Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Depression, Anxiety, Mania and Denial

I am in touch with some people close to me who are experiencing mania, hospitalized and in denial. Also, a dear friend who is experiencing anxiety and depression -- not serious enough to be hospitalized, yet who needed medicine and therapy.

The hospitalized friend is in "denial". I remember sitting in an outpatient program and listening to people who have suffered for many years from bipolar. One guy said if he were manic, he'd never go sign himself into a hospital and his belief was that noone who is manic would ever sign themselves into a hospital. Others in the group who had experiences with episodes of mania and depression agreed. They (people with bipolar who are experiencing a manic episode) would never sign themselves in when experiencing a mania.

Depression - yes, possibly. Mania - never!! They elaborated that - a person who is manic - believes everyone else is wrong and they are right!!

I have felt elated, but not manic ... yet I have had close experiences and years of knowing a man, a close relative and friends with bipolar. I have asked them many questions about the depressions and mania when well. This experience combined with my educational background, and even theatre training as an actress, mime and the use of meditation has sharpened my perceptions, I believe.

I have been so curious about how an individual could be so unaware as to engage in dangerous acts that may be done in the throes of mania-- drive 100 miles per hour on the wrong side of the road -- try to get out of a car traveling at 60 miles per hour on a parkway -- go to Central Park at night to have sex with a stranger -- stay awake for over 24 hours and not sleep or eat -- believe one is the Messiah -- believe one is G-d !! I have seen or heard these bipolar loved ones recount trying to do or do these very acts. I also saw a loved one take a knife and threaten to kill someone! Very frightening!

Once when I was hospitalized, a guy named "Splash" was negotiating with the psychiatrist for me and him to be paid to paint the walls of the hospital with our artwork!! He told me he thought he had clinched the deal!! I was depressed, but knew there was no $$money at all possibly coming in and probably no plan for us to paint the walls. He insisted vehemently that I was wrong!! He wanted me to go into business with him when we got out and gave me his number.

I remember one time when the man I loved was suffering from a delusion of being attacked by demons. He also thought I was evil and accused me of trying to hurt him. I suffered greatly at this time trying to prove I was kind and loved him. He pointed to a CD and told me this woman on it was his True Spiritual Woman, not me! I was devastated! I knew he needed medicine, but I was very frightened; I didn't want to fear him. Yet, when a person is delusional they can harm others. IT is so hard to separate the person you know from their illness.

Conclusion: Emotional highs and lows are imbalances. With an extreme imbalance the body chemistry changes and medication is necessary. I believe this. However, if therapy helps (which I believe it does) and i've learned that "meditation" helps also. Then... it is NOT (in my humble opinion) only "medication" that helps!

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