Dealing with mental illness has been a beast from the beginning. In 2006, Bipolar II Disorder first presented in my brain. It is typical for a person to develop bipolar between the ages of 18-23 because the brain continues to … Continue reading
The truly tempting thing about suicide is that it’s a solution to pretty much everything. Not a constructive solution or a solution other people want you to use, but still a solution. We can opt out. Once you realize you’re strong enough to end your own life, that knowledge will never go away. When you’re happy and engaged in life, that knowledge makes your life better because of the profound meaning there is to be found in the awareness of death and the empowerment of choosing to live. But when you’re feeling awful and you get to feeling awful enough that you think you’d do anything to change the way you feel, the knowledge that you could kill yourself becomes lethally dangerous.
Suicidal ideation is a very dangerous symptom. It can be caused situationally or purely chemically; by life events or medicine and chemical imbalance. If you’re experiencing suicidal ideation, it can be tremendously difficult to ask for help. If you’re past ideation and you’re fully suicidal, seize any moment of doubt in your plan that you find and TELL SOMEONE. There are way worse things than going to a hospital. If you’re strong enough to kill yourself, you’re definitely strong enough for a 3-day hold. Sometimes those three days is all it takes to restart your life. You see a psychiatrist and a therapist, and they prescribe medicine and evaluate you during your stay to make sure the medicine is working and you are safe from self-harm. You go to the hospital to get better.
I’ve had two failed suicide attempts and three psychiatric hospital stays. The first attempt Continue reading
When you are alone and in crisis, the crushing loneliness you feel is overwhelming. Wanting to talk to someone you love about your thoughts and feelings is natural, but it’s also unfortunately not always an option. In these situations, you … Continue reading
This is the best time in the history of the world to be mentally ill. We have psychiatrists, drugs, psychologists, scientific researchers, therapists, hospitals, and we are working toward public knowledge of mental health as a legitimate concern. Many people … Continue reading
One time, about 5 years ago, I was on an antipsychotic medication that was known for being very safe and having few side effects. I will not name it here, because I don’t believe that telling others about … Continue reading
Yesterday in therapy I told the story of the last days with Sophie and my first days of incapacitating mental illness, just before I was officially diagnosed. I was surprised at how upset I became in therapy, and by the … Continue reading
What will I be without my illness? This question terrified me. And it terrified me to admit that I was terrified because that meant something was wrong with me. And there is. There is a pretty massive thing wrong with … Continue reading
I have lots of practice dealing with depression, and I hope I can help you with what I’ve learned. When you’re depressed, not much appeals. Nothing sounds fun. Nothing seems worth doing. When that happens to me, I know I’m depressed. Losing interest in things you usually care about is a normal and typical symptom of depression. For many very lucky people, sadness passes in a day or so. For those of us whose sadness lasts weeks and expands into full depression, we need a plan. Deep depression can lead to suicide or suicide attempts. If you’re going to stay alive, you need tools to help you do so. Suicide happens when the pain you experience exceeds your ability to cope with it, so if you’re going to stay alive, your options are to lower the level of pain or increase your coping ability. This explanation is not original to me, so don’t credit me for it. I use it because it’s a clear and simple analysis of a messy state of mind… Continue reading
Each person is mostly like every other person, but not exactly. And the not exactly goes to varying degrees. Some people are sick. Of the people who are sick, there are many different body parts that can be sick. Of … Continue reading
Delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia. I can only speak to my own experience. During the delusions of grandeur during mania that I’ve had, I felt really, really good about myself and thought without a doubt that I could achieve very difficult … Continue reading