Okay, so lets cut to the chase here….I have a mental illness. I take four medications a day. Eleven pills, three times a day, everyday. That’s what it takes to get me through the day. I also see my Therapist every Monday morning and my Psychiatrist 1-2 times per month. You can see how having a mental illness can be pretty time consuming huh? But that’s not even the half of it. I have Bipolar Disorder, this is what life is like for me.
Depression is exhausting. Physically and mentally exhausting. There is no energy or will to do anything. I’ve spent entire days just laying on my sofa doing nothing. Playing Netflix on the TV but not actually paying any attention, it’s just back ground noise, I don’t even look at it. Eating is really hard, I either don’t eat because I don’t have the energy or I eat everything I have because I think it will fill some kind of void. Showering is an effort, dressing is an effort, talking is an effort. Hell, I don’t even have the energy to cry. That’s right, I’m too exhausted to cry. Depression is paralyzing.
Mixed Episodes: Agitation. Anger. Irritability. Anxiety. Depression. Mania, angry kind of mania. Impulsivity. Self harm. Suicidal thoughts and plans. Uncontrollable crying.
The last time that I had a mixed episode I ended up in hospital. I was crying uncontrollably at work and at home just out of nowhere. I ended up leaving a voicemail for my Psychiatrist in the middle of the night because I quite literally could not stop crying. I was exhausted, just from crying. I was always agitated and restless. I had so much anger sometimes that I felt like I was going to snap. Even when I could feel the mania coming through, it wasn’t a nice mania. I felt like I was going to implode. I was self harming because I saw no other way of dealing with it at the time. I was having a lot of suicidal thoughts. Suicidal thoughts, that’s what got me put into hospital in the end. I was there about 11 days. They killed my mixed episode. I thanked them.
MANIA! OH, HOW I LOVE YOU MANIA! My mania’s are a little different every time but there are the few constants. Racing thoughts, my speech…it’s so hard to talk when you have about a gazillion things racing through your mind. I become very restless, it’s really hard to sit still or stand in one place. I left work early once because I needed to be moving around more. There wasn’t enough movement there. I walked home and then went running for I don’t even know how long. I buy a lot of things when I’m manic. I start a lot of hobbies too which gives me more things to buy. I’ve started and stopped more hobbies than I can even remember….German, French, Sign Language, Violin, I buy books that I never read. I bought a tablet, a new camera, clothes, lots of clothes. And then I decide that I have too many things and I donate half of my possessions. I get tattoos, piercings, I’ve colored my hair with home hair dye so much that they won’t stick to my hair anymore. I buy stationary. Lots and lots of stationary. I really love stationary. Just SO MANY THINGS. My head is so full, I don’t want to sleep, ever. But then…..it gets too much. Sometimes anger starts to set in, sometimes psychosis. Or both. Mania isn’t wonderful forever. It becomes over whelming and even more uncontrollable. Sometimes I don’t even realize that it’s happening. Thankfully my Psychiatrist does.
Without medication, I don’t have stable periods between these episodes anymore. And to be honest, all of those mood states kind of suck. So that’s why I take all of my medications and I keep all of my appointments. Because even though there’s not a cure, it can at least be managed. And there is help. You don’t need to go it alone and you never need to feel ashamed. None of us should ever be ashamed of having a mental illness. We are strong, we are fighters and we can do this. We can live side by side with our illnesses and still live a good life, no matter how dark it seems sometimes.
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My name is Meghan and I’m 26 years old. I have been struggling with mental illness since I was a child. When I was 15 I was hospitalized and given my first diagnosis, Psychotic Depression. After that I received a diagnosis of Schizoaffective Disorder and MDD before finally being diagnosed with Bipolar 1 Disorder last year. I also have Borderline Personality Disorder and Anxiety Disorder.
Australian born but I have been living here in Arizona, USA with my husband for about the last four years now. And you know, I chose good because he puts up with all of my shenanigans.
Meghan can be found on her blog, Facebook and Twitter
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I ride the roller coaster of bipolar I as well. I have to be especially careful because I’m allergic to lithium and developed tardive Dyskinesia from an atypical antipsychotic after a year at a high dose. It started as restless leg syndrome.
So if I were to get manic, or suicidally depressed, which I just went through for six weeks, antipsychotics and lithium are two treatment options off the table. If I take large doses of atypical antipsychotics I start thrashing. Wildly.
With the lithium thing, In a way I dodged a bullet because my labs show my internal organs in working order after 25 years. But which bullet did I dodge? My moods are more variable and I have to live with them longer before they respond to a med change. I’ve had the same shrink for fifteen years and have managed to stay out of the hospital for all that time. The only thing a hospital can guarantee me is a big copay. The treatment options they usually employ in acute situations are not available to me. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Of course I’d go in patient or do ECT if the situation required it.