I was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder (and paranoia + off features) nine years ago. I’m lucky I’ve responded pretty well to meds -even if I have to take a lot of them. I forget how sick I really am and tend to attribute episodes with run of the mill shit in life.
While it was a very healthy decision, “normal” people don’t check themselves into their hospitals behavioral health center (aka psych ward). In 2012, after the loss of my Papaw, I spiralled into a terrible mixed episode were making cereal was very complex, my paranoia lead to flee a grocery store because I thought all the customers were following me, and I felt like my obsessive mind was going to force me to hurt myself.
So I committed myself, under my psychiatrist’s care, to a 72 hr observation + medication stabilization period. Aside from desperately missing my husband (who I was free to call any time 9am-9pm and came by nightly during visiting hours 6-8 pm) and my phone, I felt safe. It was a time out. Someone else set the schedule and I knew my brain couldn’t back me into a self harm corner.
They upped my lithium and when my blood level was at a therapeutic level, I felt so much better and confident in going home.
Today when I am having bad episodes, I have to ask myself if I should go to the hospital again. I have to be the one to stand in between my mental illness and my own safety.
Besides, we got to color for occupational therapy!