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Some of My Experience of Psychosis

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Some of My Experience of Psychosis

Postby NewUsername » Sat Oct 12, 2013 6:49 am

Looking back over seven decades of dealing with what has come to be labelled bipolar 1 disorder(BPD), I would say that I experienced mania and psychosis—a chemical imbalance in the brain. This psychosis was like a detonation. It took place in someone who had exhibited absolutely no symptoms previously, in a person who had led a normal life until that psychotic episode shattered his normalacy. It presented itself as energy of a primordial sort.

One writer likened it to “being in the presence of a rare force of nature, such as a great blizzard or flood: destructive, but in its way astounding too.” Such unbridled energy can resemble that of creativity or inspiration or genius—this, indeed, is what I felt rushing through me. In retrospect it was clearly experienced as an illness. It is not accurate, at least in my case, to describe the experience, as some do, as the apotheosis of health. There was, it could be said, a release of a deep, previously suppressed self. That was part of the good side. My story of BPD tells for the most part the bad side, although I also express some of the positive aspects of BPD. The experience of high energy and creativity are equivalent to a full-blown psychopathology, to a clinical manic episode which, by definition, entailed significant impairment.

Looking back to my first experience of depression in the autumn of 1963, I would have no trouble seeing that experience as unipolar depression or the beginnings of BPDII. BPD individuals are more likely than those with unipolar depression to display psychotic features during a depressive episode (30 percent vs six percent). This was the case for me in the summer and autumn of 1968. Those with bipolar I had more ECTs (18 percent vs six percent) suggesting more severe depressions, and more suicidal episodes (33 percent vs eight percent).

The perils of BPD existed, as I look back some 45 years after my last manic episode, in what I did in the midst of: (a) those two manic episodes to deal with: decreased need for sleep, decreased self-control, irritability and risk-taking behaviours in 1968 and again in 1980, (b) the mixed highs and lows from 1963 to 1967 and 1978 to 1980; (c) schizo-affective or psychotic states in 1968 and 1979-80 episodes; and (d) depression periods with their moroseness, extreme melancholia and suicidal wishes in 1963, 1964, 1968 and 1978. More to come if interest is shown and comments follow.
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Re: Some of My Experience of Psychosis

Postby loise » Wed Oct 16, 2013 5:09 pm

Hi Newusername!
I am interested and i love the fact that you can analize looking back at your own experience.
although i had a clear psichotic period during my college years, not long ago, two three years i began to see a psychiatrist for the first time.
Maybe a couple of months ago, i became conscious of those rushes of brightness where i can do several things simultaneously....many years i have thought that i can not control my adrenaline, and good news are in fact pretty bad for me, because the rush will go into the night and will have problems sleeping.

i have made the test for bipolar and become positive...also for schizoaffective.
however i relate first to the functional autism, and severe anxiety.

i have had a couple of mental breakdowns with psichotic features if i can say it like that.
then after my menopause cognitive functions started badly to deteriorate. i have made changes in my life, brought down the stress, made big pauses between activities and try to be more attentive to the signs. i was one year with a small dosis of quietapine but at the end of the year i had a possible distonie, terrible contractions in my spine so i stopped.
i am trying to help myself with a better nutrition (like relation sugar lows with mental confusion and i compensate it with protein). and supplements like magnesium and omega 3,and 6.

there is dementia in my family, mother and grandmother, so i want to see what can i do, to slow down the process.
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Re: Some of My Experience of Psychosis

Postby Msbauer » Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:21 am

I am a 57 year old married woman. I have battled depression all of my life- beginning in my teens. Depression runs strongly on my mom's side of the family. Her sister committed suicide at the young age of 45. My oldest brother passed away in September last year from alcoholism. I have been in mental hospitals four times during my married life. I tried to commit suicide six years ago when my mom died and I had a hysterectomy. I was in a coma for two days but by the grace of God I pulled through. I became psychotic after the overdose for about three months. I thought my children were other people and I kept thinking I had lice. I also pulled my hair and dug at my skin during this time. I ended up wearing a wig for two years until my hair grew back. To make matters worse my husband was mentally and sexually abusive to me during this time because of anger issues. I eventually filed for a divorce but ended up staying in the marriage. I was never officially diagnosed with bipolar but as I look back on my life there were times when I would stay up all night scrubbing my floors. I also went on spending sprees. I am currently on Prozac and Wellbutrin but my biggest fear in life is having another psychotic break. My husband tries to be supportive but sometimes he comes off as being very controlling. I now wonder if I should have been on bipolar meds instead of just anti depression meds. I am currently seeing a psychologist for PTSD from the abuse. I have gained a lot of weight from cola addiction and my self esteem is at an all time low.
I'm not really sure what my point is but I hope by sharing my story others won't feel so alone.
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