To appease my psychiatrist, to make her happy, I recently started two meds – Abilify and Prazosin. Abilify is being used for the treatment of depression and bipolar disorder; Prazosin if for my high blood pressure, PTSD and sleep tremors. So far, the side effects I’ve encountered are this: teeth grinding with the Abilify. A few months ago I experienced one frightful moment of syncope which lasted for about 4 to 5 minutes when I was sitting in the Northgate Mall. I’m not sure if the Prazosin I had started around that time was the blame for that one, but according to literature I’ve encountered, it can cause it. Side effects suck. They really do. Makes it seem like taking the pills are a waste of time. I’ll have to seriously think about whether I want to continue them or not, or end up one of the statistics in the chart posted above.
There’s an interviewee in a biography about Jimi Hendrix who claimed that normal people used drugs to get high, but when brother Jimi used them, it just brought him around to normal. So it is with me if I don’t drink to excess.
I was talking to my therapist today and told her my mind races so fast and furiously that focusing is nearly impossible unless I have a drink or two beneath my belt. She didn’t say I’m imagining that but she did indicate that I could benefit from mindfulness therapy. I don’t know about that. I think my problem is I can’t fully explain what my non-focusing mind feels like; you’d really have to journey through my head to understand. I’ve tried in the past to write songs, short stories, novels and screenplays sober, but in the end, just came up with uninteresting, throwaway tripe.
Bipolar, from what I’ve been reading, robs people of the ability to sit still and focus. No wonder I can’t sit through an entire movie without drinking. Sober, I usually pause the flick after 20 minutes or so to do something else, like play a video game or surf the internet. After about an hour, I may get back to the movie…may, but that usually doesn’t happen as I’d simply moved on from one activity to the next till it’s sleep time.
The medications I used to be on (really, I was nothing more than a guinea pig as far as shrinks were concerned) either turned me into a balloon, gave me vertigo, made me constantly gnash my teeth, dried my mouth or made me oversleep. Beer is like a ball and chain on my ankles when I need it to be, like writing fiction or watching a movie. It calms me down and always me to focus on the task at hand. Without it I’m just a man with a kaleidoscope for a mind, a jumbled mass of non-related ideas coursing through my skull, never slowing down, always taking flight. What would a snapshot of my manic mind look like? The picture posted above should give you an idea.
You know, I can’t win. It seems like every time a psychiatrist sees me, their definition of what makes me tick differs from the other docs. To wit:
Creedmore Psychiatrist – diagnosed me with Depression and Autism
45th St Clinic – diagnosed me with Bipolar Disorder
Clinical Psychologist – diagnosed me with Asperger’s Syndrome
CPC Northgate – diagnosed me with PTSD and depression then later changed to PTSD and Bipolar Disorder
DSHS Psychiatrist – diagnosed me with General Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Substance Abuse Disorder and Alcohol Use Disorder
I still believe everyone’s missing BPD, but, oh well. You can’t have ’em all.
My goodness. I can’t get away from myself. I’ve been professionally diagnosed with acute depression, PTSD, Asperger’s Syndrome and Bipolar Disorder. Today, I was reading about Borderline Personality Disorder. It seems to fit me to a ‘T’, probably more so than Bipolar. Yes, I go from severe depression to extreme elation, but according to what I’ve read about BPD, there is also a wanton and reckless component, and a deep feeling I should be punished and locked away from society – both of which I am a master. So I took a few online tests, none of which, I understand, are definitive proof since only a psychiatrist can determine that.
In any case, in some of the quizzes, I score 100% for BPD as opposed to 85% to 88% for Bipolar. Very interesting. At least the medications, Topamax and Lamictal, for both disorders are the same. I currently take Lamictal. So far, it hasn’t stopped me from breaking into buildings under construction and police stations, or walking around naked in public parks and supermarkets, but I suppose there’s always hope.
I also score high on Avoidance Personality Disorder (AvPD) quizzes, but again, I understand only a psychiatrist can determine that.
I can’t sleep unless there’s beer in my gullet. Typically, I’d go to sleep around 9PM, wake up at 11PM, and stare out the windows of the car for hours. When I don’t sleep, or don’t sleep right, my behaviour shows it. I climb over fences, break through windows, steal food from supermarkets, and just create general havoc I end up feeling guilty about later. When I do sleep, I have incredible nightmares that drives me crazy upon waking up. Last night, my nightmare was in two parts, but they were roughly the same things – I was being chased by foxes in the first and cats in the second. Both times, the rabid animals were biting and clawing my hands. Very odd. In the second dream, I kept calling my brother Ronnie to stop the cats. The last time I screamed out his name I woke up because I yelled his name in real life. And so it goes, around and around and around, never ending – a veritable time loop.
Have you ever went to a theatre, paid your $13 for the ticket, $9 for your popcorn, $8 for your drink, then sat in the dark and watched a movie about somebody going mad, and that person up on the screen is you? That’s what my life feels like. I could end this nightmare in two ways – jumping in front of a bus or throwing a brick through a bank’s window and get arrested for attempted burglary. I’d do the latter naked because they’d have to keep me in solitary confinement forever. Sweet.
Here, I will attempt to draw a simile of what living with the trifecta of PTSD, Autism and Bipolar Disorder feels like:
Bipolar – My thoughts are jumbled, all over the place, continually racing. I want to climb naked over a fence to get away from myself.
Autism – I think in extremes and set my mind to accomplishing things no matter how odd they may seem. I actually do climb naked onto that fence, height be damned.
PTSD – That ridiculously high fence I’m climbing, during a freak rain storm no less, just so happens to be wired with 10,000 volts of electricity, but I think, so what? Even better.
I recently wrote a letter to my sister telling her that, me being saddled with PTSD, Autism and Bipolar Disorder, is like waking up one morning to find I’ve been locked alone in a house with a 600 pound gorilla. Decisions, decisions, decisions. Does that 600 pound brute want to play or take me apart? Can he be placated or put on ice some kind of way? What can I feed him? Should I keep running from him, hoping he never catches up to me? I could always burn the house down, but that’s like throwing out the baby with the bath water. Anyway, it is what it is. That’s about the best metaphor I can think about mental illness. My troubles, I would say, is not the trifecta of mental illnesses – that would be schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder and Autism – still, it’s coming pretty close to it. I recently started Lamictal. We’ll see how that does.
I’d spent the weekend, BTW, getting myself together at a Crisis Clinic because I’d locked my car keys in my car, went on a trespassing frenzy, including into a police precinct’s yard, and other things I’m not proud of. I guess I need to get back in control, or else.
A few days ago I started two new meds for a manic episode I had. (Yes, I’m bipolar). People were frowning on the fact that I walked around the streets and parks naked. I can justify that by saying our Digambar monks do it, so why can’t I? Of course, in this society, I could catch an indecent exposure or sexual harassment charge for that, so I told my psychiatrist about it. I also told her I’ve also been climbing the walls and feeling out of control. The meds she put me on were Geodon and Seroquel. I made the mistake of taking two Seroquels on the first day instead of one. I went to bed around 9PM and woke up at 7:30AM. Obviously, two pills were two strong so last night I took just one. It worked fine. As far as the Geodon, I feel a little more balanced, like I’m not going to snap suddenly.
This morning I was sitting in the mall playing a game on this here computer, when out of the blue, I got light-headed and started seeing double. It drove me nuts. No matter how I tried, I couldn’t get my vision realigned. Instinctively, I reached to palpitate my pulse and felt nothing. My blood pressure was so low that the lack of a pulse put me in panic mode. You know what’s the first, and only, thing I thought? That I didn’t have a chance to finish the new book I’m writing. Once I’m done, then yeah, it probably won’t matter so much. But since I’ve already written 212 pages/77,000 words, I might have only two months to go.
The book’s called ‘Murder in Rock & Roll Heaven’. I’m not sure if I’d posted that before; I barely seem to get the time to create new posts these days. The Jain influence in the book is strong, but hopefully, not so strong that it seems like I’m proselytizing, I think this novel has a lot of potential, so chances are, I won’t publish it myself. I’d like to go the way of an established publisher or try to do that Amazon/KDP Select Publishing deal or whatever it’s called. If neither of those pan out I’ll just publish it m’self.