind walking four miles home. When I reached 21, I flew to Taiwan by myself and found a source of living. I went there again by myself at 23, then traveled throughout Asia. I wasn’t intimidated as a young woman. My parents weren’t scared, as many parents would be nowadays. That fact gave me confidence, as did my general fearlessness.

The first time I really started to experience major fear was when the worst of my mental illness struck. Continue reading

My therapeutic writing is on the cusp of a new period

via Daily Prompt: Cusp

hand writing in journal

I remember the very first things I ever learned to write. My name, of course, then the days of the week and the weather. Miss Matuza wrote the day and the weather on the chalk board each day, and we had to hand write it in our little paper booklet. I guess my mom taught me how to write the letters of the alphabet by then. That’s been so long ago. Forty years ago! But those first words were definitely not the beginning of my love for writing. Actually, I don’t think I developed a fondness for writing until I was much older. I think it started a little bit in college, but I wouldn’t say I wrote for the true love of writing, or even therapeutic purposes, even then. I think that unlike many bloggers here on WordPress, I was a late bloomer in this respect. Continue reading