Fourth Times the Charm

Fourth times the charm. I am back into the hospital due to my suicidal tendencies and thoughts. I feel like a bird stuck in the cage and flying around in circles out of boredom. I am neither manic nor depressed; however, I am still placed in the mood and anxiety unit. I feel like the odd one out since my main issues are my hallucinations and delusions.  It was my hallucinations that told me to harm myself.

Yesterday evening, I had a horrible delusion. I had a thought put into my head that if I eat, my parents would die. So like any other person with a scary thought, I panicked. I called my mother since I already ate and she didn’t pick up the phone. I went back to my , balling my eyes out with thoughts of my mother and father dying in different scenarios. What calmed me down was a quote I could not remember where it came from but it goes like this: “Being scared is knowledge in the face of danger.” I don’t know why  this quote calms me down but it does.

I continue to digress. I stopped eating and the nurses noticed. They wanted to know what was wrong and eventually, I mustered up the courage to tell them about the “knowledge of danger. ” The nurses were genuinely frightened and gave me some medication. ( I am not going to tell you what the medication is because it is different for everyone.) I was able to calm down after a few hours and I had this flawed logic that ” If I eat while I am in front of them and they don’t die, it’s proof that this is a delusion.” Of course, in the end nothing happened and I was finally able to eat eight hours after my last meal.

My psychosis is like my moods, it goes up and down. Sometimes, my psychosis quiets down and does not disturb me. Other times, it is so intense that I have to act to quiet down my voices. Generally, I will listen to my negative voices and do what they tell me which leads to consequences like getting admitted to the hospital. The difference with my mood; however, is that my psychosis is always constant. My mood is never always in mania or depression. Sometimes my mood is at baseline (or “normal” for most people).

I am hopeful that while I am here, I am able to learn something new about my psychosis. Even if I don’t learn anything to cope with my psychosis. I hope that my drastic medication change will help me to cope with my hallucinations and delusions.


PS. By the way, I want to apologize in advance for my grammar mistakes and lack of direction in this post. My mind is racing and my voices are distracting me.



From Mania to Depression

I have been fortunate that I haven’t been manic or depressed for over a year. But what I don’t understand is why I still have flashbacks of those times. I guess it’s my time to tell my story to relieve me from these flashbacks.

When I was in university, I was misdiagnosed with major depression. The psychiatrist at the university would give me antidepressants as were the fashion. Everything would be alright. Unfortunately, things didn’t turn out that way.

Two weeks into the medication, I couldn’t sleep. Days turned into weeks. I started to see stars in my bedroom. I thought that I was flying in space and that I had the superpower that I didn’t need oxygen. I felt like I was in a child’s dream. Eventually I told the psychiatrist who thought I was just imagining it and dismissed me. I continued on with this belief and was too preoccupied with the fact that I flew with the stars.

One night, someone knocked on the door. I opened it. It was a young man, about my age. He had dark brown hair, blue eyes, very spiffy and waltz into the living room. He asked ” do you want to dance?” Of course in my state, I agreed. We danced. We danced and danced until my feet hurt. I took a bottle of wine into my bedroom and we stared at the stars on the bedroom ceiling . We drank our wine, lied on the bed and held hands until the early morning. I woke up and he was gone. I never got his name but he kept coming back. We kept on doing the stupid things lovers do. The unknown man that stole my heart and still has my heart.

After a month of this mania, my mood switched. I became severely depressed when he didn’t come back. I waited for him for weeks at the door, waiting for his company. Eventually, I gave up and stayed in my room, sloshed some alcohol to cope with the pain. I stopped seeing the stars and instead I started seeing blood on the walls. I reasoned it out that I was profusely bleeding through my eyeballs. I even tested this by putting my hands on my eyes and seeing blood splattered all over my hands and my eyes. I honestly thought I was going to die and I didn’t care. I wanted to die. I was hoping to die and maybe that’s why I didn’t tell my psychiatrist that I saw blood pouring out of my eyeballs.

One night I had it. I drank silly, walked outside at 1:00 am and saw a car speeding out of the driveway. I stood in front of the car and I was fortunate that the car stopped immediately. The car was inches away from hitting me but the man inside the car panicked and asked if I was okay. I responded with a shrug and walked home.

I went to my counsellor at my university and he noticed that I smelled from all of that alcohol. Drunk me loves to talk so I mentioned the time I went out at 1:00 am and almost got hit by a car. I think he freaked out to say the least and called the campus police. They put me in the back of their police car and took me to the hospital.

My psychiatrist was horrible at handling my mental illness. She dismissed my symptoms and continued to give me the wrong medication. So lesson learned: find a psychiatrist that listens to you.

I think what is depressing is that as you may guessed, that man never existed. I went through the heartache for a relationship that never happened. Yet, I feel like I need him especially in times of stress. I never dated anyone but it makes me empathize for people who went through breakups.

I’m too scared to tell people closest to me about this story. I have constant flashbacks about the man, the stars, the blood on my eyes and other parts of my life. I have voices that are trying to convince me to tell the people I love about my story. But I can’t help wonder if they’ll love me after I tell them.


Stigma in the Hospital

A little less than a year ago, I was hospitalized in an all girls unit for the third time due to my psychosis symptoms. It was a nightmare. My freedom was restricted due to the fact that I hallucinate, the food was horrendous and it was difficult for me to converse with others.

But I still remember the most embarrassing moment for me when I was in that hospital.

Every woman in the unit sat in a circle ready to eagerly tell their diagnosis, problems and treatment plan. I heard different diagnoses such as depression, eating disorders, OCD, borderline personality disorder, etc with different treatment plans. Every time someone talks about their problems, the rest of the patients would empathize. They would nod in a knowing way and give advice. When I was finally given the opportunity to talk, I told them about schizoaffective disorder, my hallucinations, delusions and mood swings. The once eager group became silent. Each woman put their heads down or turned away from me. One woman distinctly said “Oh.” She walked away from the group. I was so embarrassed that I walked back to my room and gave myself a good sob.

I thought that I was the only one feeling this way. I was so shocked: how could I feel such stigma within the hospital? I reasoned that my illness is the only one being stigmatized and me alone experiences this stigma.

I was wrong.

Recently, I had a friend who was diagnosed with depression due to events in her life. She came to me via Skype in tears explaining to me that she was hospitalized for her depression. She was in tears not because she was hospitalized but because another patient told her that she just had common depression. In her words, she said that it made her feel like it was a common cold and that depression was something she could just get over.

I don’t know why it didn’t click earlier. I realized that no matter what the illness is, everyone including people with mental illness such as myself have the tendency to stigmatize all illnesses. The thing is that it hurts to be stigmatized. It feels like you’re alone. We (including me) need to realize that the worst illness is the illness you’re living with. Meanwhile, we have to respect other illnesses as well.


Alcohol with Mental Illness

Here’s my story about alcohol.

When I went to university, I was seriously depressed. Depressed to the point where I saw death. That depressed. I remember there was weed, drugs and alcohol at all of the parties I went to. I decided to choose alcohol.  What usually happen is that my friends and I got wasted until we fell asleep on the couch. That was the culture though: get wasted, make a few mistakes and regret it in the morning.

But depression and alcohol are a bad mix. Actually, they shouldn’t mix. Nevertheless, I put them together. I would have these horrible feelings, have some alcohol (like a few vodka bottles) and then I would feel better. In reality, that was a lie. I just pushed those feelings of anger, sadness and hurt from my traumatic past.

It gotten worse when I became manic. I would buy the fanciest of wines especially ice wines resulting in almost a grand’s worth. Yes, I spent about $800 dollars worth of booze in about a week. To a rich person or a person that loves alcohol, this is a measly amount. Remember, I was a student on a student budget. I spent money that was suppose to be for food on booze. I did other reckless things due to my alcohol use and my mania but maybe that’s for another post.

That was how I was able to cope or so I thought. The irony is that I couldn’t cope. My visual hallucinations became stronger and scarier the more I drank. My audio hallucinations consist of screaming in my ears constantly. I had delusions that I had a boyfriend that did not exist and that someone I glanced at briefly was going to murder me. Yet I couldn’t connect the dots that the alcohol along side with my mental illness was causing me more distressed because I was so wasted.

I still regret to this day that I didn’t smarten up earlier and learn to stop using alcohol. However, I don’t regret having these experiences.

When I decide to go for a checkup to my school’s counsellor, I swear I smelled from all that alcohol and horrendous hygiene. My school counsellor realized there was something really wrong and sent me to a hospital. I still don’t know how to thank him for literally saving my life. In all honesty, if I didn’t smell like skunk piss, I probably wouldn’t have went to the hospital.  I was good at hiding my symptoms and was really good at joking about my mental health. It was time I took my mental health seriously and get my mental health checked out.

This story has a happy ending. I have been sober for a year. I failed and failed and failed. With the help of my parents, counselling and writing, I finally succeeded. ( Knock on wood that I will continue staying sober.)


My Secret

above-adventure-aerial-air.jpgIf you read my about me page, it is not a secret that I have schizoaffective disorder. But I hid it from the people most important in my life. I don’t know why I try so hard to keep it a secret from the people I love. They all know I have bipolar disorder. They all know that I was hospitalize a few times.  So why is this so difficult to tell?

As I was scrolling through wordpress and the internet, I find that we all had similar answers to this question: the stigma with schizophrenia. For those who don’t know what schizoaffective disorder is, it’s basically a mixture of schizophrenia and a mood disorder. Mine happens to be bipolar disorder. That word: schizophrenia. It is a hard word to swallow even for people who have the disorder or a similar disorder. Furthermore, it is difficult to admit having a mental illness at all with this stigma.

So here I am, admitting to the world about this as a rebellion to the stupid stigma. I have schizoaffective disorder bipolar type.  For eight months, I hid from my friends and family for fear that they’ll find out about my illness. I still have audio, visual and tactile hallucinations on a daily basis. I have cycles of delusions that scare the crap out of me. I still have mood cycles between mania and depression. I absolutely hate having this illness. At the same time, I found out it is a blessing in disguise: I found my love for psychology due to this illness and I am pursing my dreams to be a psychologist.

For people with mental illness or people who know others that have mental illness, share your story. Fight that stigma that chains us. Free yourself and remember to be effortlessly yourself.