So, a week ago I started thinking about the psych hospital I usually go to, thoughts that have almost always led to a hospitalization. (Begging the question: Do I intuitively know when it’s time, or are the thoughts a self-fulfilling prophecy?)
Then, on Monday I started having an unusual amount of suicidal thoughts, some bordering on obsession. I noted it and knew I would call my psychiatrist if the thoughts got worse.
The thoughts got worse.
Tuesday morning while working out in the pool I realized how I was obsessing about suicide, had a rather sudden increase in energy and my racing thoughts increased velocity and were becoming more muddled. I feared how the obsessions were part of the muddle and also part of the clarity that occasionally occurred. And with so much energy I might/could follow through impulsively.
And so I called my psychiatrist who, instead of adjusting my meds over the phone as I expected, sent me to the hospital to get an assessment. Which 95% of the time has led to hospitalization.
I felt so defeated. How was I ending up in the hospital after only 3 1/2 months? That time frame was my usual M.O. I thought we had not only started a new chapter, but opened a new book where I lived a life without hospitalizations.
The only difference this time was that I was displaying manic symptoms instead of depression symptoms. All of my hospitalizations in the last 4 years since diagnosis have started with suicidal depression.
Good news! I was only in the hospital 92 hours with only one small tweak in one med. Had strange symptoms of random body movements due to excessive energy (and not working out every day?) and extreme sensitivity to sound. Sound physically hurt! And the unit was crowded because of a high census and there were some people who always have an opinion on everything and need to share it. At great length. Repeatedly.
Bad news! I’ve been out for 7 hours and still feel institutionalized, that feeling of being in an alternate reality with different and very structured rules and expected behaviors. Taking meds is harder in the hospital because the computers mess up what I take and when I take it, making me on high alert the whole time that I’m getting what I need. Then there’s the constant foul language and talk of alcohol and illegal drug use, even though all of it is verboten. And the misogyny among the male patients. Do you want your sisters, daughters, mothers talked about that way???
I’m glad it was a short stay. I’m glad it was one of my easier stays. I’m glad to be back in my regular environments and that I can trust myself in them.
Here’s hoping we can catch any other mood switches faster and change meds without hospital intervention. I thought I was catching it early and calling my doctor quickly. I guess I need to call on the first day of any symptoms. But it seemed like an anomaly. Maybe we don’t know whether it’s an anomaly or a pattern until it’s a bit too late because the tipping point of the mood change moves quickly.