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Old 04-12-2018, 10:11 PM  
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StayRelentless has no updates.
Member Since: Apr 2018
Location: Australia
Posts: 4
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Default Manic vs Psychotic

My name is Josh and I am 21 years old. I've been hospitalised three times for manic episodes.

The first time I was 15, and suddenly felt the most intense euphoria. I cried over the beauty of nature when walking near trees. I cried over the beauty of childhood and imagination when walking into my little brother's room. I climbed onto the roof to feel the wind and the rain. I was almost incapable of sleep, missing several nights in a row. My mum remembers that I would not stop talking to her even when she was on the toilet, and my younger sister remembers making a video with me in which I speak for minutes about the virtues of a cookie. When I was taken to hospital about a couple weeks, I was speaking about the magic of Walt Disney and the integrity of Socrates, and I felt close to passing out.

My second hospital stay occurred about a year later and the cause was simple: I discovered that if I stop my medication abruptly, I got a high. I was addicted to euphoria, and after a few months of messing with my medication I had a scary hallucinatory episode and was back in hospital.

My third stay was recent. I am still recovering. I spent Christmas and New Year's in Africa meeting a girl, and had stupidly forgot to ensure I had enough medication. After I came home to Australia, we broke up, and under the stress of this I apparently was double-dosing myself. After seeing a very good psychologist, and visiting a Buddhist temple a few times, I had convinced myself that the person I was during the first episode was my genuine self, that I was repressed for six years. I was exhilarated.

During one outing to the beach, I walked barefoot on the hot pavement to train myself to stay off grass. I had much more control in water than usual, rising and falling with ease. I caught leaves midair and explored them by touch. I stopped at an anthill on the sidewalk to play with the ants and "discover how their little minds work". I went to the shop and speed-read women's magazines in full view.

Is this mental illness? Or is it me?

After a fight with my mum over my disorderliness, she proposed to take me to hospital, and I called her bluff. I was admitted for four weeks for psychotic mania. I was also given two injections of paliperidone that caused me to have an inability to sit still for over a month. This is called akathisia, and living with it has probably been the hardest ordeal of my life. But physically I am almost well again now.

Mentally, I have more work to do. I have to put my identity back together again, again. What is delusional, and what is authentic? What kind of state is it possible to live in? Is being high on life dangerous or the ultimate goal? Is a normal state healthy or restrained by social anxiety and missed opportunities? These questions are a very real part of my recovery process, and sharing your impressions just might help me deal with them.
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