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My story *TRIGGER WARNING*

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My story *TRIGGER WARNING*

Postby bipolarjane » Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:46 am

Last year I was diagnosed with Bipolar I disorder with signs of psychosis. How I found out is that at 41 years of age, I started hearing voices.
At first these voices were supportive. I had been praying a lot and the voice came to me as Jesus reminding me of all my great gifts. Telling me I was a fantastic actress, why don’t I act anymore? Reminding me that I used to love to swim, why don’t I do that anymore? Telling me I should get back into these habits because they would bring me joy and by doing these activities, I would be being true to my inner spirit. I had dreams where I was on the stage in front of a cheering crowd or at a swim practice with familiar faces from my swimming days. It all seemed to me like a message from God. After all, people in church would always say, “God spoke to me” or “God laid this on my heart”. They would speak of dreams that sent them messages, so maybe this was my message from God.
As I continued my new walk with Jesus, he began to talk to me of the habits in my life that I needed to break. I needed to quit smoking, drinking and eating meat. He said that this was necessary for me to walk with Him. So I complied. After all, I should quit smoking, never did much like drinking anyway, and could sacrifice eating meat if it meant pleasing the Lord. While I complied with these demands, my dreams, always unusually vivid and memorable, would be pleasant an inspirational. I would be accompanying Jesus at church service in heaven seated amongst a group of nuns or amongst a group of churchgoing patrons helping the poor. Quitting smoking is a hard habit to break, however. And when I mis-stepped, I would have dreams of hell and witness depraved acts or be subject to an attack from swords or blades. Mind you, I am a lucid dreamer who has hypnogogic hallucinations resulting from Narcolepsy. So, I can feel these blades. They are numbed of course but the impact was intense. Soon, I found myself at the mercy of these demands that had been placed on me. The message was clear: If I did any of the things I was asked not to do, I would be punished. So, I fought to keep these habits out of my life if only for the sake of having peaceful dreams. But the dreams, however peaceful, engaged me in a way that made me feel sleep deprived in the morning. I was beginning to feel run down and had a hard time focusing on my day to day activities.
It was around a week or two into this pattern when I received even more demands from Jesus. I needed to cut out caffeine and sugar because, as it was communicated to me, these were keeping me from reaching my spiritual potential. As was the case from before, I would be punished if I did not obey. The exhaustion from my active dream life and the pressure to comply with these demands began to take their toll. And what do smokers do when it all becomes too much? They smoke, of course. I was devastated that I had failed the Lord but also terrified to go to sleep and suffer the wrath to come. I would have dreams where people in heaven would chastise me and Jesus would tell me that he was sorry, but I was not allowed in Heaven anymore. If I wanted to please God, I would need to continue to cleanse myself (no smoking, drinking, eating meet, no caffeine and no sugar) and I would now also need to read the Bible for seven hours a day.
Then things took a turn for the worse when I was told by Jesus that I needed to kill my sister and her family in order to please the Lord. I said no way, grabbed a pack of cigarettes and a beer and said a big “Sayonara” to Jesus and his demands. The dreams that night were brutal. I was sexually assaulted and I was attacked again with swords and blades. But I didn’t care. I was not killing anyone not even for the Lord. It was at this time that I began to question the source of these messages. I remembered Abraham and his test to kill his son and thought, is this what this is? The ultimate test of faith? I didn’t care, I wasn’t going to even entertain the idea, but my mind was racing trying to figure out why He would ask such a thing of me. It couldn’t have come from the Lord. But if not the Lord, then who? The Lord then told me that the demand to kill my sister and her family was from the Devil, not Him. I was right back to where I started. I had been relieved when the request came because it gave me a clear exit to this strict new way of life. But now, He was back and telling me I needed to read the bible for ten hours a day in order to stay in Heaven. If I slipped, it increased to fourteen and then to twenty. The dreams became more confrontational, with me witnessing arguments in Heaven over my presence. I was sent to God’s office where he chastised me and told me I was unworthy. I talked back, having had enough, and was sent to Hell.
Here’s where things took another turn. One day, Jesus told me that he was not really Jesus, but a demon named Ull who had posed as Jesus to get me to love him. Ull told me I was going to kill my family. I said no I won’t. He said, you won’t have a choice. I will possess you and take over your body and then kill them. I 5150’d myself immediately, terrified that what he said was true and that I was going to be possessed.
It took about 30 days for the anti-psychotic medication to kick in. During that time, I would have Jesus talk to me in the morning, telling me the same old story about cleansing myself. Saying he was sorry but there was nothing he could do about the demon. Then in the afternoon, I would have Ull telling me I was going to kill everyone in 5 minutes or I was going to have a heart attack in 10 minutes. I learned to make light of it, but it still scared me. I would have dreams of possession and was sure that it was actually happening to me.
The day that the voices stopped was a great day. But I was terrified they would come back. I lived for a year without any voices. And then, with the prescription of a stimulant for my Narcolepsy, the voices returned. I share everything with my sister, and she had heard enough to know that things were starting up again. By this time, I was at the stage where I was trying to keep up with my schoolwork, my regular work hours and reading the bible seven hours a day. I had since quit smoking but was chewing nicotine gum and vaping. That wasn’t allowed so I was trying to cut those out as well. My sister gave me an ultimatum: Call my psychiatrist or she would. I did and upped my dosage of the anti-psychotic I was taking and stopped taking the stimulant, which it turn out can cause psychosis. I look at it now and marvel at the fact that I didn’t recognize it sooner. I wanted so badly for Jesus to be in my life that I fell for it all over again.
I’m sharing my story so that others who are going through some of the same experiences can hopefully learn from mine. Also, I thought I would reach out and see if anyone wanted to talk, to share their experiences or to provide insight into what I have experienced.
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Re: My story *TRIGGER WARNING*

Postby quietgirl2538 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:41 pm

Hi bipolarjane, welcome to Psych Forums from myself. :D

I can relate to what you went through, but of course, it was something I went through in my own unique manner. I got postpartum depression in the form of postpartum psychosis. It was horrible. I am afraid to recount any of it except to my psychiatrist and my therapist. It took a while before I told my therapist too. The psychiatrist knew right away because I asked my husband to hospitalize me as I was suicidal. I was so afraid and I was planning to take my life if the voices or hallucinations didn't stop. I prayed so hard and they wouldn't go away. I was ok eventually. It didn't take but a few days. I was afraid to sleep because of my dreams too. They gave me two different kinds of antipsychotics, abilify and Seroquel and the psychosis stopped. I was still very afraid and continued to take the meds after I was released. It took over a year for me not to be afraid to hear the word "crazy" because I truly believed I was that, "crazy." I would cry at the sound of that word. I asked my best friend to not say that word and explained a little bit why I felt that way. It was horrible. Much later, I was diagnosed bipolar I, and I am on an antipsychotic and a mood stabilizer, and also an antidepressant because I suffer from a lot of depression. The antidepressant is something a lot of people with bipolar cannot take because it can cause mania, but I am able to do well with it alongside an antipsychotic drug. I am stable now for a long time.

Thank you for sharing your story and please know that you are in a safe place here sharing in an anonymous way with fellow sufferers as myself.
“There’s an Asian expression that ‘a burden shared is halved.’"



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Re: My story *TRIGGER WARNING*

Postby bipolarjane » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:44 pm

Thank you for sharing that, quietgirl.
I can relate to the stigma of feeling crazy. It is certainly a crazy experience. I have surprisingly told many friends and had to explain that all the while this was going on I had my logical mind about me trying to make sense of it all. The more I shared it, I have found, the more I find people who had gone through a similarly "crazy" experience or know someone who has. I now believe you could throw a rock and hit someone who is bipolar or knows someone who is.
My point is, that if you ever feel that you are at the place to share your experience with loved ones or friends, you may be pleasantly reassured. Thanks again for responding!
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