My Mom’s and My Recollection of my First Manic Episode

My Recollection:

Starting at the age of 13, I started getting depressed for no reason for about two weeks at a time.  I saw a psychiatrist and was in a group with other teenagers who were having difficulty.  I was not put on medicine. The appointments with my psychiatrist did not help because I was not depressed about anything in particular.  I would cry for hours at a time, could not do my schoolwork or even simple chores.  It is believed now that after my bout of depression I would have a mini manic episode because I would catch up with my two weeks of school work in two days.

At the age of 17, I was in a play and things were going ok at school.  I suddenly stopped sleeping and not listening to my parents.  I went and stayed with a friend.  My friend called my parents in the middle of the night because I was cleaning his mom’s house in the middle of the night.

My mom tried to get me to sleep by giving me a lot of benadryl and nothing worked. She called my aunt who worked as a nurse on a psychiatric ward to see what my parents should do. I remember being  in the Emergency Room and huddled up into a ball. Then, I was given a shot (haldol) and don’t remember anything else until I woke up in a psychiatric hospital’s icu ward.

I remember taking a lot of showers and being confused about what room was mine. I also remember not being able to keep track of my clothes.  I remember pacing in small area and looking outside the door seeing other patients not in the icu walking around. I remember thinking I wanted to be out there.

Eventually, I was transferred out of there.  I was the youngest person on the whole floor.

My Mom’s Recollection:

She had escalated over several weeks. She had cut her own beautiful hair. She wore two different sneakers and was really bizarre when she particpated in the St. Patrick’s Day parade.  We forbid her to practice anymore at her play practice. She stole the car and went to a friend’s house.  Her friend called because he said I was in the bathtub and said she couldn’t get cleaned.

Her dad and I went to pick her up. We brought her to the ER and had her committed.   When we saw her next, she was coloring and very child-like. She was wearing other people’s clothes.  She thought she was Jesus Christ. It was like she was broken.  She was flying pretty high.

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About Michelle Clark Bipolar Bandit

I am a strong advocate for the mentally ill and have been since I was first approached by a lawyer in a psychiatric facility as a teenager. He wanted me to help him fight how the mentally ill are mistreated. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 17 after a full blown manic episode. Before that, I suffered from debilitating depression for 4 years. My goals are to help others by sharing my story and providing tips to deal with mania and depression. I often write blogs related to advocating for people like myself. I want to encourage, inspire, and educate those with #bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses and also include inspirational #quotes. I founded the group Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses and the page Mental Health Advocates United and have several social media sites that are related to bipolar disorder and/or advocacy. If you are an advocate or would like to be, I hope you join our FB group: Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses
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6 Responses to My Mom’s and My Recollection of my First Manic Episode

  1. MOMG says:

    As a mom going through these same issues with my own daughter, I can acknowledge how difficult it must have been for your mother. It is so hard to understand what is going through your child’s mind during manic episodes Thanks for sharing your story!

  2. Annie says:

    This road is so rough… sometimes I have to remember how luck I’ve been to avoid the hospital (barely at times.) How scary. I can’t remember my first – I’ve always been…. hmmm – maybe I will go write on that.
    Your writing is beautiful. Wonderful Perspective.

  3. missrayz72 says:

    My 17 year old son was just diagnosed BP1 after we took him to the hospital because of his preoccupation with death and the meaning of life. I am terrified and have been crying and not eating for the past week. How am I gonna do this. I feel so weak and so guilty. I dont know whats next. He is refusing medications and is so paranoid. I just want my little boy back.

    • I am sorry you and your son are having such a hard time. Is he out of the hospital already? If not, can you bring him back? You can always go the magistrate’s office and get him involuntarily committed if he is a threat to himself or others. Hang in there! However, he needs to decide to take his meds. You can’t do it for him. He is almost an adult and if he is not going to take responsibility for taking meds and dealing with his illness, then that his choice. It is sad, but true. I hope that he starts doing what he needs to do.

  4. Kate says:

    Great to read the two different perspectives! Made me laugh when I read the part about you cleaning your friends place, I distinctly remember doing that quite a few times in the wee hours of the morning when I was buzzing and everyone else had long fallen asleep. They mostly just used to laugh at me in the morning when they woke up to a still wired me and a pristine house, one friend’s mum was a bit of a hoarder though and I remember her being quite annoyed at me for touching her stuff!!

    • THanks for your encouraging words. I can see why you think it was funny, but the guy’s house I was at did not think it was funny. He was terrified and because of it, I never really saw him again, unfortunately. He was a great friend. We can definitely do better by laughing it off and take advantage of our extra energy in proper ways. I am sure others appreciated you cleaning up the hoarder’s house even if she did not.

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