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  1. I have done lots of experiments with that, and frankly I am really pissed off that there is no research being done to parse that out. I have had very, very productive manias where I accomplished amazing things before the psychosis set in. I dont just wake up speaking gobbledygook one day. Mania builds, gradually. You can learn to recognize it. So all Im asking is to go to Level 5 or 7, finish what I started last time i had a Big Idea, and then go to the ER, get a nice little shot of Abilify and sleep for 20 hours and awaken refreshed. Is that so much to ask? Apparently it is, because nobody seems to be giving it much attention. Nevertheless, I have done it. It takes planning and a support person or two. And at least lukewarm approval from your pdoc. You have to have a way in to mania, periodic safety checks, an exit plan, and then a backup exit plan. And a way to get to sleep immediately. There is a wonderful you on the way to mania, but there are other things behind Door No. 3 as well. Shadow people. Paranoias. Ive had several psychotic breaks. Been hospitalized, been arrested, been robbed, gone on walkabout, been unable to shut up. Been unable to stop buying stuff, been unable to eat, been unable to stop eating, been unable to stop screaming for four days, gone galloping through the woods in the dark trying to rescue ponies, then became a pony, only to realize I had to kill my pony self if I ever wanted to get back to my kids. Horrible things. Mania cannot be trusted. If you dont have a strong stick to jam into your own spokes, dont try to trigger it. And never go alone. You need supervision. My son says only superheroes need supervision. Remember that next time you feel 10 feet tall and bulletproof. You need supervision. Or at least a witness who will vouch for you in court.
  2. I need some energy, some motivation, some good manic voodoo. Why cant i have that without losing my damn fool mind.? Hasnt anyone looked at that? Why must I be either lazy and lethargic or 90mph? Im always tired, always fatigued. I need to know how to get my mojo going WITHOUT my kookoo taging along every time. I cant believe nobody has studied this.
  3. No doubt about that...in eight weeks or however long to next med check?
  4. Oh, Ive reported it to everyone on my team. Unfortunately, I just saw my shrink last week, and to HER, of course, I said nothing. Just forgot amid all the earnest dosage discussion. Ill keep asking around. Its mainly other people's experiences like this Im interested. Do you see what I mean by errors? Did I describe it accurately, or even adequately?
  5. I have a radio in my head rather than senseless chatter. Had it since I was a kid. Its volume and clarity goes up and down dependent on my overall wellness, mood etc, but it always sounds likes its a bit muffled like its a cheap little radio playing in the next room or down the hall. The programming includes talk shows, dj monologues and music, sometimes the same song over and over. I thought others had this too, and this is what they ment by having a song stuck in their heads. The verbal stuff is usually hard to make out. Sometimes theyre talking about me, but not always. Everyone seems to think its okay as long as their not talking TO me. But the volume of my radio is absolutely diagnostic of my stabilty. My abilify generally silences it, but even on the abilify, if I get manic, that baby will play.
  6. This crap is happening more frequently, and ive shared a couple examples with friends or therapists, but only one person gets why its disturbing. Maybe I didnt explain it right, over over-explained it, so Im just gonna give these examples, and hopefully itll resonate with someone 1. Rushing to an appt. one morning where I was to meet someone, walk to get a 7/11 coffee, then go back to original location to work on something. About 5 minutes behind, I realize I can make up the 5 minutes if I make a left and go directly to 7/11. But I see a light (not in my path of travel) turn red, and angrily snap, "Well thats just great! So much for THAT plan!" I continue forward to original destination, about a half block up, frustrated that my plan for correcting my tardiness has been foiled. But then logical me gently pointed out then that my short-lived "solution" had been a non-starter anyway, as our plan wasnt going to just proceed as normal without me, and if I had followed the change I made unilaterally, and gone on to 7/11, he would not have been there. All that transpired over about 50 to 60 seconds. Only later does it dawn on my that the changing light had absolutely no bearing on anything that was happening. It simply interrupted my erroneous thinking, wheareas at the time, I thought it had ruined a great solution. 2. I look down a particularly pretty rock in my collection. I think, "Oh thats too good to pass up, Im gonna go ahead and eat that one," as if they were bon-bons I'd been saving, and I ate rocks every day. I go to reach for it with happy anticipation, and suddenly realize I cant eat rocks. I do feel silly, and a wee bit disappointed, but I cheer up, thinking, "That's okay, we can give it to the dog!" 3. Dog again. I go to the store and leave the dog at home. He is a super picky eater, and at one point Im so frustrated by the likelihood that, of these three selections, I'll get the one he hates, so I reach for my phone so I can text him he has to make his own choice. I then realize thats not fair, he cant make a decision without smelling them--he's a dog. A minute later I think, oh yeah, and he cant bloody read, either. Im so embarrassed, I look around to see if anyone saw. The trip is taking too long, Im worried that he's worried, checkout takes forever, and as Im rushing to my car, I curse my thoughtlessness, because I do have three functional phones, for God's sake, and if I'd left him even one, I could at least call so he wouldnt worry. Im halfway home before i realize no, no I couldnt. No text, no talk, no facetime. 4. This one went on for a good 20 minutes: My living environment has deteriorated into utter chaos the last couple years. I cant seem to get a grip. I have an occupational therapist who comes once a week. We are working on my yard, which looks like a white trash disaster. We settled on a plan for specific tasks I was to do and for two days I busted ass. Then it stormed three days solid. When I went back out again, everything looked different. And I thought, "oh, how sweet, Becky must have stopped by and done some stuff!" bcuz it looked like the way she would do things. I thought it was nice of her, but then I started wondering when she did that, as Id been home the whole time. This was very early morning, and I got the notion she had come in the nite, which I thought was kind of intrusive, not to mention she could have scared me, but I then ultimately dismissed that theory thinking, "Now THAT sounds paranoid, plus, she couldnt come at night, she wears glasses!" (Wtf does that have to do with it?) And then I saw some tools sorted into baskets and thought, "How dare she sort my tools, thats so counter to the goal!! And I felt terribly judged and betrayed, BUT, it suddenly brought me to my senses. Becky is kind and helpful, but a consummate professional, very clear on therapeutic boundaries. She would NEVER ...any of it...She. Just. Wouldnt. And my confidence in her is so profound, that I was instantly consoled and able to dismiss the lot of it as bad thinking. But then I angrily wondered who HAD done it. Fortunately, rational me peeped up, and suggested that I question that entire premise, which I did, finally concluding that the changes I perceived were indeed my own work, disrupted by three days torrential rains and wind. I realize there is a comic aspect to a couple of these, like feeding the rock to the dog instead, but they are soundbites of an illogical mind, and except for that rock one, these all occurred during or initiated some stressful moment. These are just examples. I didnt realize they would take so long to write out. Sorry. Does anyone have any input. Im getting upset by them. What if I just up and put a rock in my mouth in front of someone, or worse, fed it to my dog? Not so bloody funny, then.
  7. Umm, unless he's doing some kind of radical, intrusive, experiential therapy, I wouldnt hang this on the psychologist himself. Maybe you're reacting to the stimulating content he's brought up, but under no circumstances whatsoever is a hammer on yourself EVER a part of an appropriate response to feeling or not feeling. I'm responding as a person with a long history of self-harm. I'm sorry you got to the place where you felt you needed that outlet, really. I'm a bit tearful, actually. And I'm glad you're feeling better since, but if hurting yourself was ever a consistent part of your coping tools, you've got to immediately reject it as acceptable or useful, and yes, please discuss it with your doctor. Even if it never was a chronic problem for you, I think you'd agree that there's a line in the sand before going into self-injury. If you crossed it, maybe you're not holding together as much as you think. Which doesn't mean you cant. You may learn some self-assessment or self-management tool TOMORROW that is the be-all, end-all for you, so don't get gloomy. But honestly, hurting yourself is not okay, dear.
  8. I started to answer this question a few days ago, but then backed off, but I see someone else has answered similarly. For me, there can not be subjective assessment, because I will lie to me, and when pressed, I will aggressively defend. So i had to develop a totally objective diagnostic with time-limited, yes-no questions, but which were based on my own unique and familiar mania presentation. It is all about my actions and behavior, predicated on the premise these will be indicative of how my head is behaving, bc while i might try to modify my behavior/actions to disguise a mania from others, i would not, actually could not, premeditatedly alter my overt behaviors just to fool myself later should i happen to throw a pop quiz at me. So it seems like a valid way to assess. And if I hit a certain point score, that's it, game over. I have to immediately take a xanax and abilify and go to bed. I rebel sometimes, but I can usually shame myself into compliance. My assessment questions: A. How many 24-hour periods has it been since you last slept at least 5 hours? Score 1 point for each, 0 if well-rested B. Has anyone been harmed? 3 if yes C. Is the radio on? 1 if yes, 0 if no. If well-rested and still hearing the radio, score 2 C. How long since you fed the machine? If within 24 hours, 0, if not, score 1 D. Current meds/meditations? 0 yes, 1 no E. In last 24 hours, have you been on TV, or had a monoconvo lasting more than 10 minutes, OR which drew notice? Score 1 if yes, 0 if no F. Have you engaged in at least one hour's worth of purposeful activity out of the last twelve hours (not counting sleep) score 0 if yes, 1 if no "The radio" refers to the background of music and chatter that i almost always hear if I am experiencing some instability; I've met others who describe it as a soundtrack, but the content of mine is usually unintelligible, as it sounds muffled, as though it were coming from next door or something. It is my oldest consistent symptom. "Been on TV" refers to a habit I have of narrating my life as if it was a reality TV show. This behavior is positively associated with the run up to mania, as is monoconvo, talking to myself AND answering. Like most people, I periodically make comments like, "now look what you did." UNLIKE most people, I sometimes answer defensively, leading to arguments that can go on and on--but only when I am unstable. "Purposeful activity" just means anything that needs to be done. My mania have changed in the last couple years, and become almost completely worthless episodes of sleepless anxiety, in which I wander from room to room sitting down and standing up, afraid to go anywhere, unable to apply myself to any useful activity, and totally unable to relax. One hour out of 12 may seem like a pretty low bar, but it's actually rather a challenge. Actually, maybe this doesn't even really go to your question, because it's more like an intervention assessment, checking to see if I'm already ready to topple off the rails. Hmmm.
  9. YESS! Especially because we should know bettet BEFORE by now, right? I've been through this rodeo so many times, it's hard for it to sneak up on me anymore. I know whats going on. I know where it can lead. And i DO have effective tools for managing it. But I have these alternative facts...because I am so familiar, I take the inexplicable position that no, I'm not cycling, because if i was, i'd know it, so i would acknowledge, admit it, whatever. But thats not it. I'm just misbehaving. I know better, but I have no self control, no will (wont) power, which is a character defect, not a medical condition, and I'm just being stupid and childish, and stop it this instant. To which I usually respond, "Mmmnnnyeahhh...No.I don't think so." So I'm seriously thinking about taking a xanax and surrendering to sleep, but I'm so broke, and I have to fix this now, so...also considering driving down to the Petro on the interstate and panhandling. Crude. And cold. But I'm outta cards...
  10. Thank you so much. And sorry about that. I normally don't draw down on people and open fire like that, but, a) it kinda partly addresses the question, b) its relevant to the purpose of the forum; and c) I am there, right now, this very moment, unmedicated at about 50 hours sleepless, not real bad, but I'm getting too old for this shit, like: I've won, and thus commited to paying for, close to 300 ebay auctions in the last 48 hours. My bank account is already overdrawn, to say nothing of all the packaging and wrapping crap that is everywhere in this little house because I buy rocks and beads and gems and mineral specimens, little, fragile things that have to be kept just so. I had a little shop for a little while, but that was only after I was disabled by illness and madness. I have now nothing, no shop, no money, nothing, but---does anyone else get this? I think some alluded to it---I need to have these supplies ON HAND, ready, when this turbulence manifests finally as my next Big Idea! So yeah...but over 300 items, and still under $500. Not bad, huh? Wayta keep a lid on things, champ. -Last time I became convinced that I had hit on THE THING that was going to be the next big fashion jewelry trend, and I know, I know, I have big ideas. But THIS WAS THE ONE, so I went and bought, after I did the math, about two and a half linear miles of every conceivable cord, ribbon, oh, upholstery trim, curtain tie-backs, baling twine, whatever, because it wasn't pendants or gems or beads, it was ALL ABOUT THE CORD, and that bitch was gonna revolutionize fashion, which I normally give two shits about, but this was it, I HAD IT!! BUT I knew it would be fleeting, I'm not crazy, ya know, do I began researching suitable investment instruments for middle-aged women who make a butt load of fast money accessorizing teenagers with sofa trim. And those bags of trim, cord, notions, etc are everywhere still, along with the rocks and beads, which will be very important to have ready when the faeries next make contact with more instructions, because I am the, or AN, adjutrix to the Faen Empire of the Amercan Northwest. But I can't talk about that in this context, because that shit is real, as in recurrent, consistent, predictable and reliable, and sacred, and I believe it as I am writing this, that...no, not gonna, because it is real. They are. Really. I am so grateful, grateful, grateful, that somehow I never did the sex madness, because (well, nothing that seemed wildly inappropriate, except picking up a guy using only facial gestures, from the passenger seat of the car my weekend date was driving, and the guy was just keeping pace in his vehicle. I got my fella to pull over at a rest area and me and new dude acted like we knew each other, exchanged numbers and hooked up later. Now that was some seriously lower-than-whale-shit doing a dude wrong. Sorry. Really. It wasn't him.) Anyway, thanks for the welcome and the topic...
  11. Well, I wrote this when I was manic as hell and had just days before finally been diagnosed in one of those head-slapping V-8 moments. I basically opened my mouth and recited it from scratch, at tempo and lather, rinse repeat until I felt I knew it well enough to slow down and write it. Headcase Manifesto Let us consider that maybe It's okay for me just to be crazy And give up this quest for balance I'm always working at compliance Always struggling for acceptance As we seek new explanations For my contrary inclinations --It was the drugs, or the abuse Or the violence of my youth Or the injury to my head Or the DNA life dealt me 'Cause we're powerfully compelled To try to make it all make sense Because the suffering is intense And understanding brings relief At least, that is our fond belief So I'm grateful for your guidance And this clear new diagnosis Yes, I have all indications So it's not that I dispute it Or doubt this fresh assessment But as always, the prescription --Not just pills, but new behaviors New skills for me to master-- In my quest for better living And some stabilization. What is sneaking through unnoticed Is the inherent judgment, Which we never even question, --That I must be adjusted-- And even I do not refute this --That I must be adjusted-- Because I leave us all exhausted I'm always the crazy lover Or the brilliant, troubled mother Or the reckless genius daughter 'Cause I loved you like no other Or inspired your awe and wonder As I helped you fight your monsters Even as my own consumed us Yet I thrilled you with such power That you feared me ever after But you wanted to stay near me And begged me just to temper The very fire that drew you in here I am sorry for the burning The destroys as much as warms And I apologize for harms You surely know I've worked at changing To protect you from the strangeness And the automatic chaos That spews forth amid the magic And the tragic hope remains That I might somehow moderate me To the point that you could keep me In my entirety Joyous, whole and free And today, that is my mission So I pray that I'm forgiven And if you must keep your distance And simply love me from afar Or only sidle up for visits As I go about my business I will be grateful that you've come Maybe wear protective gear Because I'm as you find me here I will not defy your labels If you believe them helpful But don't presume they have some meaning They're just street signs on the journey And I'm not searching for a Normal That demands my spirit breaking Or that chemically adjusts me Or requires any faking And if that makes me crazy Then I don't mind that's what I'm making I'm just walking my own path Because all the rest are taken
  12. You know in the list of topics, the one that precedes yours is called "Things you've done while manic" and then right under it there's you: All the things! Made me laugh. More seriously, yes, I can relate. I get completely bogged down in things in mania. I have to open cupboards examine stuff, see if anything has a higher purpose. Pull out boxes of packed things and spread them out so i can see and touch it all. And the worst of it is the drive to acquire more things! But in my head, I don't hold it as such. My kids call this routine "You and your big ideas." It's often triggered by some moment of fond appreciation, as you describe, followed by a Big Idea. Like, look at all these wonderful spices. I'm so fortunate. I should cook more and USE them. I know! I need a spice rack! And it's ON. Funny you used that example, because this actually is true. I was at my daughters house and felt SHE needed a spice rack. You see, all these things represent solutions to problems for me, or else they are under-appreciated junk, and I can relate to that, so I take them in. Someone is throwing THAT out? Oh, no. You'll not go to the dump, litle headboard. Come with me. I see a bright future for you as a... um..spice rack! Because if she needs a spice rack, she'll get a spice rack, but I am frugal aND creative, so we don't have to buy one. I'll MAKE it! Be faster and easier and in the end probably even cheaper, to just buy one, but in the beginning, I'm all about giving new life to some old pieces of wood, or empty vitamin bottles or whatever I see that could scoot in as part of a spice rack. And you just know she's not going to have just the right stuff to build it, so I gotta go to the hardware store. As I'm writing, I have four 8-foot lengths of trim molding leaning over me. Not for her spice rack, these are leftovers from a project that barely got off the ground when the magic drained out if me last time. And they are not all. It sounds like you have a lovely home. I can't anymore. My big ideas explode stuff everywhere. I live in a dangerous hell of my spread out things. But I can't figure out how to organize it all again, because of some cognitive stuff related to a head injury. Or maybe not related. And maybe it a lack of will or self control. I came out of the worst depression of my life a couple months ago, during which I stopped eating, bathing, cleaning up after myself. I was completely avolitional. I don't feel depressed anymore, but I'm still avolitional. Whatever causes it, its hell in here all the same.
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