It’s always on your mind, you constantly check the clock and the time, swirling your constant bottle of water or liquid that stave off the dry mouth and dehydration caused by the medications. It’s all about balancing that critical point of when and where to take your medications. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder I and General Anxiety when I was 18 years old and it took the next 18 years to find the right “cocktail” of medications via Big Pharma and massive amounts of therapy and numerous hospital stays on the psychiatric ward.
But, let’s discuss what Bipolar Disorder, General Anxiety Disorder, PTSD (I was just diagnosed with this added on disorder within a few months ago) and all mental health diagnoses and disorders. Let’s remove the taboo and fear of people with mental illnesses. Do you realize that 1/4 of people in the world have experienced or are living with a mental disorder daily? That’s 1 in 4 people, people. Do you really believe that out of 1/4 of the world are all mass or serial murderers? Do you really believe on our worst days we are a hazard to the general public simply because we have a disorder in our brain chemistry and firings between the neurons make us so different we need to be watched like wayward coyotes that stalk and kill our prey? Do you feel angry at someone when they slip without their own control into a psychosis and do things untoward that they have to make up for or, in the least, apologize for later on in time? We do not ask for our illnesses anymore than a diabetic asks for a diseased and under functioning pancreas. As a matter of fact, I was just diagnosed with diabetes and people have broken down walls and made late night telephone calls to give me advice on how to handle everything from what you put in your mouth to what kind of sweetener is best to use. Did I experience these helpful people when I was diagnosed or when I have slipped into psychosis from no sleep, no food, illnesses and simple rejection from my so-called friends? No, I lost a lot.
First, you need to be aware that psychosis and psychopathy/sociopathy are two different animals and two different things as apples are different to oranges. Psychosis is a temporary thing that is experience by the mentally ill person when put under too heavy and too much stress. Psychopathy is a life-long decision based behavior. Psychopathy/sociopathy is something akin to morals and knowing right from wrong. They are the narcissists that believe their actions to be correct whether socially, morally and behaviorally. They lie, cheat and betray for their own personal gain or comfort. They lack any sort of sympathy or empathy for the other person.
I don’t have psychopathy but, I do experience psychosis during my illness at stress points. The psychosis’ that effect me are times that I have no memory of but, I have to be reminded by people around me that saw, witnessed and heard what I had done while “out of my mind.” I find out I did certain things while in psychosis that I had no clue I had done months later when someone accuses me or relates to me with, “Don’t you remember when you did such and such?” and I will be clueless to what they are speaking about. It’s frustrating and embarrassing to even think about most of the time because, I become a person unknown to my own self and a person that I do not care for in the worst sort of way. There’s always that apology you have to make and then, you have to explain your whole life,practically, to get people to understand that it really was not you acting as your real every day self. It is akin to being possessed by some otherworldly demon walking in your shoes and acting out their filth in your own skin. Then, after a good psych ward visit, corrections, deletions and additions to your “cocktail” changes and one day you wake up and the date is all wrong. The day you “left” is your yesterday. The days in between are lost and your memory does not glue or cement them into your mind. It’s only when someone tells you what you did that it becomes horrifying to you personally. You sit in a sort of chaotic whirlwind as your family, people you know and friends, if you have any left, relate your behavior back to you. It’s difficult and traumatic to have to muster up the courage to apologize for something you can’t even remember. Then, they relate back to you what you have done and walk away forever. It can be a lonely place if you are surrounded by people who refuse to even attempt to understand you. It can be isolating to feel the rejection and loss of relations and you end up locking your own self away (this is called isolation psychiatrically) in your home in the fear that the psychosis will return when you are out in front of people and with people. You have no control with the exception of staying away from “triggers” and, trying not to engage in acts of anorexia by not wanting to eat to sleeplessness from over exertion of the manic end of your disorder. You try to maintain good health but, sometimes things slip up like the flu, a bad allergy attack or even your blood sugars bouncing up and down the scale from normal range to nearly in a coma range of 600.
It’s something that world-wide needs to be addressed and dealt with. There needs to be more public education to stem the tidal wave of stigma and bias that can launch you into, yet another, psychosis. A viscous circle fed by people around you too afraid of what might happen if you stay in that person’s life and try to be understanding of their disorder. The rejection, fear, out casting and abandonment only make matters much, much worse. The cycle needs to be stopped and ended. We just ask for acceptance and involvement again in the rest of the world without condemnation. We’re just looking for people to love us anyway.