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Manic Depressive Illness- What it’s like to be Manic and Paranoid

Posted May 02 2011 5:22pm

*Warning: The following contains graphic content* This post is part of my “What it’s like to be Manic-Depressive” series. For me, mania is far worse then depression. Yes, the darkness of depression can be very painful, leaving me debilitated, isolated and trapped within my own mind. However, mania causes me to act reckless- putting myself and those around me in danger. I have experienced numerous manic episodes over the last 5 years and each time I have one, it becomes harder to control.

About two years ago I was working as a labor organizer. Life was good- I had a stable job, I was no longer seeing a therapist and I had a close group of friends. Unfortunately, I was nearing a horrible mental breakdown. There were signs, but I decided to ignore them. At the time I thought it was just fatigue brought on by a lack of sleep (I was working the graveyard shift- 10:30 pm – 7 am and it was negatively impacting my sleeping pattern as well as my grip on reality) but I was wrong. I was about to experience my first major manic/paranoid episode.

It was the middle of the week and I was out of weed. I called up a close friend of mine (we were both labor organizers for the same union. I will call him C) and asked him if I could swing by his place and smoke with him. He agreed and about twenty minutes later I was sitting in his living room, watching college football. As I sat there on his worn-out couch, my mind began to race. My heart rate increased, my palms were sweaty and dark thoughts began to consume my mind.

Paranoia had taken over: What the fuck is going on? I came here to smoke, but all we are doing is watching football. Where the fuck is the weed, I need to smoke so I can stop my brain from racing. Oh fuck, I know this feeling, the other labor organizers are coming aren’t they. This is some type of intervention, I just know it. I better get the fuck out of here because I don’t need help their help. Fuck them all!!!

Well I was right it was an intervention. The other labor organizers (my superiors) slowly arrived and I sat there in silence (another note, I had been ignoring my superiors for well over a week, refusing to take their calls or return their texts). One by one they told me how much they cared about my progress and well-being and that they were worried I was going down a “bad” path. It was harsh. I didn’t want to hear what they had to say, so I got up and left. I was so paranoid and so manic that I had completely lost grip on reality. I started screaming at them, telling them to go fuck themselves and that if they followed me I would kill them. I walked outside and my mind just went crazy.

Those bastards only care about themselves. They fucked up my afternoon. All I wanted to do was get high, not listen to their endless bullshit. And if they do come after me I will kill them. I don’t care anymore, I just want this shit to end. 

I ran to my car, unlocked it and pulled out a baseball bat. My boss had followed me outside and I started to scream at her- telling her that if she got any closer I would bash her head in….I don’t remember much after that point. I blacked out. One minute I was screaming at my boss and the next minute I was sitting in my car at the US-Mexico border. I had no clue how I had gotten there, but I was shaken. My paranoia had taken over and I was worried that I had caused irreparable damage.

Luckily, nothing happened.

I spent the next few weeks trying to repair the damage I had caused. It took me awhile, but I convinced the other organizers I was fine. Instead of seeking out psychiatric help, I went to my family doctor and told her I was depressed. She prescribed Zoloft and I made myself believe everything was fine.

Again I was wrong.

Over the next year I developed a pain killer addiction and encountered numerous manic and depressive episodes that drove me deeper into insanity. Instead of seeking help, I continued to self-medicate and ignore my mental problems…

That is all for today. Unfortunately this post has brought up a lot of memories I have been trying to ignore. I hope you are all doing well,

Dave.

Ps. I am working on responding to all of your comments, so please bear with me. I have fallen behind the last few days.


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