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Freshly out of the psych ward! OMGOMG

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WARNING: This is gonna be a long story. You might wanna bust out the pillows and the sleeping bag. Or, if you're a mod, you might think that this post is TOO long for the "Just who the hell are you anyway? - Introductions" forum. Sorry, but I guess i havn't lurked hard enough to know all the rules. Move me if you like, I'm cool with it.

Hey guys, I just got outta the loony bin! Don't worry, I didn't bust out, they actually let me! Anyway, I've been lurking around here for a while, as well as on other crazy message boards, and I've elected this one to be my Bipolar One support group, because you guys are special. In the good way. (I actually started out looking for self-mutilation help and support, but this new turn of events really drew me to these boards)

My other support group is for my Interstitial Cystitis. I don't suppose any of you know what that is, but it's this weird thing that hurts your bladder and makes you piss a lot, sometimes with blood. Fun, huh? Now, because I'm too lazy to type it all again, I'll just copy-n-paste the post that I gave my IC group into here. I'll skip the most of the intro at the begining, and some of the stuff that's really IC-specific.

Here it is:

"...I have been in a psych ward. Please allow me to explain my dilema, and perhaps you will have some advice to give me.

About a week ago, I discovered that I had lost the ability to sleep. It wasn't simply nocturia, which involves going to sleep and then waking up to urinate, it was the complete inability to sleep. At about 2 AM, I took sleeping pills with a bottle of wine to get to sleep. This proved ineffective. When the clock hit 6 AM , it was time for me to attend school, so I attempted to counteract the effect of the sleeping pills and alcohol by taking 1000mg of caffeene during a 6-hour period. It was the first day of school, and quite a rough one due to my frequent vomiting, but I returned home relatively safe. The staff at the school assumed that the vomiting was due to my interstitial cystitis pain, which has been the case in the past.

When I returned home, I was certain that I would be able to sleep. I was wrong. When I reached my 41st consecutive hour of sleep deprivation, I contacted the local poision control center to inquire about the caffeene pills. The representative on the phone replied that 1000mg was indeed an overdose, and recommended that I go to the ER immediately.

At the ER, they provided me with a bed and advised me to wait out the effects of the caffeene, since it only had a half-life of about 6-8 hours. I still did not sleep. All the blood tests returned normal. After 48 consecutive hours, the doctors informed me that it would be in my best interest to be admitted into... well, the nut house. My mother was strongly against this, but I actually agreed, for the sake of my safety. Security kindly escorted me to the nearest loony bin.

I still was plauged by insomnia. I talked to the staff, talked to the other patients, answered questions, but was still not even sleepy. The staff of the ward kept me under constant supervision, and they observed that I was not even resting at all. By the time I reached my 62nd consecutive hour, I began to hallucinate, as is the case in nearly all instances of complete sleep deprivation. My legs could no longer support me after nearly three days of being on my feet, and I had to blink constantly to keep my eyes wet. The staff decided that they had to do something before I damaged myself, so they sedated me. I slept then.

The next morning, a psychologist informed me that I suffered from Bipolar One. My mother and my former step-sister were shocked with disbelief. The thought had never occured to any of us that I may have something like Bipolar One. I stayed in the unit for about a week, to allow the staff to monitor me. They put me on two new medications for my Bipolar One. During this time, I requested to have my Elmiron, Urocit-k, and Atarax, since I didn't want my IC to worsen while I was on the funny farm. They sent over someone who worked for my current uro, who gave me all the medications I needed. I was happy for a while. Some of the patients there became my friends, and I'm still a little bit sad that the psych unit doesn't allow patients to share any personal information.

Now I'm at home, and there is a fear gnawing away in the corner of my mind. When I was struggling for a diagnosis, I spent a whole year attempting to convince urologists and pain specialists that I'm not mentally unbalanced. Now, guess what? I AM mentally unbalanced! Some of the statements made by the psycologist that diagnosed me are becoming disturibing. He said that I shouldn't take Percocet or Ultracet anymore, since any opiate or narcotic use can have detrimental effects on my Bipolar One. Well, those types of pain medicines were the only ones that ever relieved my pain! He also said, in a private conversation with my mother, that (paraphrased for meaning): "that whole urinary pain thing" might be "a symptom of Bipolar One", and would "maybe just go away". He said that "pains" were a symptom of Bipolar One. No one at all will ever, ever believe that I have IC now..."

Then there's more stuff that's just kinda boring, like me bitching. Anyway, you guys see the problem here. I guess my worry is just regarding the bipolar in relation with the IC.

Maybe one of my docs will think: if she has bipolar, then why not hypochrondriasis? I've been called a HYPOCHRONDRIAC many times before, and that was before ANYONE KNEW I had bipolar! My biggest fear is that they will ALL call me a hypochrondriac now. I sure do understand that Biopolar One and Interstitial Cystitis are different, but will they? Docs can be stupid, and a lot of them don't believe in IC anyway. I guess it's sorta like fibro. and CFS.

I'm also wondering if I should tell the teachers and the kiddies at my high school. I'm kinda scared that they'll all shit a brick over it, y'know? That would suck. This whole thing kinda sucks. Whale shit on the bottom of the ocean, and all that stuff. I'm trying not to get seriously pissed, because if I do, I'll self-mutilate again. It's been three months since my last time, and I still have big scars on my outer thigh.

Um, yeah, so... any advice or words of encouragement?

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Welcome Lurkie.

Ok, you've got a good enough story to be a board member. ;)

As far as school goes.  Take things easy, no need to paint BP1 on your forehead or introduce yourself with diagnosis first and name second. You are still you and your friends and teachers will still accept you. You don't go walk down the hall saying "Hi, I'm peeing blood today" do you? :)

Your urologist knows that cystitus is real.  He knows you haven't been making it up.  That's why we don't ask Pdocs to work below the collar.  Of course crazy people can make up illnesses, but you aren't one. Just be sure to deal with doctors in a calm and serious manner and you stand a good chance of being taken seriously. Hysterical people are often taken to be....hysterical and not regarded well.

Regarding the pain killlers, take that as a warning. It doesn't mean that you can't take them or that they will cause a manic flip out.  Just that you need to use them judiciously under doc's supervision and be alert for possible side effects.

Again, welcome to the club you'll do fine.  Feel free to post, vent and query.


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hi lurkie,

i think the first thing i want to say is that being diagnosed as having a mental illness is not a bad thing. a correct diagnosis means that they can stop giving you the WRONG meds and start giving you the RIGHT meds. just ask ashleigh! she's been on the med-go-round and the rollercoaster.

i'm not BP, i have major depression (MDD) and have not been put into a psych ward.

so i guess my words of encouragement would be just that getting the correct diagnosis means that hopefully a fair amount of the shit you've been going through can be reduced now through the correct medications. and you can get therapy for it too. you've obviously been through a hellish time of late and it may seem that being told you have mental problems just seems like the last straw. but it isn't.

you have two problems now. one is your IC and the other is your bipolar I. and when you're feeling really shitty, remember that getting that BP I diagnosis doesn't MAKE you bipolar, it helps you to get put on the right treatments.

so i guess you just get half-assed words of encouragement from me. sorry.

but welcome to the boards.


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