I HAVE just been scanning the internet to find out what on earth is supposed to be wrong with me. What I found out is not very reassuring.
~ It can't be drug-induced psychosis. That is a paranoid-schizophrenia type condition. I do get paranoia but the other stuff I get is way more extreme. I don't have the symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia or drug psychosis
~ I thought there was a condition called "substance-induced mood disorder (bipolar)" but there is not. Substance-induced mood disorder is mania, hypomania (mild mania), depression or a mixed state, all of which I've had in the past 2 months. What doesn't seem to happen in substance-induced mood disorder is that the mood switches poles eg from depressed to manic (as mine did about 3 or 4 weeks ago) and if symptoms last more than a month from last drug use it's generally NOT considered substance-induced
~ Drugs can worsen bipolar disorder (a phenomenon known as kindling) but this doesn't mean they necessarily caused it. Bipolar has a strong genetic component. If you have one parent with type 1* bipolar or recurrent depression, you have up to a 40% chance of getting bipolar i disorder [my mother "can tell by the calendar" when she's going to be depressed and it happens every year. Recurrent clinical depression]
~ Heroin flattened out my moods markedly. That was the first change I noticed in my life: no more mood swings. In fact I had practically no depression in the first 2 or 3 years, so to me heroin was a mood-stabilizer, a mood stabilizer that has now been taken away
~ heroin is not generally associated with drug induced mood disorders; the culprits tend to be crack, speed, ecstasy (uppers); cannabis; psychedelics and benzodiazepine withdrawal
~ at least 50% of people with bipolar disorder abuse drugs and even more abuse drink
~ I have had literally every symptom in the diagnostic criteria for both mania and depression in the last 2 months
~ the hallucinations I had were actually more extreme than is normal. Apparently when most bipolars hear voices they just hear murmuring sounds and can't make out the words, or hear their name. This stuff was going on with me years ago in depression. Now it's clear words, sometimes sentences, and one time a half-hour monologue; I also have seen visions that is I can stare at a blank wall and a movie appears (this only happened a couple of times when I was extremely hyper)
~ I don't have all symptoms at all times. Nobody does. It's impossible to hear voices in the most intense mania as my head is full of just a roaring noise and I make a roaring noise, think a roaring noise and am a roaring noise. This is what happens when you go so incredibly fast you can no longer think
~ Naomi at the drugs clinic who is a dual diagnosis professional thinks I'm bipolar
~ I have the same symptoms and experience as everyone at Nutter Club who is bipolar. But not the schizophrenics. Since I've been coming we've only had bipolar and schizophrenia in the room
~ I have had bipolar symptoms going back 15 years; in the beginning they were mild and transitory (first triggered by antidepressants); over time they have grown more extreme. And now look at me
~ I am not diagnosed bipolar. I just have all the symptoms.
~ And if you want my opinion: when I'm high I think it's fantastic and don't care what it's called; when I'm low the idea of actually being a real life manic depressive is equal to having no life at all
Comment if you like but don't call me a hypochondriac. You haven't seen me, you've only read me. Nobody who sees me doubts I have severe mental problems. I was so out of it one time a couple of weeks or so ago that one of my friends, a 50 year old man, cried
And if you believe I'm being negative, just bear in mind that telling myself I'm sick is the one thread of reality I have left when I lose it and I do lose it. If you think I exaggerate my experience do us both a favour and drop reading this blog. I tell it as it is
Yes I still feel hyper now but have barely any psychosis (yes you can be psychotic and know it: read Kay Redfield Jamison's memoir. She's type 1 bipolar and a clinical psychologist. Knowing the terminology didn't save her from utter madness. It saves nobody)
My situation is not as extreme as it was previously. It's 4:20 I'll do 5 mins in bed but if I don't sleep in that time I'm getting back up. And that's it.
I am not saying I'm bipolar. I'm saying I have all the symptoms. There's still a chance I could somehow get off the hook on this drug-induced thing but nothing I've heard seems to back this possibility up. So this is the situation. I still don't know, but I need to know. I'm fed up of not knowing.
One last thing: yes I think too much. That's another symptom of a manic episode. "Flight of ideas" (racing thoughts).
Night all. I'm doing that 5 mins in bed in a sec. I fully intend not to sleep. (Why waste the time?)
PS I've had ONE drink today a White Ace cyder at 3.75 units alcohol (at 10mls alcohol in a unit).
*type 1 bipolar is more severe than type 2, which involves depression (which may be severe) and mild mania. Type 2 never has psychotic features; type 1 involves full mania and 70% of sufferers become psychotic at some time or other. Hearing voices or seeing visions qualifies as psychosis, whether or not you're also "delusional"
For those who are interested, BipolarAbout.com probably has the best info on the condition.
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