I've just spent a gorgeous evening with Binky down the nuthouse. She herself pointed out how less floridly disturbed the general population of the ward happens to be this time than the last that she was in there. But the TV room is still empty as Binky, and quite a few others, say they can't handle the TV thanks to the personal comments they insist it will insist on making.
Binky made a point of introducing me to all the manic ladies on the ward. All two of them. Mania isn't that popular on mental units. To get sectioned you'd usually need psychotic bipolar 1 mania and a lot of people with the condition rarely or never get up that high. So I had a brief chat with a lady named Fiona who kept saying what a wonderful condition mania was, how it wasn't an illness. And she denied mental illnesses existed at all.
I noticed when I was talking to Binky that the nurses appeared to be straining to hear. Presumably this was in the interests of adding nursely observations on her charts. And not just plain oldfashioned nosiness! Tonight she said I was the maddest person she knows. I wasn't offended, but am most bemused. Binky has spent many years of her life on mental units, so she should be able to distinguish really mild manic symptoms, like I have today, from the howling extremes of extreme psychotic breakdown, which I most certainly do not have today.
I have been a lot more extreme lately in moods and behaviour than usual. I went to bed and woke up suicidal. And this morning I was so upset by the aftermath of yesterday's Victim of Bizarreness Episode that I nearly wept down the phone to the landlord's henchman begging to know what on earth I should or they COULD do. The henchman said I was being "difficult". It was obvious from context that he didn't mean "nasty," he meant "mentally overwrought". This is the one who very kindly moved me to this new place in his handyman's van and kept saying I should put myself forward for some jobs, that if the psychiatric meds were making me drowsy maybe I should half the dose and not take it during the day. I've tried all this and it doesn't work. I'm OK off meds for the first 2-3 weeks ... but then I get so paranoid, angry and depressed (usually all three) that I end up straight back on them.
As for work, that would be fine as long as my boss was really, really understanding. These days I react so badly to stress, I'm like a big baby. And if I'm comfortable enough to speak freely to anyone, I seem to say or do stuff that makes this person consider me mentally deranged and I don't even know why. Well I'm not wasting hours on painstaking (or painful) self-analysis. Maybe I am mentally ill. I just think of myself as someone with a horrible, complicated psychiatric diagnosis including a Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorder. Most of the general public don't seem to understand that schizophrenic illnesses have active and residual phases and that during residual phases certain mental foibles tend to become evident in most Sufferers. When I was convalescing from my episode of real schizoaffective mania last year I found out that many so-called "schizophrenic" foibles matched my own. I was quite upset to realize this.So I don't think of myself as "mentally ill", just as a person prone to these foibles that doctors have decided to call "schizophrenia". I don't think I'm experiencing active psychotic illness now. I think my symptoms would be "subsyndromal".
I just got really upset by something yesterday, I've had mild but distinct symptoms of Bipolar Mania for about a month now. I used to think of Binky as wearing the "maddest, most messed up person I know" cap. But somehow that cap has been transferred from her to me. All this dozy-headed musing I was doing, wondering what makes that woman tick because she's so intensely disorderedly crazy and there she is apparently thinking the same things about me!
If I am mentally ill though, what on earth am I supposed to do? Aren't the sick supposed to lie in bed all day? So should I go to bed for a few days and hope I get better? And how will I know I'm "better" anyway... if I'm not feeling sick to begin with...~~~??!?
Hey I did get a pretty intense bipolar symptom this morning. "Racing thoughts..." they started racing on fast forward. I have been prattling at double speed to everyone all day. But this morning it was really intense. As well as my thoughts I had some ridiculous tune banging away at double, treble, qualdruple speed as it ilked and milked its weary way across the pastures of my brains, like a psychic dairy cow. Then I had this amazing fantasy about being an unemployed cuckoo, fallen and dejected from all the cuckoo clocks who eventually finds solace at a fairy clockmakers staffed by goblins and gnomes... O dear me TIME'S RUNNING LOW
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!