The Diagnosis – Before I go any further, some personal secrets must be brought to light. Both for clarity, and sanity.
Like everyone, I have suffered from my own personal and psychological issues, as is evident from these writings. I was deemed a risk my senior year in high school. I was told by my family to either seek psychological help, or it would be forced upon me. So I opted to seek counseling with a therapist. Due to the severity of my situation I visited a therapist twice a week for two months until a diagnosis was reached and a therapy schedule was created for me. I was diagnosed with severe major depressive disorder and bipolar II disorder. I was taking heavy medications that severely inhibited my mental capacity. Three months in I turned 18 and my biological father’s insurance dropped me, so no more therapy. After 6 months and several medicinal changes I was unsatisfied with how the medication made me feel and stopped taking it.
I became heavily burdened by my depression and my thoughts rapidly turned suicidal by the time I met Julie. Shortly after she broke up with me and began abusing me I acted on my suicidal thoughts. I overdosed on my depression medication that I never got rid of; mouthfuls and mouthfuls of medication I downed whilst writing my death note. Once I became too unwell to write I fell to the floor and began hurling. I puked and puked until I was dry heaving. I kept 3 quarts of water in my room of which I drank and continued to vomit until I was dry heaving once more. The immense pain I felt in my stomach combined with my heavily altered state of mind awoke my primal side and I feared death. I left my room and sought out others in the hallway, confessed I had overdosed and asked for help. Within an hour I was in the ICU being treated.
Whilst my memory feels seamless, it doesn’t match reality. I only recall my moments of clarity, but I was largely unresponsive for 48 hours, in a coma that I awakened from briefly several times. When I was finally able to leave the ICU I couldn’t stand. I was voluntarily admitted to the hospital’s psyche ward in a wheelchair. I spent a week in group isolation, with one hour daily for visitation. That week may as well have been a lifetime. The lack of activities and entertainment left me mind-numbingly bored. Only a few of the people present were cognizant and capable of holding a conversation, but only before they received their pills as everyone seemed to be wildly over-medicated. I was seen by two doctors, and the first one I was warned about and was my first real interaction with the negative side of the medicinal industry.
A part of me will always remember when I first entered that small office to see him. He was somewhat polite yet came off apathetic. Quickly after we started, you could hear someone being admitted whilst he looked over my file that wasn’t very happy to be there. You could hear her scream that they “couldn’t keep us locked up here like dogs”, and that “she wasn’t fucking crazy”. As soon as she said the latter, the doctor stopped and scoffed. He looked up from my file, stared directly at me, and whilst smiling said “Well you’re in here, so maybe you are fucking crazy.”, before going back to reading my file. I’m all for a little humor, but given my circumstance, that’s not something I wanted to hear from someone who was ultimately in charge of determining if I left the psyche ward or not.
Whilst most everyone had something negative to say about this man, other than the really off-putting comment I never had any other issues with him. I don’t know if it was because he knew I was a college student and played it safe, or if it was because I identified ‘the game’ and played it accordingly. But I met him twice and the other doctor once before I received the all clear. I was released with instructions to go to counseling at a nearby clinic, one that happened to be owned by the first doctor (abuse of office no doubt). I went to this counselor once, and in the initial meeting I was deeply unsatisfied with what goals she laid out for me, and with the frequency, or lack thereof, of meetings. I never returned. Instead I spent several days at home, coming to terms with the fact that my family would never look at me the same, and how much my actions could affect others, and the startling ways that people can cope.
Whilst all of this took place I was still recovering from my overdose, my stomach had lost a significant portion of its lining, and I was still in a state of euphoria caused by the medication I overdosed on. As this began to subside I determined that if I truly wanted to get better, only I would be able to help, no medication or therapist was going to convince me to love myself, I had to do that on my own. It was by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done but I either changed or learned to embrace all of the things I didn’t like about myself, and it worked. The suicidal thoughts have never returned, and I’ve been both drug and depressive/manic episode free since.