1.2.2 Episode II

My professional career had begun in a big5 consultancy. After difficult debuts, due to the usual learning curve made unusual by my anxiety disorder, I was doing well and I started to enjoy my job. At the same time, my general practitioner recommended me to a psychiatrist for my ever worrying problems of anxiety. It did not disappear. In view of my pedigree, this competent psychiatrist had doubtless already made the diagnosis of mood disorders. So, as soon as he diagnosed a depression, it turned me into a chemical factory. I was put under lithium and antidepressant. The prescription was so impressive that my family was incredulous and alarmed. Strangely, my shrink did not reveal the diagnosis. He never did. My pdoc is a strange guy. I think he doesn’t like to put a label on people. To me, this depression was not experienced as such. I never complained: it is my loner temperament. I was feeling sick and felt like I was about to puke every seconds. That is my only memory. I underwent neither significant slow motor functioning nor particular sadness. I remained (and still do) skeptical about this depression diagnosis. However, I know it fits the general picture of mood disorder. But, at that time, I doubted. Therefore I stopped all the treatments: the second manic episode punished my lack of consciousness in 1999.

The period preceding my second psychiatric hospital admission had been vague. I was aware that something was not normal but I made no link whatsoever with the events of 1994. According to the psychiatry, I was suffering from anxiety disorder. I had made both a manic and depressive episode. As far as I’m concerned, at that time, I knew nothing. The irony in all this is that I knew vaguely what a manic-depressive psychosis was. Like everybody, I was very afraid of this disease. Like everybody my ignorance was so big that I could not establish a link between the preceding triptych (Depression, mania, Anxiety) and the bipolar disorder. It is not difficult to admit that it is a pity. Had I been fully aware of the disease, I would have been doubtless able to avoid this second episode which was less intense but much more damaging from a social perspective.

The whole mess began with quarrels at work. I antagonized my management regarding stupid issues. It all ended up with insult email and my behavior soon became uncontrollable. My parents had no option but to sign the legal forms that would send me again the nut house. I spent three weeks at the hospital and got fired from my first company. I lost all social connections with the previous world. Funny how such a social collapse can divide the world between before and after. I was a loner, but this event got me even less keen on developing affective ties with people. Everything could be ruined any time. All in all, that was not that bad because I bounced back very fast and found another job.

Paradoxically, I owe this resilience to my solitary temperament. I don’t massively invest in people, emotionally. So when they disappear, they can’t harm me. I don’t allow people to bugger about with my mental system. I have never had many friends which alleviated the consequences of this social collapse. I am not popular. Only my old friends will remain so for ever. For the rest, people come and go. I have difficulty in emotional attachment. I have to acknowledge that the others have much more difficulties to get attached to me. This solitary character saved me and I found the internal resources to begin again an almost identical life. There was a big novelty though: this second manic episode made me fully aware that I would belong from now on to the mentally ills category. If you want to stabilize yourself this is the first step in the right direction.

This time, I had interiorized that something was wrong and that it was necessary to follow the advices of my pdoc. Lithium and Tercian would be, from now on, the last step before I fall in the arms of Morpheus. Their objectives were simple: they must prevent me from returning to the hospital. I have a strong fear of the hospital. Inside these walls you are an animal and you’re treated as such. You can’t decide on what you swallow. Some medications are terrible. The Loxapac is the heavy artillery of the psychiatry. No Geneva Convention protects you. If a psychiatrist wants to restore the peace in his institution, all he has to do is to pump up the drug supply into your system. His decision is a sovereign. No Courts of Appeal. No lawyer. Not seen, not caught. Silence, you’re getting loaded…

All in all, this manic episode taught me nothing new. I had been neither delusional nor psychotic. Only my behavior made me leave the limits of what is socially acceptable. Society says you that you are sick. This is comforting: it was not me; it was the other one, the madman, who acted. I don’t subscribe to this point of view: I’ve always considered that an unchangeable I was acting in all level of moods. I believe that it is a motivation to learn and do the right thing. I perfectly agree with the fact that it is necessary to judge the mentally ills if they can understand the judgment. It is the fear of the hospital and to commit an offence or a crime which makes me seriously take my medication. Even if I have never exercised violence on whomever (except on me re my suicide attempt during my first and more intense episode), I have a responsibility vis-à-vis society. In any case, this the way I see myself: mentally ill, yes, but not irresponsible.

Guns’n’Roses / You could be mine
I’m a cold heartbreaker
Fit ta burn and I’ll rip
your heart in two
An I’ll leave you lyin’ on the bed
I’ll be out the door before ya wake
It’s nuthin’ new ta you
‘Cause I think we’ve seen that movie too
‘Cause you could be mine
But you’re way out of line

Phil Collins / I wish it would rain down
‘Cos I know, I know, I never meant to cause you no pain
And I realize I let you down
But I know in my heart of hearts
I know I’m never gonna hold you again
Now I, Now i know, i wish it would rain down, down on me
Ohh I wish it would rain, rain down on me now
Ohh I wish it would rain down, down on me
Yes I wish it would rain down, rain down over me

Evanescence / Lithium
Lithium – don’t want to lock me up inside
Lithium – don’t want to forget how it feels without
Lithium – I want to stay in love with my sorrow
Oh but God I want to let it go
Come to bed, don’t make me sleep alone
Couldn’t hide the emptiness you let it show
Never wanted it to be so cold
Just didn’t drink enough to say you love me
I can’t hold on to me
Wonder what’s wrong with me
Lithium – don’t want to lock me up inside
Lithium – don’t want to forget how it feels without
Lithium – I want to stay in love with my sorrow aaah…
Don’t want to let it lay me down this time
Drown my will to fly
Here in the darkness I know myself
Can’t break free until I let it go
Let me go
Darling, I forgive you after all
Anything is better than to be alone
And in the end I guess I had to fall
Always find my place among the ashes
I can’t hold on to me
Wonder what’s wrong with me
Lithium – don’t want to lock me up inside
Lithium – don’t want to forget how it feels without
Lithi – ooh ooh ooh, stay in love with mmh
Aaah… Oh God oh let it go.

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