Done With Psychosis, Again

My last psychotic episode, which began in January 2017, has finally ended. It ended in July, so that was a good seven-month run where I was overcome with symptoms. I’ve been able to determine that “Psychosis” for me is a delusional state, not paranoia or auditory hallucinations alone, but a blanket combination of hearing that is overwhelming paired with beliefs that what I hear is my ever-present reality. I follow what the voices say, especially at night when all is quiet.

I can see why paranoia is often a part of the diagnosis. It is what the doctors can see from my actions…I run in fear. I stay up all night, afraid. For me, however, I see it otherwise. Fear seems to be the by product of my delusions. The story line that picks up where it left off from the previous bout of psychosis, while the story line has also evolved as the psychosis has departed.

It’s getting to the point where I absolutely hate my psychosis. It is so taxing, mentally and emotionally. It is the narrative that won’t quit, that never takes a day off. I’m subjugated to the pressure from the moment I wake up until I fall asleep in exhaustion. Months go by where I have no self-directed days. Months.

Making use of my “down time” is something I want to pursue. Maybe a book, I tell myself. I can put all my pain down in the saga, the tragedy. Working harder than ever before, I can do this.

I’ll post more as I plan out my work.

Thanks to everyone who reads me. I lost my .com url with this last bout, so I changed my domain to bugbearandcaw.blog. With your continued support, I will keep writing.

 

Earth Aplunder

Let’s say I’ve been having hallucinations. No, let’s say I’ve been talking to aliens. They’ve been showing themselves to me. They’re here to reclaim the human race–Mother Earth is dying. No. She is already dead–we humans just don’t know it yet.

I’ve been following strange sounds I am hearing in the environment–larger than life sounds, bigger than construction demolition, if you can imagine. The first sound I heard, another man heard it too. We stopped in our tracks and looked in the direction of the sound. Mouths agape, we made small talk, then hurriedly moved on with our lives.

The sounds are becoming more frequent. Different sounds: huge buzzes, big saws, massive rototillers. These are the alien machines eating people off the face of the earth. The time is now, but not quite yet. Someday they’ll all come and throw us into heaps of bodies. Bones will move alone without spirit, and air will taste like gas.

Sugar’s saint is Stella. Stella’s lover is the lion and they’re gone. Ready for liftoff, the spaceships holding those in the know are making their way past the trees and foliage unseen, to safety. For those of us left behind, is there hope? It will happen in waves until the grinding becomes so obvious we’ll not be able to deny it any longer. Life on planet earth is ending, and the humans who have pillaged and plundered her have to go. The green ones, the yellow ones, the blue ones–all gone.

 

By the Numbers

Inspired by PurplePersuasion’s blog, I’ll post my own numbers from the time I became sick four years ago:

  • Age of onset–37
  • Day I became floridly psychotic–May 17th, 2008
  • Days elapsed between onset and admittance into the hospital–333 – seriously
  • Days spent floridly psychotic–425 (estimate)
  • Number of psychiatrists seen–seven
  • Number of hospitalizations since onset–two
  • Total number of medications prescribed–16 (four anti-psychotics, four anti-depressants, four anti-anxiety medications)
  • Current dose of medications–30 mg Aripiprazole, 1 mg Lorazapm (both pm)
  • Average cost of medications per month–$61.50
  • Cost of medications per month in the U.S. if I didn’t buy them from India–$967
  • Cost of doctor visit–$45
  • Number of daily vitamins–four (Omega 3, C, B complex, Multivitamin)
  • Average amount of sleep per night–nine hours
  • Average number of hours worked per week–35
  • Number of jobs (including volunteer) held since onset–five
  • Number of years until I felt myself again–pending

I pass the torch to NetGuru. Maybe he will share his numbers.

Talking About Psychosis

Yesterday my nieces asked me about when I was sick. They had moved back into town just after I became floridly psychotic. My niece said, “You weren’t the Deas we knew in Dallas.”

It’s really hard to describe to people how psychosis can be so devastating. Descriptions of strange thoughts or beliefs and hallucinations don’t really delve into the emotional fear and confusion. Similarly, describing something to older teens who don’t have the benefit of many years of lived experience makes it even more difficult.

One of the things I told them was to call an ambulance next time I start acting strange, which launched a conversation about how they felt I had “wanted” to be in that crazy state in which they found me. Horrified, I quickly corrected them and, as best I could, tried to describe how when I was psychotic I didn’t know I was sick. Agnosia often plays a role in schizophrenia. Nobody chooses to suffer like that. Intervention is what I want.

Forced medications and forced hospitalization is a big topic for people with psychotic disorders. Many families and loved ones struggle with the issue as they watch their friend, brother or sister, child or parent spiral into madness. While there is not a single clear-cut answer, I do think achieving a functional stability should be the end-goal for anyone with psychotic illnesses, especially when we can’t make good choices for ourselves.