My Journey from Hopeless
In 2006, I was diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder and Schizo-affective Disorder. At that time I was living alone having completed my college education two years earlier. I was operating my own photo studio which was doing well.
Trouble started when I felt that I couldn’t simply work. I started having delusions and hallucinations while at work or home alone in the evening. Some were very strange images especially when I was taking a photograph with a camera’s flash light on. Therefore the quality of my work started diminishing.
I stared becoming paranoid and would fear anything to deal with the camera. I felt as if it was affecting my life and try to pass a certain message to me which wasn’t very clear, and I needed some sanity. But the more I got delusional, the more scared I became. This went to an extent that I opted to close down the business, despite the facts that it had been running well for the two years. I donated very equipment in the studio to people. Even today, when thinking back about those horrid old memories, I don’t really understand why I did so.
Understanding Symptoms of an Underlying Mental Disorder
For the next few days, I was always indoors in my house. I barely ate nor took a shower. I dreaded the evenings because I barely had any sleep and the little that I had was usually filled with scary nightmares which would often wake me up sweating and yelling. I wasn’t myself anymore. Sometimes in the night when everyone was asleep, I would go outside my apartment and stay out there four hours in watching the moon and the stars as I tried to evade the creepy thoughts and ideas which were filling my mind.
After about a week, I decided enough was enough and went to a hospital. The doctor there missed the diagnosis and concluded that I was suffering from anxiety and stress and needed some rest. I couldn’t see how I would be staying alone at the apartment resting. I pleaded with the doctors who decided to give me some anti-depressants and scheduled an appointment for me. That night, even after taking the antidepressants, the scary images in my head couldn’t go away.
Actually, I started harboring bad intentions of committing suicide just to escape all the hallucinations that I was enduring. I felt really weak and disoriented. I didn’t know what to do. I managed to catch some sleep that night in the early hours of the morning, only for the sleep to be cut shorts by some nasty nightmares which made me feel that there was someone in the room who was trying to kill me. This made me scream hard for my life.
Within a few minutes, security officers had arrived. I didn’t open for them even after knocking, because something in my reasoning told me that I couldn’t trust them. They must have thought that something terrible was happening, because they broke down the door, only to find me naked in the corner of my house crying.
Seeking Help and Support to battle Mental Conditions
When they found fine, they thought that I was pretending and was arrested. Luckily, they called my parent who the next morning bailed me out. I explained to them what was happening to me and they were really shocked that I even had to close down my business. They took me to a psychological rehabilitation center, where I was examined and diagnosed with panic attacks. I was admitted at the center for 3 weeks before I was later discharged and I went to live with my parents.
Yet, the scary images and hallucinations could go away. I still didn’t have much appetite for food and even after taking some sleeping pills, I barely slept. My dad was so concerned about my state that he was with me most of the times. He would stay with me in my room almost all the night because I never wanted to be left alone. During this time, he took me to various mental institutions, but there wasn’t much change.
I still harbored the nasty thoughts of committing suicide and actually attempted to throw myself from the second floor of a building, only to be caught in the attempt. This made my family to transfer me to another center where I was later diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder and Schizo-affective Disorder. I stayed at the center for 2 months as they monitored my behavior.
By the time I was discharged, much had changed and the hallucinations and nasty thought had subsided. I opted to live with my parent for two more years as they helped me cope with my life. It was during this period that I joined mental society which helped me get better knowledge about my conditions and the best ways to mitigate the feeling in me and to go back to sanity again.