A Guest Blog by Ricky
Bipolar testimony! Part 1
As a young man of 17 years of age I had certain experiences that were difficult to manage! I had constant suicidal ideations and was prone to try and act these out when intoxicated with alcohol! I always felt very low but I just assumed this is the way life was and that everyone felt as I did!
Sometimes though for short periods I would get strong feelings that I would be someone special and become a rockstar or perhaps I might even be god himself! This was accompanied by high energy, racing thoughts and low appetite as far as I can remember all those years ago!
I also remember at this time I had strong social anxieties and that you could hardly look at me or I would blush!
So that was basically my life as a young man and I wanted to runaway from myself and planned to go to USA ?? to busk and live my life!
My parents knew this was a most foolish idea and persuaded me to join the army instead which I did!
I threw myself into military life and became quite a good soldier only to find myself taking a manic episode in the army having racing thoughts, writing multiple poems, irritability, delusions I was god, disobedience which led to me planning my escape from the army which I did making my way home from Cyprus where I served to my home land busking on the streets of Belfast for a living and having my first religious experience which was to go on to lead me into hyper religiosity!
Bipolar testimony! part 2
So I’m AWOL from the army and I have plenty of time on my hands which led me to meet all types of people! Hare Krishna’s, Mormons, Jehovah witnesses, born again Christians, Pentecostals, all different types of Protestants groups which began me on a journey of jumping from group to group each time believing I had the full truth! With one particular group, 7th day Adventist, I had the delusion I was some kind of Martin Luther and I nailed a note to their notice Board showing all their errors along with their keys and i left the church only to go on a cycle of joining different religious groups again!
Life was hard but I hadn’t the faintest idea I was ill and it was only when 2 traumatic events happened in my family that it tipped me over the edge and my irritability was displayed more visibly through extreme rage of smashing things and eventually self harm!
Not only did I go from church to church but I also went from job to job until my major crash in 2008 seen me medically retired and was the beginning of seeing if I could possibly be suffering with bipolar!
Bipolar testimony! part 3
2008, that’s 18 years later from my first major depression and hypomania that the possibility I was bipolar came up!
My Doctor took one look at me and said your not bipolar, I can tell by looking at someone? Really I thought! It was the drs who put me on anti depressants and this drove my mania wild at the time though I didn’t know it was mania nor did I know what was happening to me!
I attended a psychiatrist for assessment and one put me down as possible bipolar while a few months after this another Psychiatrist put me down as definitely bipolar only to be overruled by her consultant and what happened next was about 4 more years of hell, wrong medication and a misdiagnoses of borderline personality disorder.
Thankfully I met a lovely man who was a consultant psychiatrist who befriended me for years and invested a lot in me! While I was attending self harm groups it was he who influenced the Doctor at the self harm team to see if I had bipolar!
After a short meeting I was moved from self harm to the recovery team and it was there I eventually got my diagnosis of bipolar disorder!
It took a while to find the right medication and for me to trust the doctors but I eventually did and I would say from my major crisis at work in 2008 until now 2018 I am only beginning to see some sort of recovery!
Action mental health- an educational support group for people with mental health problems, a good support worker and nurse,a psychiatrist, a work placement at the recovery college and strong family and friends support have been key to my recovery! I can’t thank these people enough for standing by me even at my worst of times!
This is my bipolar journey!
This is the real me!
Can you see me ?