It was January 21st. I was stable and had been for 10 months. I had to take Prendisone (cortisone) for three days because they wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to have an allergic reaction to the IV contrast agent which would have been injected into me during a CT scan (usual 6-month scan for my melanoma).
The Prendisone immediately sent me to hypomania.
Now, I have to be honest. I had been trying my best to cause hypomania myself for days at that point. I wasn’t thinking clearly, I was obsessively studying for my uni exams and I’d let my sick perfectionism take over completely. I “needed” hypomania to study. But I’m sure it wasn’t all the filter coffee I drank. It was the cortisone. I heard a switch in my mind very clearly after the first two doses.
So long story short, I ended up in A&E on a Sunday morning begging for IV benzos — the “honeymoon” phase had passed and I was in the middle of a dysphoric (hypo)mania crisis. They made some adjustments to my meds, gave me a shit tone of IV delorazepam and sent me home.
That’s when hell started. As February began, my hypomanic episode abruptly transformed into a nasty mixed episode. I heard voices. I had constant, horrific intrusive thoughts. I had anger attacks and hysterical breakdowns and always attacked my parents and brother. I stopped functioning and going to uni and work became impossible. I failed the only exam I managed to sit.
My psychiatrist and I decided an admission was needed. And a crazy waiting game began, because the waiting list never seemed to end.
Finally, I got admitted. It was the same ward that saved my life last year. It was February 22nd. This admission was much longer and much harder. I continuously heard voices who told me to hurt myself. The intrusive thoughts and depression were unbearable. But I got the help I needed, even though it was really hard to convince my psychiatrist that I really needed something to control the voices. Finally they put me on Risperidone and things became easier day after day.
March 7th — one month ago — I was discharged. I was still very depressed, but my psychiatrist decided my situation could be dealt with at home.
Once home, I decided, together with my parents, that I would be trying out one activity a day. Strictly one — couldn’t handle more. It appears to have worked as a strategy and more or less I’m still doing the same — luckily, it’s easier now.
Three months later
One month has passed since discharge day. In the meantime, I went home to Ireland with my mum — it felt like living a dream — and that improved my mental health a lot. I’m still depressed. Days are really up and down and the downs are tough. The voices have left me alone, but now I see horrifying visions of me cutting or killing myself every time I close my eyes. I often just go to bed at 8:30pm just to bring the day to an end. But I’m here. I survived. I’m still surviving. I just think it’s so unfair — three months ago I was stable and so excited to hit the one-year goal.
I want my stability back. I will fight with every ounce of myself for it.