I thought you might like to know what led up to my trip to the hospital. I’ll try to tell it the best I can, although a little of it is foggy. Some of this history some of you may know, so bear with me.
I have been hospitalized five or six times in my life. The first time was when I was about thirty. And I seem to go in on fairly regular intervals. The last time I was in was five years ago. It was at this same hospital.
My diagnosis is bipolar 2 with psychotic features. I’m sure even my non mental health readers know that bipolar illness causes your moods to go up and down. But as I’ve gotten older, my depressions have been longer and the manias have been fairly short.
So three years ago, I feel into a deep depression. It went on for a solid two years. We tried a lot of drugs to get me out of it, but nothing seemed to work. This wasn’t a suicidal depression….more like just a really down mood. A year or so ago, I came out of it and felt better mentally. But I still couldn’t get going. I spent a lot of time resting and laying on the couch. I worked and worked and tried and tried to get going, but it was pretty hopeless. I was missing out on life.
Now my faithful readers will recall how hard I have been working on my recovery. I tried just writing out what I needed to get down each day, week, and month and see what I could accomplish. But I still would cancel social events constantly, and I really never felt good. However, I made some progress on my goals, and many of you readers will remember some positive posts about this. Even though I was limping along and got a successful blog going, it just wasn’t happening for me.
I have a guy friend from high school. He works at a news station in town. And he and I go out on occasion for lunch. The last few times he has called, I have told him I just couldn’t as I was too depressed. Well, he wasn’t very excited to hear that this time. He told me in no uncertain terms that this depression situation was ridiculous and had gone on long enough. He reminded me that I was only 56, not 96, and that I had a lot of living to do. I think Mark was a big reason that I started downhill toward the hospital. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. He was trying to help and I think he woke me up.
I had gone on Fetzima, which was supposed to get me moving. It didn’t seem to help a lot. I went off Lexapro, which simply gave me a bad headache.
I think my brain was fried and I was exhausted. I started crying a bit and seeing things. The hallucinations got worse and worse. I got pretty desperate and panicked.
I pulled out my safety plan. I didn’t have any immediate plans to harm myself, but it all felt downhill. And I’ve always worried about hurting myself while psychotic. So my safety plan was pulled out. And something was off. The people I had selected to call in an emergency were not the people I wanted to call. I wound up texting with a girl from my bipolar support group. She asked if I needed a crisis team. Fortunately, my husband was only about 20 minutes away.
So Amber kept me texting until he got home. He took one look and called my psychiatrist. Everyone agreed it was hospital time.
Now my husband and I have been around this block. We knew not to go to an ER. We called the psych hospital directly and they said to come down.
My next post will deal with entering the hospital. I thought some of you might want to hear about that, especially if you’ve never gone. And if you’ve been there, this will be a good comparison.
So I learned a little. I need to re-do my safety plan and put realistic people on there. Just because people are close friends does not mean they are going to “get it” in an emergency. I remember wanting to talk to someone who had been there. I did not want to talk to any of my kids or my best friends who do not have mental illness. When I called my psychologist and had to have her paged, I didn’t want to do that. I wanted someone to contact NOW. There wasn’t time to wait till someone could get back to me. I am lucky enough to have some friends with MI. They are going at the top of my safety plan.
I wanted to also say thank you to all who have wished me well. It is especially gratifying to hear that a few of you missed my postings. That makes me feel like I am on the right track with the blog.
For anyone who is interested or keeps track, I am on the following medications now: Perphenazine, Abilify, Welbutrin, and Lamictal. This is down from six meds prior.
Thanks for reading this post. I feel like it is bit scattered. I feel better emotionally, but am not sleeping well from the Abilify.
Talk to you soon,