I feel like I should share this experience with you so you know what it is like to experience psychosis. Also, I want those who have experienced it to know that they are not alone in this very scary territory, because you are not, I have been this way more times than I can count.
First off, I was off my meds, well, two antipsychotics to begin with. For about a week and a half I had been off Haldol. Google will tell you it treats those of us with bipolar disorder who experience mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs. It will also tell you it treats psychosis which is a mental disorder characterized by a disconnection from reality.
I had also been off 120mg of Latuda per day for about 4 days. I had tried to get a hold of a prescription, but that didn’t happen. 120mg is highest effective dosage which is what I take every night with food.
A psychiatrist once told me I had a strong brain and by the strength of meds I take, I believe him. Anyway, Latuda is described as an antipsychotic which can treat schizophrenia and psychosis.
So there I was with no medication to stave off the crazy.
It started with a small little plush bear that held up a flag that said, “FEEL BETTER TODAY.” (Which in retrospect, I find quite ironic). He sat on the counter as I waited for my Haldol at the pharmacy – Finally! But that little bear was demonic. He stared at me with his beady eyes and he, quite clearly, told me to kill myself. Over and over and over again he said it. I tried not to look at him but when I heard him it was like I had to look back his way. Finally my name was called and I picked up my meds and high tailed it out of there.
Then I came home to beetles. I felt them crawling on my skin under my sweater. I knew this wasn’t real but I felt like it was. I called my mom. She suggested taking off the sweater, but I knew this would be worse because then they would simply be invisible bugs. As I told her about the teddy bear I began to sob, saying that I was crazy and how much I hated it. It was an ugly cry full of pain and perceived weakness.
I had been feeling fine for at least two weeks which is perhaps the longest stretch of normalcy I have had in a long k and tired of the crazytime. I was still getting used to feeling carefree and waking up with a smile. When the psychosis came I was not ready. My defenses were down and it hit me hard. With depression there is a lead up. You can sometimes feel when it is coming. Not this time. I didn’t know crazytown was waiting for me at the pharmacy.
I wanted to illustrate how quickly it can happen, at least for me. For days after I was depressed. I think part of it was waiting to get those meds back in my head and the other part was me being sick and tired of being crazy, of living with bipolar one with psychosis. In those moments it is easy to feel sorry for yourself and you can. For a couple minutes you can. Then you have to get back up, brush off your bottom, and forge ahead because it isn’t going anywhere and the sooner we learn to just accept our lives and get on with it, the better off we will be.