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Trying to Find Peace With My New Bipolar With Psychosis Diagnosis

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I became aware of my bipolar disorder with mood-incongruent psychosis diagnoses only weeks ago, but the effects of its symptoms have been affecting me for far longer than I would like to admit.

• What is Bipolar disorder?

Bipolar 1 with mood-incongruent psychosis causes unrealistic mood swings and disturbances in reality testing, making me question my surroundings. I am often overwhelmed with the feeling that the movements of life are not actually occurring, that the experiences I’m living are not real. I endure sensations, touches and voices that are only a creation of my mind, not reality.

I am tricked by my own mind into experiencing a world no one else can see, a foggy and confusing place that makes me feel trapped — inches away from reality, but unable to fully live it. In addition to having a fragmented reality, I am met with a roller coaster of emotions and mood swings.

Teetering on the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

When manic, sleeping becomes my enemy and is unnecessary. I can feel anything, create anything and do anything with just a little inspiration. The world around me becomes my playground and my life is thrown into roller coaster of energy, causing me to live with such excitement and feel with such an intensity. I begin to believe I will never again understand the hardships of my lows. 

Until that part of my cycle begins to run the end of its course and my body can no longer handle the magnitude of these overly lively emotions. The ones that had once brought me up so high but now cause such anxiety that I pray to be carried back down.

My wish will soon come true, and I am quickly lifted from my toppling tower, slammed into the rubble below and gripped with the awful symptoms of my depression. I become lost in the mountains of sadness and rivers of guilt. My bones play paralysis and convince me I can no longer enter the world the way it is — a dark and dreary place of endless heart-shattering activities and feelings. My life shrinks with my hopes of success, and I soon find myself wondering when these ups and downs will ever end.

My brain has chosen a path I never intended it to — one I cannot stop, cannot change and cannot reverse, only manage.

This knowledge floods me with uncertainty, even with the support I have been so lovingly blanketed with. I so frequently find myself afraid of what those around me may think of my progressing symptoms, if they will continue to love me and support me the way they have. I wonder if I will drive them away with behaviors I cannot help — ones I want to stop and wish I could.

I try to regain control of my emotions, molding them into something they are not, in the attempt to convince myself this is not the person I am.

I am afraid of my treatments: ones filled with antipsychotics and mood-stabilizing medications. Intensive therapies have filled my life, leaving me with the feeling I will never be able to do this on my own. Although in my heart I understand I am in need of these practices, they come will a hefty emotional price — a price hard to pay for a young adult.

My medications bring on sickness. Ripping through my body, I must ingest them for a moderate duration of time before they are helpful, but those weeks can be far too rough. The continuation of them is the hardest, however; the motivation to take them quickly diminishes, causing frequent pauses in my use of them. I want to believe I am not in need of such drugs, that I will be able to be successful without them, but in the end I must admit I need them and once again begin the process of starting my medication.

I have battled a long and hard journey with my mental illness — one I wish I would not have experienced. It has given me many hardships, caused heartaches I will never forget and downfalls that sometimes feel a little too hard to admit. With that said, it has also blessed me with great personal insight.

Bipolar 1 with mood-incongruent psychosis is my most recent diagnoses, but it is the most accurate and likely my last. I know, with time, I will begin to accept what I am going through. I will learn from it and grow past the fears and roadblocks it throws up at me, but for now, I will continue to trudge through the symptoms and behaviors I am riddled with. One day, I will find peace with myself and my symptoms. I hope you can too.

Photo by Ana Toma on Unsplash

Originally published: November 24, 2018
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