January 25, 2013
I'm dating this because I want to be able to look back on it in the future to see if anything has changed for better or for worse. I know there are a lot of you who don't know what's going on with me, or don't quite understand it, but that's why I'm writing this. Sometimes you'll ask yourself, "why did Reitanna say this?" or "why does Reitanna feel so down?" "What happened to Reitanna?" Well, I'm about to tell you in length what is going on. People who read this who have the same thing will understand completely. People with nothing like it will be confused and sort of scared. It's a natural feeling. But after everything, I'm not ashamed to admit that I have Manic Depressive Disorder.
Manic Depression and Bipolar Disorder are the same thing. However, I like to refer to it as Manic Depressive Disorder because a lot of times, people (including me) will use the word "bipolar" as a joke, like when I say, "the weather in Southern California is almost as bipolar as I am." When you say "Manic Depression," both words hit you, and it makes you go, "wait, WHAT?"
It's a very scary thing, and the scariest part is, we can't control it ourselves. It's just like any mental disorder from Down Syndrome and Autism to Borderline Personality Disorder and Schizophrenia. And you know what? All of us who are "retarded" or "psychotic" are misunderstood. And this isn't like some whiny little preteen going, "ermahgerd I'm soooooo misunderstood." No. This is different. We're bullied so far, that those of us with psychological disorders can break and do something horrible, whether it's to them or to ourselves. I'll get into that later.
What exactly is Manic Depression? Well, of course, I'm no doctor, nor have I taken psychology classes. But I know how it feels, and because of that, I can tell you what it's like better than a doctor who doesn't have the disorder can. I was diagnosed when I was twelve, but now that I'm an adult, I can look back and see early symptoms of it. Of course, I was a child, so how could a parent (especially ones like mine) know how to catch it?
Manic Depression is exactly what it sounds like in a nutshell; at some point you're manic, and some point you're depressed. "Oh my god, so what? You're depressed, get over it." This statement comes from the people who understand us the least; the bullies. You could be a person who's never bullied anyone in your entire life, but as soon as you say that to someone with a psychological disorder, you are a bully. Anyway, here's my own personal experiences.
What is "normal?" Well, we all have different definitions. What I consider normal is to have worries, but not dwell on them so much, and to be able to converse with people comfortably, and having the ability to love things and creatures alike. It's to have safe hobbies, a routine, a stable home... but you know what? When I'm unstable, I feel none of these things.
When I go manic, often times it doesn't seem abnormal to people at all. It just looks like I'm extremely happy and bouncy, maybe had too much sugar. But to others, it also appears like childish behavior and gets pretty annoying to some. It's overly euphoric, extremely energetic, and irrationally optimistic. Don't get me wrong, being positive isn't a bad thing, but at this extreme, it is. It causes us to be unrealistic, like... well, for example, I used to feel like I had otherwordly powers. I used to believe I could sense the kindness in someone just by walking passed them. I used to attempt to find if spirits and magic were real. I'd have fantasies that I heald onto like real dreams and goals. Sounds like a child wanting to learn to fly, huh? Well, this childish way of dreaming stayed with me my entire life so far.
There was a point in time when I was nineteen I had the longest manic episode I can remember. For about six months I was so "happy," so energetic, and so positive. I got up easily in the morning to go to beauty school, I laughed and was super productive, and whenever someone was sad, I was like, "why are you so depressing? Be happy all the time!" In fact, my video called "cheer up Thomas" was done during that episode. In a way, it's extremely scary because of how unrealistic my attitude was. But the scariest thing is when you plunge down on the opposite side of the spectrum.
I have a pretty severe case, which means I can go from manic to depressed so fast, you'll be shocked and wonder what on earth you did wrong. Truth is YOU didn't do anything. The smallest thing could happen to trigger it. When it happens, it's the most scary thing I've ever experienced, and probably a very disturbing thing for you to see.
Sometimes it's really subtle, like I'm just having a bad day. I feel down, watch my feet, it's hard to laugh or smile. Sometimes someone can pull me out of it, but most of the time I'll sink even further. If you see me go completely silent and/or stop everything I'm doing and just sit there staring at nothing, you know something's wrong and you know you have to get me to take my medicine. If I don't get my meds, I can have a breakdown. Now, I'm not so sure exactly what happens, but people have told me, Mike being the most recent person who witnesses them, and he says I became a different person. That's when Annatier was born.
So, when I breakdown, I'm like a hysteric child. I rip out my hair, I mutilate myself with my nails, teeth, or anything I can find nearby that could cut the skin, I scream about things in my past, mostly though, "why didn't mommy love me?" or something along those lines. Before Sempai and I became friends again, there was also "I've lost my sister and it's all my fault!" Everything is my fault when I'm depressed, whether it's small or when I panic. I'm not necessarily a danger to others, but I WILL fight if I'm restrained. And I DO have to be restrained. This is why I can't live alone for my own safety; I need to be monitored.
But if I'm not having a breakdown, I give up on EVERYTHING. No motivation, no energy, and constantly crying. I'll stay in bed all day, listening to my thoughts. I don't hear voices, but my thoughts are as good as a different voice. It's constantly telling me what I've done wrong, who's upset me, all the bullies, all the bad situation, and it keeps telling me how worthless I am and that I should kill myself. I can't control them. It's like I can't get a word in edgewise because its talking too fast. Mike experiences this more than anyone, and he tells me not to listen, but sometimes I can't pull away from them. I can't even look at him, like I'm stuck or something.
Another bad thing is that I say mean things to people I don't mean. I'm already a Scorpio, so that doesn't help. I'm a ranter, but if I'm not stable, my rants will be hostile and threatening. I've gotten a lot of rep for being a heartless person this way, but in truth, I don't consider that me the real me. That's "Annatier," whether I'm manic or otherwise.
It'd waste my medication if I took it at night when I go to sleep. But then my thoughts have nowhere to go, no way to get out. So what's the result? 80% of the time I'm asleep and remember my dreams, they're nightmares. I have such startling nightmares, I'll wake up, unable to get back to sleep, I'll cry about them, and I'll dwell on them all day. I'm relieved when I DON'T have nightmares... but when I don't, they're absolutely absurd dreams.
Back to bullies. If you like to pick on people for reasons such as I have explained or similar, you are KILLING that person. Over dramatic? Yea, you'd think that. People who have psychological disorders are VERY prone to suicidal tendancies, especially people with Manic Depression. If you tell us we're worthless or stupid, we'll believe it. And guess what? You could kill them, and you wouldn't even know why. They'd kill themselves because their mind went haywire.
Think of the brain like a machine. It's built to be very complicated and perform many functions. There are wires and gears, and censors that tells it what it needs to do or react to. However, not all machines fuction correctly. Some accidentally are wired incorrectly, or their gears turn in the opposite directions. Maybe some censors are faulty, or don't even work at all. Maybe, just maybe, the defective machine goes into hyperdrive and eventually melts down and destroys itself. That's us. Our brains are wired differently, and we see the world as an evil place, and everyone is evil. All those people are dumb and insignificant compared to us, but at the same time, we're not good enough to accompany them in this world. We don't belong, so we make ourselves go away. We think no one loves us because we focus on those who loath us. We don't think twice about the lives we'll ruin by killing ourselves.
I've tried to kill myself multiple times. Less than some, I'm sure. One of the biggest ones was when I was eighteen. I have a habit of banging my head against a wall when I breakdown, and this time, I tried to hit my temple against the wall, forcefully and repeatedly, hoping to die. However, I woke up. No one knew at the time. I told Sempai later, and just a week ago, I told my grandmother, who I had lived with at the time. But I didn't get away with the action; I may have survived, but I suffer from short term memory loss.
Most of the year of being eighteen, I can't recall, or I think things happened at a completely different time. My memory HAS been getting better, and I can remember things from when I was a young child VIVIDLY, but I have trouble taken in certain amounts of new information. I can't learn songs as fast as I used to, and I can't remember if something I said to someone was in a dream or not. I'll forget what happened in the morning or the day before. Sometimes there are periods of time where actions go blank. Something could happen a week ago, and I'd think it only happened yesterday.
The thing that scared me most was when I was at Sempai's house. I don't remember, but I think I was nineteen. She had a ring tied to the string hanging from her ceiling fan. I said, "that's pretty, where'd you get it?" She looked at me with a sort of shocked look and said, "you gave that to me for my eighteenth birthday." I'm sure she remembers this. But that's when I went, "okay, this is scary. What the fuck did I do to myself?"
My most recent attempt didn't do any damage because Mike stopped me. I was silent, and he was trying to talk to me, and I stood up, grabbed a knife, and he ran in and grabbed my wrists, forcing me to drop it. There have been times when he had to force my medication down my throat, and/or call someone to come watch me until they kicked in. In my right mind, I'm glad he saves me from myself; I don't want to die, I really don't. But when I'm breaking down, everyone is evil because they won't LET me die. They won't let me escape from the pain.
Like I said, I look back and pick out times when I showed early symptoms. The woman who gave birth to me, Erin, also noticed, but wasn't smart enough to figure it out. She'd tell her friends, "she'll go to her room sobbing into hysterics, and five minutes later, she'll be back out here and happy as if nothing ever happened." I remember once I was crying in my room for like a half an hour, and I came out and asked Erin, "can I not be grounded anymore?" She looked confused and said, "I didn't ground you." I also remember waking up in the middle of the night, sobbing, and I knocked on Erin's door. She opened it and I said, "where's my mom?" Again, confused, she told me, "I am your mom."
I used to draw pictures of people I hate in my journal covered in blood and dying. There'd be needles in their eyes, their stomaches cut open, and their lips sewn shut. I don't think anyone ever knew this, and I wish I could find these old journals. I'd like to take a look at my childhood self and analyze her. Maybe there's something in my grandma's attic.
Later, they tried to put me on Prozac. Guess what, that made it worse, as it's known to. So for eight fuckin years, I was terrified of medication, and it did a lot of damage. Finally, when I was twenty, things got so bad, I decided to get medication myself. I saw a psychiatrist that knew what he was doing, and he set me up. I started feeling normal. Eventually, over the next two years, I had dossages increased and medications added. I'm now on one ant-psychotic and two anti-depressants. People say medication isn't the answer. For manic depression, it is, unless you want to harm yourself, and harm everyone who loves you in return. I'd be dead if it wasn't for my meds, and everyday I know what it's like to feel normal.
I take my first dose around 10:00, and my second around 6:00. Now, if I'm sad, it's rare for me to cry. IF I cry, it's silent tears that don't last long, instead of sobbing that could go on for hours. If I'm mad, I can actually take a deep breath and shove it asside. And if I'm happy, I am the nicest, most pleasant person to be around. I don't feel shy or awkward. I feel confident to start a conversation with a complete stranger, unafraid that I'll say something stupid. I can make jokes that are actually FUNNY, and I can make people smile. Of course I'm crazy anyway, so I have fun with friends, but it's controlled and MUCH less childish. It's not so obnoxious and annoying, but something that would make people laugh and want to join in. It tells people, "that girl enjoys her life."
I do enjoy my life. Everything's great! I have a job, I have caring friends who have stood by me despite what I've put them through, I have hobbies that I thoroughly enjoy, and I have confidence on the internet, enought to let most negative comments not bother me. I feel like I can actually finish projects I've started, and instead of quitting and shutting down if I mess up, I fix it. My energy levels are still low, but that may be that I get too much sleep. Still, now that I know what it feels like to feel normal, I don't EVER want to go back.
If you feel like you have the same feelings as me, don't self diagnose yourself. Get help immediately. Go see a psychiatrist to diagnose you. Don't listen to anyone opposed to medication. If you're Manic Depressive, it's crucial you get help, or else you can do serious harm to yourself. Therapy is not for everyone, though, so make that decision based on your feelings. But whether or not you have Manic Depression, if you feel suicidal or self hatred, get help. Don't keep it bottled up, and don't be scared. You only have one life, and you don't want to waste that.
I hope this helped people understand more about what's going on in my head, as well as others who are Bipolar. I'm sort of tempted to make a video while I'm off my meds to see what happens, but I'm scared. I dunno. I'll think about it. But now that you have the knowlege, you can understand those you know and love who have the same thing. And remember, don't EVER pick on someone; you never know what's going on in their head.