So, it is after 1 in the morning and I haven’t slept in the last three days. Not good for someone with bipolar disorder. I am scared I might have a psychotic break and end up in the hospital. After all, with all the budget cuts and my psychiatrist leaving my clinic, I am deeply saddened. I really liked my doctor and it is so hard to find a doctor who you trust and is easy to talk to.
I just moved into my own little apartment, and I am making friends with all my neighbors. My next-door neighbor even brought me a stuffed animal and shared his Father’s Day cake with me. I worry that I am going to have an episode and act strangely, and my neighbors may not understand. In addition, I could be “asked” to leave my apartment and become homeless.
Thanks to the media, the mentally ill are portrayed as deranged people who are serial killers and outright dangerous to everyone. This is untrue. The mentally ill are more likely to be a danger to themselves than anyone else. People who have a mental illness are no more dangerous than the general population.
I have bipolar disorder with psychosis and take my medication faithfully. However, since there is no cure for bipolar, I still have episodes. My last one was two and a half years ago. I was ill for six weeks and I did all kinds of things, like rented a hotel room for five days (which I could not afford), gave all my savings away to perfect strangers, and forgot who I was. I do exhibit some forms of dissociative disorder as well, which is where I sometimes lose time, forget who I am and become lost.
In my past, dangerous things have happened. One time I “woke up” to find myself inside a dirty white pickup truck, and all the handles were removed inside the vehicle. I couldn’t get out. I don’t remember how I got out, and the next thing I remember is I was at Sierra Vista Hospital.
I have had this mental illness for over 20 years now and decided that it is OK to talk about it. I am using my real name and it is time people educated themselves about mental illness and to not rely on the media to give an accurate portrayal. We deserve respect. We are not less than, and our illness does not have to define who we are.
I know God is looking out for me, and I believe I am supposed to educate others on mental health and will dedicate my life to doing so.