Not Just Others.

not just others

Not just others, it is we who have and suffer from mental illnesses. Yes it is more difficult to know what a person with schizophrenia experiences with their illness. The following link to a video shows what a schizophrenic person hears in a psychotic, which means out of touch with reality, phase. And it is literally terrifying. The voices, the words, the tone of voice, how could anyone function like that? They can’t. I have a friend who suffers from schizophrenia and while I did know that neurons in their auditory cortex fire and make these voices, until today I did not know their experience was so horrifying and their mind had turned on them in such a cruel way!  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qb8wQjwVu2g)

People with BPD 1 (bipolar disorder 1) also can be psychotic, that doesn’t mean they are psychos, again it means someone out of touch with reality. Oh so fortunately, people with BPD 1 do not hear voices. Thank goodness, the only voices I’ve heard are real voices, thank goodness a thousand times for that. People with Schizo-Affective disorder do hear voices, this is a combination of BPD 1 and schizophrenia. Some psychiatrists think this is just plain schizophrenia. So while we people with BPD 1 can get suicidally depressed, insanely manic, we still have the lesser of the two evil diseases.

There are a plethora of videos that show people who are manic and depressed. And yes they show how we are acting on the outside, talking 100 miles per minute, jumping from topic to topic, having delusions of grandeur, all in mania; crying, being hopeless, anxious, expressing suicidal ideation, all in depression. They do not show how we are feeling on the inside. Depression is especially painful, it is like someone literally broke your heart into pieces and it hurts. And pure mania is exhilarating and joyful. If your thoughts weren’t so scattered, you might actually come up with some brilliant ideas. Mixed phases aren’t so much fun because anxiety predominates in these. I unfortunately have mostly mixed phases, but that may have been because I was on SSRI’s (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and now that I’m off them, hopefully I won’t have mixed phases, my hope and prayer.

Anyway, the point of this post is to of course reiterate that it’s not others who have mental illness and also to give my readers an idea of what it feels like to have these extremely awful diseases. Maybe now people will respect and understand people with mental illness as strong people who are fighting battles daily with their illness and hopefully winning. That is the intent of this post.

FYI: Phases in Bipolar disorder.

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Different phases of Bipolar disorder.

Full blown manic phase: No sleeping, weight loss, talking a lot, flight of ideas (switching from none topic to another,) shopping sprees, excessive involvement in pleasurable activities, such as sex, inflated self esteem, grandiosity, distractability, anxiety, if left untreated leads to psychosis ( loss of touch with reality.) Once at the psychotic point, major tranquilizers have to be administered.

Depression: Sleeping too much, depressed mood, weight gain, loss of interest in normal activities, anhedonia, (loss of positive feelings), agitation, thoughts or attempts of suicide, if left untreated, can also lead to psychosis.

Hypomania: Talking a lot, little sleep, grandiosity, excessive involvement in pleasurable activity, such as sex, irritability, weightless. This is the phase that precedes the full blown manic phase. If treated with mood stabilizers such as lithium, won’t progress to full blown mania. 

Mixed Phase: Unfortunately taking antidepressants for people who have bipolar disorder causes them to have mixed phases. This phase has elements of both depression and mania, and enormous amounts of anxiety. The phases can alternate many times in a day, such as manic, normal, and depressed. This is called rapid cycling. Or the phases can alternate in longer cycles, which may be days or weeks. This can lead to full blown mania or depression if not treated with mood stabilizers such as lithium, Depakote, Seroquel, and others. 

And the most coveted is the Normal phase 🙂

Also anything that helps stabilize mood like meditation, yoga, exercise, good nutrition, all this helps the symptoms of bipolar d/o.