Let’s just start with a disclaimer, do not try this at home as not sleeping is extremely dangerous and I would not recommend it to anyone - friend or foe.
I never intended not to sleep for a week, but as I later found out have Bipolar Disorder.
In simplistic terms, Bipolar is known for its extreme mood swings that can range from really dark low depressive episodes to manic highs. Both phases come with their own sets of debilitating symptoms, but for each individual who lives with Bipolar their experience will be completely different.
I know that for me, I never experienced any depression. For almost two years I lived through mania and even my mental health team could not believe at how poorly I had become. Not to mention my family and friends.
Throughout this time period I had a constant decreased need for sleep and was spending obscene amounts of money online. Every day numbers of parcels would arrive at my door and in the end I could not keep up with the constant stream of returns needed to keep my bank account afloat. That’s without mentioning the fact that my room would just be full of unopened parcels sometimes as I was losing track of what I was ordering as it was mostly crap that I didn’t want or need to put it bluntly.
So I’ve mentioned the decreased need for sleep that came with the mania I experienced in these two years leading up-to this week of complete insanity, and insomnia I can live with or I have learned to live with you might say, but not sleeping a wink is a total different kettle of fish.
About a week before the last time I got hospitalised (for the fourth time in eighteen months) I stopped sleeping altogether. I stopped eating too, not intentionally - I just wasn’t hungry.
I was already really poorly by this point, but this just was the tip of the iceberg and I simply deteriorated from there on out. I started hallucinating so vividly in the brightest of colours. My psychosis ran worsened day by day sometimes hour by hour. I was living in cuckoo land and despite my crazy, absurd hallucinations everything still seemed so real to me at the time. I can see now that I was living in the madness.
At first I felt in total control. I thought it was part of my mission and that my hallucinations were part of a new feature or something, a bit like a spy. But most importantly, I thought I could manage it. But no one can manage psychosis without backup. Without outside help, and that usually includes lots of sleep, good food, medication and an outside environment. That was what I needed at the time because my psychosis was within the four walls of my house and so I needed to escape that environment. It has gotten to the point on the night before I was sectioned where I was seeing messages in the sky and the bricks of my house were closing in on me. It was amazing and terrifying at the same time.
I can see why people who live with Bipolar don’t want to seek treatment as mania is totally euphoric but the thing is it impacts on every aspect of your life. I lost my job and my home because of this stuff and have lost many friends along the way due to lack of understanding. Now I am well I have got many things back but there are certain things I don’t want back because if people don’t want me at my worst then they don’t deserve me at mr best, and it’s as simple as that.
My parents could see I was unwell and they were already on it and were calling for reinforcements but it’s not always as simple as that with the NHS, because truth be told I had been crying out for help in a certain sort of way for a lot longer before it had come to this.
I could see holograms and orbs for days in the hospital even though I had been medicated, which just shows the power of sleep deprivation and what it can do to brain and thought.
I understand why my hallucinations were there as I don’t think they are totally random. I think mine come from deep within my brain, like TV shows I had watched and recent news pieces I had read and just general thoughts and fears
I had. That’s what I mean, imagine all of what’s inside your brain totally spluttered out into hallucinations and verbal diahharea and that’s what I went through for two years. And then the sleep deprivation just exacerbated that tenfold.
I’m hoping that by talking about what I went through that this could help just one person. To me now this is just a memory and one that I hope I will never have to go through again as I am still recovering from it now. But with the right medication and treatment then I should be well on my way. #Bipolar #BipolarDisorder #Sleep #SleepDeprivation #order #Anxiety #MentalHealth