At some point in life, those that suffer from a mental illness, will experience a first mental break. It can result in a hospitalization, or an epiphany from circumstance that allow you to seek help. First mental breaks come in all shapes and sizes and they are unique to every individual. I think it is important to share our experiences of a first mental break for it better allows a forum of discussion and education that is so needed for people suffering from mental illness, or know some one that does.
Here is my story, a true account taken from my book “Inside the Insane.” I hope you not only learn something, but share your own personal experience as well and by doing so maybe help others out there going through their first break, or those that are about to…
CHAPTER 2 – THE BREAKTHROUGH MOMENT
It all unfolded pretty fast. One day I was walking down the street and every step I took was a terrible feeling of being in my own skin. I walked by a display window and caught a glimpse of myself. It didn’t look like me.
You know you have problems and you might be depressed when you are watching Sex and The City reruns (2008) and Beverly Hills 90201 reruns (2009). The numbers are not when anything aired but when I was lost in depression and watched it.
My fat cat cries in the middle of the night and it drives me crazy and all he wants is food. I’m not home during the day so feel bad like he is starving or something so leave him food, come home and he cries so give him food, then go to sleep and he starts to cry again and the only way to stop him is the feed him. It’s terrible.
Growing up my parents had a hard time saying no to my sisters and I, and food was never sparse in the house. If I wanted something I’d cry and, most of the time, my Mom would give in and give me whatever I wanted.
When a relationship fails, and you find yourself back out there, sometimes it is hard to decipher if your next relationship is a rebound. It’s not like you can put a clock on when a rebound is a rebound, or when it’s not? You break up and you’re alone for two months? A year? Seven days? Does it depend on how long you were in that previous relationship, or, does the intensity of a relationship determine how much times it takes to get over it? There are no clear answers to these questions, but recently I considered the idea of what constitutes a rebound. Sounds confusing, it is.
Depression rears its ugly head in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes our depression isn’t obvious. You don’t have to be stuck in bed for days to be considered depressed. Unfortunately we don’t always know we are in a quasi depression until it’s over, and we look back and recall the signs that we might have missed. Hind sight is always 20/20 but if you pay attention to slight changes in your behavior you might be able to better manage your mental health.
I was quasi depressed about a year ago. The quasi depression was written all over my body. I found myself wearing the same clothes everyday: torn jeans with a rotation of the same shirt just in different colors. I stopped keeping up with personal maintenance like waxing my eyebrows or plucking unwanted hairs.
Before I was diagnosed with hypomania I lived a life of extremism. I found myself running around like a Tasmanian devil, however, once I was diagnosed and properly medicated I really didn’t have excuses to do anything so excessively anymore. But, sometimes behavior doesn’t change despite medication to help curb symptoms. Does it come done to intensity that accompanies mania, or am I just exercising a behavior that is simply a part of my personality; a behavior that no pill can manage or reduce.
You are something or you have something. What is the difference and what does that mean to you and the world we live in? How do people respond to language that communicates a mental illness and what is the difference between you are X or you have X? For example, I am diagnosed with Bipolar II. Some people say “Oh you have manic depression” or “Oh you are manic depressive.” Recently, I pondered this slight twist of diction in a sentence because there is a difference. When someone says you ARE something it tends to define you. You tend to think of yourself as the disease when really it is simply one aspect amongst a long list of attributes that constitute our being.
Whether it is big or small, most of us experience anxiety. It can be a long dark anxious cloud or a short moment of piercing anxiousness but, whatever form it takes, it’s terrible.
Here are 20 things that cause me anxiety:
What causes you anxiety?
Anxious man image available from Shutterstock.
We rely on Doctors to scribble our life into a notebook then come up for air and say: You are Bipolar, you have Major Depressive Disorder, you are Hypo Manic, you have this, you are that.
Some of us are misdiagnosed or, we are undiagnosable. The education of mental health is not concrete. There are new illnesses being studied and formed on a constant basis. This can cause years of strain, stress, frustration, and anger. Anger, especially when you finally get a correct diagnosis, and then you have to find meds to temper that diagnosis, which is a whole other story, and an entire new battle.
One of the symptoms of Hypomania (Bipolar II) is trouble sleeping. Fierce insomnia can torment the mind, burn the eyes, and interrupt the daily life of an individual. Even with medication, an individual that suffers from hypomania will have an acute memory of the history prior to medication that can be hard to forget or shake from the mind. This can cause anxiety, confusion, and turmoil that influence the ability for a mood stabilizer to properly work.