I've answered this to many doctors, and it still makes me shudder a little bit.
My psychosis is daily, but I'll speak regarding my psychotic break.
I was 25 (it was just last fall; my initial diagnosis was made during this period) I was rapid cycling, up to a dozen times a day. My behavior was very erratic, ranging from depressed and withdrawn, to manic and bubbly and social, to completely off in a different world, to highly agitated and paranoid. While manic I spent and spent and spent money. All the other times, I was just another very wierd, awkward college kid. When the psychotic break actually started, I was manic from the time I woke until the time the sun went down. As soon as the sun set, I'd go into a mixed episode; extreme paranoia, agitation, crying, screaming, rocking myself. I heard commanding voices, telling me to "go away" and "die", etc. I saw demon faces in my windows. The dark terrified me; I was convinced the dark was a "force" of sorts, some physical thing, that was literally closing in on me. My house was my safe place, but not safe enough. Because of all of this, I hardly slept at all. I was terrified to sleep. Eventually, I'd be so exhausted I would just pass out wherever I was. Many nights I never made it to my bed. I'd wake up the next morning feeling perfect, amazing, full of life and energy. The cycle held steady for almost two solid weeks. By the time I saw a dr on emergency status, I was so agitated during the day that I couldn't even look another person in the eyes, I couldn't sit still. I could barely read or write.
In short, it was the most horrifying thing in the world.
I took meds for a few months, I suppose just long enough to kick all this junk into submission. I then stopped taking my meds, and have since been off them long enough for the drs to establish I'm not just biploar, rather schizoaffective. I hallucinate daily, but I'll gladly take this over a repeat of that psychotic break. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't make it through alive a second time.
Dx: Schizoaffective - Bipolar Type, Rapid Cycling
Mother of three
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