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Old 04-12-2018, 10:11 PM #1
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Default Manic vs Psychotic

My name is Josh and I am 21 years old. I've been hospitalised three times for manic episodes.

The first time I was 15, and suddenly felt the most intense euphoria. I cried over the beauty of nature when walking near trees. I cried over the beauty of childhood and imagination when walking into my little brother's room. I climbed onto the roof to feel the wind and the rain. I was almost incapable of sleep, missing several nights in a row. My mum remembers that I would not stop talking to her even when she was on the toilet, and my younger sister remembers making a video with me in which I speak for minutes about the virtues of a cookie. When I was taken to hospital about a couple weeks, I was speaking about the magic of Walt Disney and the integrity of Socrates, and I felt close to passing out.

My second hospital stay occurred about a year later and the cause was simple: I discovered that if I stop my medication abruptly, I got a high. I was addicted to euphoria, and after a few months of messing with my medication I had a scary hallucinatory episode and was back in hospital.

My third stay was recent. I am still recovering. I spent Christmas and New Year's in Africa meeting a girl, and had stupidly forgot to ensure I had enough medication. After I came home to Australia, we broke up, and under the stress of this I apparently was double-dosing myself. After seeing a very good psychologist, and visiting a Buddhist temple a few times, I had convinced myself that the person I was during the first episode was my genuine self, that I was repressed for six years. I was exhilarated.

During one outing to the beach, I walked barefoot on the hot pavement to train myself to stay off grass. I had much more control in water than usual, rising and falling with ease. I caught leaves midair and explored them by touch. I stopped at an anthill on the sidewalk to play with the ants and "discover how their little minds work". I went to the shop and speed-read women's magazines in full view.

Is this mental illness? Or is it me?

After a fight with my mum over my disorderliness, she proposed to take me to hospital, and I called her bluff. I was admitted for four weeks for psychotic mania. I was also given two injections of paliperidone that caused me to have an inability to sit still for over a month. This is called akathisia, and living with it has probably been the hardest ordeal of my life. But physically I am almost well again now.

Mentally, I have more work to do. I have to put my identity back together again, again. What is delusional, and what is authentic? What kind of state is it possible to live in? Is being high on life dangerous or the ultimate goal? Is a normal state healthy or restrained by social anxiety and missed opportunities? These questions are a very real part of my recovery process, and sharing your impressions just might help me deal with them.
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Old 04-13-2018, 05:06 PM #2
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Default Re: Manic vs Psychotic

I have no clue how to answer but I want to let you know you're not alone!
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Old 04-13-2018, 05:12 PM #3
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Default Re: Manic vs Psychotic

I have no clue how to answer but I want to let you know you're not alone!
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Old 04-13-2018, 05:29 PM #4
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Hi Josh!

Welcome to PC and to the Bipolar Forum!

You have posed some interesting questions.

I hope you find the information and the support you may be seeking.
Please make yourself at home. Jump in wherever you feel led to do so.

Your first 5 posts are approved by a moderator before they appear. After 5 approved posts, you will also have access to chatrooms and to the Private Messaging (PM) system.

I hope to see you around the forums.


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Old 04-13-2018, 06:31 PM #5
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I can relate to all or most of your post. Thanks for sharing and i hope to see more. By the way check out the link at the top of my signature. Its my bipolar blog. You might find it interesting.
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Old 04-13-2018, 09:32 PM #6
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Default Re: Manic vs Psychotic

Thank you for your company.
I'm still overwhelmed by these questions.

Am I myself when my thoughts are slow? Am I myself when my thoughts are quick? Or am I only myself when I learn to be in control?
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Old 04-13-2018, 11:14 PM #7
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.
I take my meds so that I can function in this world. I have to be able to work and make money to be independent. I don't want to live in a homeless shelter or depend on my family to take care of me. I certainly don't want to be a burden to anyone. If I were to go off my meds...I would be a mess.
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Old 04-14-2018, 01:46 PM #8
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Default Re: Manic vs Psychotic

After every episode its like starting all over again and creating a new identity. What was real and what wasn't doesn't really matter anymore for me. Being manic may be fun but when you look back on it psychosis is scary af. Focus on staying stable and then do the soul searching. Some questions can only be answered by yourself.
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Old 04-14-2018, 02:37 PM #9
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Default Re: Manic vs Psychotic

You have posed some very good questions. There are no quick or easy answers. These are the kind of questions that many who are diagnosed with biploar grapple with. Who is the real me? It is tempting to wish that the real you is the one you are when in a euphoric state. Euphoria is enjoyable. Its the aftermath and the come down thats hard.

You are still young and your personality is still forming. Many people spend years chasing the highs of mania. In the end it boils down to how well you function and can you live an independent life. You are most likely going to need some Meds to help keep you stable enough to that. Especially if you have gotten so manic that you need to be hospitalized.

You have a difficult journey ahead of you. I hope you find some support here at psych central

PS: its intersting that you mentioned going up on the roof to feel the wind and the rain. When Im feeling a bit manic I always want to go up on the roof. What is it about roofs I wonder. I compromise with myself and go out in the back yard to feel the wind and the rain. At my age (62) a fall from the roof could cause me some serious damage.
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Old 04-15-2018, 12:06 AM #10
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Default Re: Manic vs Psychotic

Thank you everyone for your support,

I have taken lithium for the last 3 years. I know it works for me. Without it, I quickly become narcissistic and psychotic. Not taking it consistently recently was an utter mistake.

If there's one thing I'm taking away from your messages so far, it is the importance of being self-suffIcient. Whether we have more desirable traits during a high, low or medium doesn't matter much if our state is unstable.

This leads me to conclude that I don't actually know my authentic self very well. It is something between the poles, a combination, a flow, a balance. It is still emerging. After the fires of mania, it must be built out of the ashes of depression, coming together over months and years.
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