Struggling with the Elephant in the Room

A Manic Depressive Blog

Archive for the tag “Partial hospitalization”

Manic Depressive Illness- The End of my Group Therapy- Or Why do I have Anxiety

Today was the end of my Partial Hospitalization program. I’m just amazed at how fast the last two months have gone by. When I started the program I was an absolute mess. I was experiencing mixed episodes almost every week, I was a nervous wreck and I was struggling to stay sober. I had no reason to live and I was scared shitless.  Thankfully, the nurses and doctors at the hospital realized I was struggling and a week after I started the program I was transferred to the in-patient psychiatric unit (although they considered it “voluntary,” I didn’t have a choice. My doctor told me that I was going into the psych ward,  because I was a danger to myself). Although I didn’t want to be hospitalized, it turned out to be a very positive and life changing experience. I spent a week in the hospital and by the time I left, my mental state was under control and I finally had the right combination of meds. This was the first time in almost a decade that I was stable and sober. I then returned to the partial hospitalization program, where I continued to work on my manic-depression.

Although I have made a lot of progress, there is one thing I still struggle with- Anxiety. As I mentioned in my previous post, I am constantly fighting with my mind. Some days are better than others, but there is this voice in my head that taunts me and tries to destroy my life. I have been struggling with this voice since high school.

I have to apologize, I can’t write anymore. Just thinking about my anxiety is causing me a lot pain (I will return to this topic sometime in the next week, because I need to get my thoughts out).

Further, I am struggling with the fact that my partial hospitalization program is over and I don’t know what to do with myself. I have no job, I can barely handle stress and I am still alone. Although I have made a lot of progress I still have my bad days which is frustrating….

I’m going to lay down and try to sleep for a few hours, hopefully that will help.

Dave.

Friday Night Update

What a weird week, but at least it’s over. I haven’t posted on this blog since Tuesday and I apologize to my readers. Two days ago I had the opportunity to write a guest blog for prozacblogger.com (it was about my worst mixed episode and why you shouldn’t mix marijuana and manic depressive illness) which I will be re-posting on this blog next week.

Not much has really happened this week. Actually I take that back, yesterday I saw a therapist for the first time in almost two years. It went well, until I started talking about my low self esteem. Just bringing up the abuse I suffered at work and the fact that so many people have taken advantage of me, caused me to fall into a depression. When I  got home I spent most of the evening beating myself up because I am alone and friendless. When I woke up this morning the depression was still there, and it consumed my day- when I got home from group therapy, I ignored my cat, tore my clothes off, entered my bedroom and fell onto my bed. Six hours later I woke up hungry, sad and frustrated.

It has been hard to motivate myself the last few days, so I appolize again for not posting.

I hope you are all doing well,

Dave.

Manic Depressive Illness- Why are Men Afraid to Admit they have a Mental Illness?

This is not based on a scientific study or statistics, rather it’s an observation I have made. For the last month I have either been in a psych ward or a partial hospitalization program. In each program, women have out numbered men almost 3:1. Most of the men in the psych ward were there for detox, not mental health. And the men that were there for mental health refused to participate in group therapy (I was in the psych ward for 5 days and attended all the group therapy sessions, only one other guy participated, but that was because I bugged him to come with me. He would constantly complain that he was bored, so I dragged him along).  When I was discharged I was put into a partial hospitalization program for manic depressive illness  and addiction. Again, there were only a few men attending the program.

It’s really sad and frustrating that men seem to be afraid to admit they have a mental illness (and if they ask for help, they are deemed deficient). Our society is to blame. Men are taught at a young age to not show emotions or ask for help. They are supposed to be macho, brave, courageous and emotionless. Because emotions are a sign of weakness.

It’s all a bunch of bullshit!

There are a lot of men in our society that need help, but are deathly afraid to ask because that is not the “manly” way to function. I just don’t fucking get it. I don’t understand how men would rather ignore their problems in favor of acting like the perfect male.

Am I less of a man because I cry? Am I weak because I asked for help when I could no longer function on my own? Am I pathetic because I admit that I suffer from a mental illness? I don’t feel different, or deficient, or less of a man. In fact I feel empowered because I did seek help and because I did break down in tears.

I’m going step down from my soap box and open this discussion up so that other people can have a chance to answer this question: Why are Men Afraid to Admit They have a Mental Illness?

Dave.

Manic Depressive Illness- Why I was put in a Psych Ward Part 1

This will be the first in a series of posts about what it’s like to be put into a psych ward. My goal is to provide detailed information about my experience so that if you are ever hospitalized, you will know what to expect (this post might trigger an episode, so please proceed with caution).

I was hospitalized about two weeks ago. At the time I was attending a partial hospitalization program (PHP) that specialized in bipolar disorder and addiction (I had just dropped out of graduate school and I was feeling like shit. My mind was unstable and my self-confidence was at an all time). I had been in the program about a week. Everything seemed to be going well, but I guess my mind had other plans for me (mental side note: this is a hard topic for me to discuss. Also I had a horrible week. I was put down and made fun of by multiple people. Further, someone I know told me  I should just get over my issues completely disregarding the fact that I suffer from manic-depressive illness. As a result, my self-confidence is at an all time low causing me to think my writing is complete shit. It’s frustrating because I love to write-so I apologize if this post makes no sense).

I woke up the morning of my hospitalization feeling overly happy. I was energetic, awake and content with life. This might sound crazy, but I was scared shitless. I was too happy, too energetic and way too content about life. Something was wrong. About an hour later I left the apartment, entered my car and turned on the radio. Before I knew it I was on the freeway. It was at that point I realized I was very manic. I was driving extremely fast, darting in and out of traffic, hoping that I might crash (it’s a fucked up feeling, but when I get extremely manic I tend to not care about my life). Eventually I made it to the hospital.

My manic episode continued to grow. I was scared. My thoughts started racing (the word “fuck” circled around in my head over and over again, until it was the only thing I could think of), I couldn’t sit still, my jaw was clenching, sweat poured down my face, and I had this nagging feeling someone wanted to kill me. The manic episode continued to grow. I was so fucking paranoid, so unstable, so scared that I didn’t know what to do. How could I stop myself from thinking like this, how could stop my mind from racing, why is everyone looking at me, why am I going insane???? Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, what the fuck am I going to do??

At that p0int I was beyond desperate. I excused myself from the group and went looking for a nurse. Eventually I found one and told her how I felt. She called my doctor and they both agreed that I should be transferred to the in-patient psychiatric unit. I was scared (my first thought was that I was going to be locked up in a loony bin, quite like the fucked up mental hospitals seen on TV or the movies). I started to become really depressed which made things even worse. Now my manic episode morphed into a mixed episode….

I can’t write anymore. As I stated above, this topic is still hard for me to think about.

I hope you are all doing well.

Dave.

I’m Back for Real This Time!! All It Took was a Stay in the Psych Ward

For the first time in months, my mind is stable and I’m sober. The last six months have not been easy, but I’m glad that I survived my hellish experience. About a month ago, I was put into a psych ward due to  a horrible mixed episode- I was both manic and depressed, I had no control over my mind and I was a danger to myself and those around me. I was scared shitless when the nurses told me I was being transferred to an in-patient psychiatric unit (at that time I was attending a partial hospitalization program [php], an all day program that included various group activities like group therapy, psychodrama etc.

I had been in the program about a week and I thought it was helping, but I guess I was wrong). I was a fucking mess, my mind would not stop racing (the work Fuck kept cycling in my head), I kept clenching my jaws, I couldn’t sit still and I thought someone was out to get me. It was a horrible experience, that kept evolving. By the time I was transferred to in-patient, my mood state had gone out of control. Not only was I manic, I swung deep into depression. I no longer cared about my life and I was desperate for a change. The nurses noticed that I was erratic and contacted my Psychiatrist. He decided that I needed to be transferred to the psych ward (I didn’t have a choice. Although I signed papers claiming it was my idea, I was essentially transferred to in-patient without my consent)….

Begin put into a psych ward was the best thing that could have happened to me. Although I was scared (this was my first hospitalization) I learned a lot about myself. I worked closely with my doctor and eventually we found the right combination of meds. After a week, I was discharged and I thought everything was going well. I was about to hit another low.

When I got home, I realized the doctor had prescribed me Ativan (an anti-anxiety medication). Although I had been sober for a week, I really wanted to get high. So I crushed up and snorted six Ativans (I am lucky I didn’t kill myself). The next few hours I was a complete mess, I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t think, I pretty much fell over and black out. The next morning I woke up feeling like shit. Instead of hydrating myself, I found the bottle of Ativan and snorted two more. At that point I realized how much I fucked up, I couldn’t even function (I ended flushing the rest of the pills down the toilet, however, the damage was done). I called up a guy I knew from Narcotics Anonymous and begged him to help me. We talked for an hour and then he invited me to a meeting that night.

I don’t remember anything, I was so fucked up, that I had no clue what I was doing. I don’t remember my conversation, I don’t remember going to the NA meeting, fuck I don’t remember Sunday at all. All I know was that I was scared and ashamed of myself. I had spent a week in the psych ward, but it didn’t seem to help. This was the lowest low I had experienced. But I learned from my mistake.

I have been sober for almost 11 days. I now attended NA every night, and the PHP every morning and  afternoon. For the first time in seven years I want to stay sober and have a stable mind. It’s only been two weeks, but I am finally starting to feel better. Just the fact that I am writing again is indication that I am making progress (I have been unable to write the last few months due to my depression and drug use). For the first time in awhile I am comfortable in my own skin and happy to be David. I still have a long road ahead of me, but I am so happy that my life is finally turning around.

As my title states, I’m back for real this time! I’m excited to blog and I have missed the mental health community!

I hope you are all doing well and look forward to connecting with all of you. That is all for now.

Stay Strong!!

Dave.

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