BIPOLAR PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITALIZATION EXPERIENCES

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IN SEARCH OF A BETTER TOMORROW

Mental Illness Recovery Story,  Chapter 17

Bipolar Psychiatric Hospitalization Experiences

Since my manic depression got diagnosed in 1998, I have been hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital a total of approximately six times. I had also been in the emergency room several times having minor issues with my manic depression or OCD.

In Hillsdale, I remember going in the emergency room for a few hours due to an anxiety attack and some mania. While in a room waiting for the doctor to come in, I saw two cops, each having gun on their side belt; this intensified my anxiety problems. The next thing I know, both cops were holding me down as a nurse injected a needle in my hip, which sedated me. A few hours later, under control, the hospital called my cousin, who picked me up and took me to his house, where I slept. He then drove me back to the hospital so I could get my car and go home.

During an extended hospital visit, an old lady who was schizophrenic was wearing just a nightgown. She went in my room while I was trying to sleep and gave a chant (of what I don’t know) as she pranced back and forth around me and my bed. Hospital staff soon got her out of my room and I went to sleep.

When I was in a crisis home (due to bipolar mania), I was very upset that I had to miss the endings of the 2004 ALCS between the Yankees and Red Sox – the year that Red Sox made history as they became the only baseball team to come back from an 0-3 deficit – all because of a 10 pm bed curfew. What made things worse, is that I am huge Red Sox fan.

In Feb of 2013, I got hospitalized for a week due to my OCD / scrupulosity getting out of control. What triggered this was the enormous fear bad things were going to happen to me because I had been masturbating. At the time, being a member of a Southern Baptist Church, which emphasized “fire and brimstone” judgments to sin, I had religious OCD fears of “God going to kill me for masturbating”.(Scrupulosity involves having obsessions of “experiencing God’s wrath and judgment for sins that are either minor or not a sin at all”..)

The scene that got me hospitalized for this problems, was when I saw two cops in cop cars, next to each other, talking. Being so cared “God was going to kill me”, I panicked as I repeatedly honking my horn at them as I drove to the vehicles. I screamed out “I have been masturbating and God is going to kill me. Please help me!” The two police officers, in fear of me hurting myself, immediately got an ambulance to escort me to the psychiatric area of Allegiance Healthy hospital. Admitted against my will, I stayed there for an entire week. The doctor changed my medicine and I have felt great since.

While being in a psychiatric hospital, I always hated the freedom restrictions and enormous time spent doing nothing but thinking and hoping to get better, so you can get out of there. Not being allowed to leave the floor or go outside. However, as I spent time around others who also have problems, I began to appreciate my situation better, and become very empathetic to others’ needs. I think God gave me my illness to make me feel the pain of myself and others, so I can overcome and become an inspiration to my world.

Habitually, I try to encourage and inspire people I am around. Many times I pray for words to say, and discernment to whom I should talk to. Just a simple: “How are you doing?” or “Is everything going good for you?”, can brighten a person’s day. If you care and exhort those who are hurting, I believe it can a have great impact in their lives.

Similar to Patch Adams, I also like to use humor to lift the spirits of the emotionally saddened. I also hope to be a living example of a joyful, overcomer of a mental illness, which has happened, thanks to God.

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