My husband and I were just reminiscing about times when we were hospitalized for bipolar episodes in the past – not happy times, to be sure. Things are so much better these days, and I am so cherishing my stability with my bipolar disorder , as it has been years since I had a bipolar episode and needed to be hospitalized.
I don’t have fond memories of those hospitalizations, although I do admit that they were necessary at the time. I know at least during the last episode that I was a handful for my husband, and he really didn’t have a choice, even though he had promised that he wouldn’t ever put me in the hospital again – I had started self-injuring, and didn’t even know it, I was so manic.
Back then I had a problem with my medication, and I had let things go for way too long before doing anything about it. Today I wouldn’t let that happen, and neither would my husband. If he notices anything out of the ordinary, he says something. If it even goes on for two days, much less three days, I’m off to the doctor’s, getting an adjustment in my medication, and avoiding a bipolar episode.
I cherish my stability too much to let things get out of control like they used to. And I never want to go back to the hospital again. I mean, I realize that it was necessary back when, but that doesn’t mean that I want to repeat the experience.
I tell people today that if you need to be hospitalized, like for a medication adjustment or an acute bipolar episode, to go in voluntarily, and that it can be a good thing, but I still think it’s best for only a few days (hopefully that’s all it would take to stabilize). After that, I wonder how effective it really is. And these days, I wonder if insurance would even pay for more than 3 days of inpatient care.
After the initial medication adjustment or episode stabilization, out-patient care (therapy) has been the most beneficial for me. It’s the ongoing long-term care that has helped me the most. Especially right after a bipolar episode. I have needed that extra reinforcement and support, and luckily I have had it, with a good support system and a therapist. Since I’ve moved to FL I haven’t been able to find (or afford) a therapist, and I’ve really missed having one, as the one I had in TN was so good.
The holidays are getting closer, and I’m trying not to do too many things, or to get overly excited, as I know that can lead to a manic episode. I hope you’re taking care of yourself as well.