psychosis and the kitchen sink

(scheduled post)

The kitchen sink-o-meter reached red alert hazardous scary danger level, indicating that if I had a mind, it’d be floundering. I sacrificed some goats to the gods of war manic depression and did a pain dance to summon hypomania. Eventually it worked and then I Washed The Dishes. All hail Lamictalia, patron saint of acid reflux, dizziness and slight tremors. Naturally it wasn’t really the goat cadavers and chanting that did the trick; it was the fucked up sleep patterns, a few early morning walks by an exhilarating and wild sea, the anxiety and so on ad fucking nauseam, ad infinitum. I just had time to reset the sink-o-meter before I fell crash landed to sleep.

I’m not doing well. Psychosis decided to kick my ass three fucking times last week.

The Causes of Psychosis: In most cases, it is difficult to know what has caused the first episode of psychosis. Current research indicates that a combination of biological factors, including genetic factors, create a situation where a person is vulnerable to, or at a greater risk of, developing psychotic symptoms. A number of brain chemicals, including dopamine and serotonin, may play a role in how psychosis develops. A stressful event may trigger psychotic symptoms in a person who is vulnerable.

I’ve been keeping a list of the ones I remember on and off on my blog:

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1996: gecko tattoo attracting skinks
2000: being stuck in video games, fully immersive auditory and visual hallucinations
2007: the sea speaking to me (in a benevolent and reassuring way)
2010: 7ft chrome praying mantis standing behind me ready to snip my spinal cord (painlessly, mercifully) with his pincers
2014: hearing music quietly and nonstop for weeks at a time, occasionally hearing footsteps upstairs (only there isn’t an upstairs), lights and music coming from an emerald green wave
2015: the sea speaking to me and pushing me away from it, visual hallucination of something strange in the waves

I haven’t included the manic delusions because that’d take a month.

Those are the ones I can remember and I’m lucky in that I have what they call insight, that I know the delusions and hallucinations aren’t real. I’m finding it harder and harder to shrug off the anthropomorphic sea though, and it’s become emotionally destructive. It’s a lonely place to be. You know those people who think that psychosis is a spiritual/shamanic thing (shaMANIC)? They can suck every single one of my psychotic episodes. Either that or declare me a seer and pay me a fucking fortune, either option is fine.

Bipolar illness: With this type of illness the symptoms of psychosis relate more to mood disturbance than to thought disturbance. A person will experience mood elevations (mania) and sometimes depression, which may persist or fluctuate in intensity. When psychotic symptoms arise, they often reflect the person’s mood. For example, people who are depressed may hear voices that put them down. People who are experiencing an elevated mood may believe they are special and are capable of doing amazing things.

(That last belief used to give me courage, before I knew it was a delusion. I thought it balanced out the darkest depression, no matter how brief the bright times were. Fuck you long time, medical science.)

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Mine frequently have no connection to my mood at all. For the past few days, I’ve found myself muttering ‘don’t talk to the sea, don’t talk to the sea,’ while walking the dogs. And my mind does its own thing and talks to the sea anyway and I wonder to myself if I’ll end up as one of those wild haired and eyed old women who walk along, muttering and grumbling, lonely as fuck and fending off humanity regardless. Children will dare each other to approach me, then scream and run away. Note to self: procure walking stick to shake angrily at merry children.

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So there’s that kicking my ass from time to time and the ever present looming rain cloud of depression. I’m pretty skilled at being depressed, but I’m heading into the abyss. I can feel it, but I can’t stop it. Psychosis uses up my brain for the day and I end up sleeping too much, there’s no way of fighting sleep then and believe me I have tried. I haul myself out of the abyss enough to walk the dogs most days and some days that’s all I manage. I feel so fucking desolate, it’s like an incredibly heavy weight pushing me down. Everything proactive I do helps, but none of it helps enough. I don’t dwell on the putative causes, because this isn’t situational, it’s good old fashioned bipolar melancholic depression. I’m not a suicide risk at all; I don’t want to live, but this is not the time to die. Distraction works, when I can get my head around it and that’s a sure sign that I haven’t hit rock bottom. Despair though, why the fuck is there always so much of it?

I’m not doing well.

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Published by

blahpolar

battlescarred, bright, bewildered, bent, blue & bipolar

63 thoughts on “psychosis and the kitchen sink”

  1. :( Sad to hear you’re there. Sadder still to think modern medicine has taken any feelings of being special from you. I do not – CAN not believe that this 3 dimensional, carbon based reality is all that there is. If that condemns me to insanity and psychosis, well then, so be it.

    We’re small little things in the grand scheme. And I mean the GRAND scheme, which includes all matter in the universe. That doesn’t mean we don’t have purpose, or that we’re not special. One small pebble, well timed and placed, can change the course of a mighty river. Don’t let them take that away from you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey beep 7o9, tyvm for that extremely thoughtful comment. I think the special and purpose stuff is, for me, not so much the bipolar ‘robbing’ me now, as the fact that I’ve had 45 years terrorised by something I didn’t understand and something I thought stemmed from trauma and personality flaws. I raised it with my shrink once – depression made sense to me, but because I didn’t understand mania, some very serious catastrophes happened. I know there’s no point looking back and mostly I manage not to, bit sometimes a huge black wave of grief for it hits me hard. And my shrink said, “don’t you feel better now that you know it wasn’t you, it was the disorder?” I don’t. Not even slightly.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wouldn’t feel better either. That’s akin to telling a person who’s been suffering a fever that golly gee willacker, we’ve found the cause – malaria. Now doesn’t it make you feel better to know all your suffering was caused not by you but by malaria? Silly!

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      2. Yeah, having a disorder doesn’t erase the guilt of hurting the people around you. Nor does it dissolve that creeping terror when you realize that your sense of reality is not the same as those of the people around you. Makes me wonder what else is a hallucination that I haven’t realized it yet. I personally have taken the out look of “so what?” Yes, I hallucinate. But they don’t cause me harm nor cause harm to others. So, why does it matter that I hear shit that you don’t? Honestly, it is sometimes nice to listen to the voice in my head. At least he makes sense! Keep taking it as a daily battle. Remember that nothing lasts forever. No matter how bad it is now, it will pass like all things do.

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  2. Ok yes psychosis is scary and yes I can see why the scrambling for the meds. I still don’t see the advantage of them though, you are feeling al this and still you’re taking all those “anti”s.
    I can’t help but think that people and yourself can do a lot that maybe meds are doing. Some big changes that may seem impossible and so precluded to begin with are more possible than we think. For example, a great remedy against psychosis is someone in the house with you whom you trust and you can go back to and ask: can you see these tiny little bugs too? (like I did yesterday). Why are you so adamant that you need to be single?
    I know these are all questions you may not wish to answer, they are mostly my own thoughts out loud.
    Thinking of you.
    Let me know when next you have a trip to England planned x

    Oh and please tell me this actually happens: “Children will dare each other to approach me, then scream and run away.” :D

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m pro meds because they ward off a lot of the brain damage (I was told I’d be non functional within 10yrs otherwise) and because they do make a difference. Sad thing is how freaking demented I can be when unmedicated. I kinda got all the being on and off meds out of the way while diagnosed with depression and c-ptsd and anxiety and whatever else anyone could think of during the long road to a correct diagnosis. And I’ve done a tedious amount of reading of academic research on the subject too. I haven’t always been alone and there have been (and still are) times when the company is good at times when it’s been awful. I need a lot of solitude anyway. And I also need to live quietly right now, I’m too fucked for much else.

      No trips planned, but if I do make it back at some stage, I’m definitely coming to visit the house formerly sort of known as Rhino Hall. I love Derbyshire so damn much.

      I’ll let you know as soon as children start the screaming thing, I’m cultivating wild hair and a wart on the end of my nose to speed up the process.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Oh I also wanted to say that I don’t just rely on the meds, I do my best to get regular sleep and exercise, eat right, have social contact etc, stuff like that is part of the ole remission toolkit too. Such fun *rolls eyes*

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Damnit I hit send too quickly. Basically all I can manage is to walk the dogs at the moment as well – if I’m lucky, I mostly do it for them as there’s too much wishy washy stuff going on in mind to even enjoy scenery. It never ends

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  3. I wish we could enjoy tea on the porch together with our doggies playing. *Sits quietly and enjoys the view*

    I’m all over the place myself-sleeping a lot, feeling the tugs of melancholy on the outskirts. Some days I wonder if the meds are working enough…then I keep myself busy for 4-6 hours at a time cleaning, cleaning, cleaning to stay out of the abyss. To say I’m emotionally miserable is an understatement. No amount of CBT or DBT, mindfulness or willfulness will keep the thoughts at bay or quiet. Ebb and flow like the tide, mania, depression, mania, depression.
    I want to seek solitude away from here…and be with people who GET it. Love you, Dear King Butch <3

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    1. I wish you could clean my house… er, I mean pop round for tea. I don’t think therapy is even supposed to keep the thoughts at bay? Oh wait, they’re supposed to train the thoughts to behave nicely so that we spend more time thinking of cupcakes and less time staring down the barrel of a howling abyss. Thanks for the lovely comment.

      Liked by 2 people

              1. A few things sprang to mind while reading this, just when you thought the thread was dead:
                1) This thread is hilarious, says my brain. But my muted affect wants to know what a full fat non lesbian infested lowercase chocolate is and why you would order that. What if I want a full-fat lesbian infested lower case chocolate, or upper case CHOCOLATE? Who’s a straight guy gotta lick to get a few of those? Does that make me a full fat non lesbian infested lower case white chocolate hot double cafe breve?
                2) I’d be happy to come clean your house, but don’t tell anyone I do windows or I’ll double my liquor-by-osculation payment requirement. And if we stay on the caffeine mode, I like my kahlua kissed with vodka, thank you very much.
                3) Maybe our dragons can swoop down like alien ufos, kidnap a couple of cows from an unsuspecting beef farmer, and toast those up for us for dinner?
                4) You’re welcome to come over and visit any time. Stay a while. But be prepared to deal with scowls of jealous rage from Mrs Mumple, My Mum, and the kids. I find that if you occupy them with humor, chocolates, and those electronic abominations and then remind them of their homework, the kids will eye roll and leave you alone. And Mrs. M loves a good critical conversation, I’ll just let myself out when that starts.

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  4. I sacrificed a possum or two yesterday (‘cos goats are too cute) to work up the dish washing energy. I wasn’t feeling it til I noticed my kid eating her dry cereal off a plate and she told me there were no clean bowls. I felt shitty for that until it occurred to me, two months ago, I had like thirty cereal bowls so where the fuck did they go? Probably where unmatched socks go.

    I’m still in anhedonia land. Doctor doesn’t seem concerned at all. “You have your downs, you’ll come back up.” Fucking sage. Until I come up, this makes month 11 of feeling joyless and “I am not gonna harm myself but if a bus were to come at me, I wonder if I’d jump out of the way.”

    I said that to him and he didn’t even blink. Can’t believe he gets $150 bucks for fifteen minutes to ignore me and write off a script. Useless.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What the fuck is the solution for people like us? Sooner or later we’ll run out of goats and possums and we’ll still be sitting staring at the sink wondering if there’s ever any hope for us at all. I think it was Douglas Adams who said there’s a rip in the space time continuum, where mismatched socks and ballpoint pens go. They’re probably converting your bowls into Jacuzzis there. Your shrink is an asshole. Truly.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ve ben there too many times to count, I hope you feel better soon. I am however glad to know that I’m not the only one who hears the people walking upstairs when there is no upstairs. I tried to figure that one out for a long time…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks lots for the comments and kindness, and not that I’d wish it on either, I’m glad I’m not alone with the footsteps thing either. I spose if we were fuckwits we’d assume it was ghosts.

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      1. I was sure that the sounds were animals on the roof, but no one else could hear them, and thought I was crazy. We even went out to look for these animals, but none were found. Then I made the connection with other psychosis I’ve had…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I knew the footsteps weren’t real, but the radio in my head caused some walks too. Perhaps the dramatic episodes I have are easier to handle than the mundane ones, because at least I know for sure the dramatic ones aren’t real.

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  6. You are amazing even when you feel like shit! I learn so much from your posts. I’m just so incredibly sorry that you have to deal with this at all. Virtual huge hugs, and positive thoughts being sent your way. G-uno

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I read the incredibly kind comments on this post and my eyes keep leaking a little bit. Don’t tell the dyke police. But seriously – thank you, I have loads of respect for you and your comment there means a lot to me. Blah-zero (snigger) (1st one today)

      Liked by 2 people

  7. The worst aspect of my own psychotic experiences is that they happened before I knew I harboured this family tendency to the manic depressive. I believed them, shared them and made a fool of myself. Even after the fact, once I was treated and dealing with the one apparently most bizarre idea (gender) which was NOT psychosis, others wanted to hold onto the magic of my visionary moments as I called them.

    Diagnosis was a loss of magic in the world.

    And that kitchen sink-o-meter? You do have a very small sink, so it probably serves to keep you more grounded than you imagine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t feel too bad about having shared you delusions, I can remember standing on a desk at my (Fortune 50) company preaching my delusions to anyone in the office that would listen. My career sort of went downhill after that… :-)

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Diagnosis was a loss of magic in the world. «««« keep that line, it’s a a good as the heart one in your mail the other day. Diagnosis killed your magic and it killed my dreams (let’s make an impenetrably existential grainy black and white film, set solely on rainy streets).love the line about my sink and apropos of that, here is a song you won’t like.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m so sorry that you’re having this terrible time. There needs to be a rescue medication for depression like there is for anxiety. Something to dispel the dark and let in a little bit of light. I’m thinking of you and hope that you feel a little better soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sorry you’re going through this. If it helps any I’ve been stuck in a major depression for about 6 months. It’s getting worse. I force myself to do my jewelry but today I couldn’t even do that. I counted how many different meds I’ve been on and it came to 16 with 1 round of shock therapy. After all of that I still suffer. Why? If I was a man and impotent the drug companies would have a 1,000 different fast acting medications. Like you, I think of suicide but won’t do it. My father talked to me today about getting life insurance. I told him I didn’t care what they did with me. They can put me in “Potter’s Field” where they bury the homeless. He said it doesn’t work that way he would have to pay. Nice conversation to start my day. But he’s worried. I constantly mutter to myself because no one else listens. It’s a habit I find myself doing everywhere. Plus I don’t stutter when I mutter. Lol A rhyme. Feel better. I know easier said than done. I’m binge watching TV shows. Ray Donovan right now. Only thing that’s helping even a little bit. Sorry you know I ramble.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hopefully you know that I really appreciate the rambling, that’s exactly what my posts are anyway. Potter’s Field is a rather romantic thought actually – or it would be if I said it anyway. I’d be all oohhhhh woe I mean nothing, toss me on the scrap heap. 16 meds…. Ow…. I had a sudden visual thought of a brain taking viagra and then roaring and waving little fists about. My supply of binge TV downloads has dried up, but some friends are giving me more in Sept, so there’ll be months of viewing distraction again.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It gets irritating fast, doesn’t it? And BORING, zomg. I’m glad to be able to relate too (although you probably hear cooler music than I do, because I’m middle aged).

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Sorry you aren’t doing well. I hear music almost all the time and it is driving me crazy and everyone else since I keep asking can you hear that, can you hear that?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Screw this depression. It should go screw itself. ….
    Wait a minute….do I want us to screw it or for it to have its own solo pleasure?

    Oh crap. No I just wanted to make you smile a little…..but wait…you can’t laugh at a stupid joke…..that would mean you had an emotion other than depression or mania…..and by the way, how the hell is “mania” an emotion?

    If we have two emotions then what emotion is mania? Maybe it is the emotion of my wanting to kick the ass of the blogger who said I only have two emotions……

    See…Oh emotions…let me count thy ways….., annoyed, frustrated, offended, sad, passionate and righteous indignation, and joy and appreciation of venting to my friend. All simultaneously.

    So I am thinking my emotional pallet may supercede hers since she goes between one emotion at a time……
    Oh and hers are based on external things like people and situations ! Imagine that…mine are never affected by what is going on….Duh!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sorry my annoyance about that girl’s post you blogged about seems to have spilled over to here. Lol
    Damn those bipolar emotions. I wish I were just an empath with control over my emotions. Mine have nothing to do with what people say or do…the bipolar disorder just designates them.

    Liked by 1 person

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