My particular issue is with Bipolar 1, with psychotic features. I have social anxiety which factors in as well as weird delusions. The anxiety and delusions are pretty much one and the same. They are often the things that will touch other people, while the rest is less obtrusive and can be hidden.
I have a tendency to hatch ‘mini-conspiracies’ almost daily. They can be really paranoid as I think the worse about people, and life as it enfolds around me. Facebook with its social networking helps, but it has also intensified my issues. I am very much a recluse, and only get out and about twice a week. There are some who can see through my issues and really help. They are worth more then gold to me.
Depression, which is part of the Bipolar, has been more of a factor just in the last few months. Suicide, that dark word, will deepen if the depression goes too long without lifting. It is an awful and brutal thing. My last bout was just two months ago and I quit functioning. I really did pray for death. Debilitated, I laid in bed powerless to do anything but sleep, and hide. I didn’t take a shower or bath for almost a month. Just the thought of being pelted by water seemed too violent.
Being a believer gives me a reason to live. The Holy Spirit is so patient with me. His companionship is far more helpful than any anti-depressant. He doesn’t require that I become symptom free to fellowship with Him. Instead, He weaves with the materials He has, and my discipleship is really no different than other Christian believers. This gives me a constant hope.
Overall, in spite of a very tumultuous, and ‘see-saw life’, I find that life with Jesus (discipleship) is truly grand. He understands me, and is guiding me. He is the Shepherd who is good, and I am His sheep who needs kindness and forgiveness always. He bruises no reed, nor does He quench the smoking candle (Matthew 12:20.)
One more thing. Having a mental illness has, I believe, made me more compassionate and tender toward others. When I meet a difficult person, I will be the last one to give up on him. Others will bail out, but I stick. I guess this can be a bad trait, but I can’t help it. I love people, esp. those who hurt.
Here’s a list of my daily meds. I hope this helps someone navigate the wild seas of psychiatry safely.
AM– lithium, 600 mg/Zoloft 200mg/Seroquel 400 mg/Provigil 200mg
NOON-Seroquel 200 mg
PM-lithium 600 mg/Seroquel 400 mg/Lunesta 2 mg
The lithium works mostly on mania, but does help depressive states. The Zoloft is an anti-depressant (similar to Paxil) The Provigil is for alertness, I have had issues with daytime sleepiness, esp. since my brain tumor. Finally the Lunesta is a sleeping pill. This may seem a lot, but it has taken 2-3 years to get it figured out. If I can help explain any of this, please let me know. I aim to please!
- Are People with Bipolar Disorder Lazy? (writeintothelight.org)
- A Day in the Life of a Mental Hospital Patient (brokenbelievers.com)
- My mental breakdown: a story of suffering and hope (letsstarttalkingaboutit.wordpress.com)
- Climb aboard the Bipolar Express (mildredmole.wordpress.com)
- Substance abuse and bipolar disorder: A lethal mix (vancouversun.com)