Usually, I know when to go into the hospital. I’m drowning in tears which shoot off my face into tissue. I see things. I hear things. I’m extremely suicidal. Despair isn’t a word that even comes close to describing the state of mind that I find myself in.
So, what if you can feel it coming? You have the insight ahead of time. The suicidal thoughts have started to trickle in, personal hygiene is not happening, and irritability toward loved ones is starting to show outwardly. I say outwardly because I’m usually pretty good at hiding this symptom until it becomes too much to bear.
I’m currently tolerating normal activities like eating, sleeping, and going to work but when these fall off too, hospitalization will be eminent. The key is to ward off what seems inevitable by keeping track of symptoms and reporting them to my psychiatrist. A medication change may be exactly what is needed to control the mood episode and restore stability.
And what do the experts say? Dr. Wes Burgess, in his book The Bipolar Handbook, states that if you are wondering if you need the hospital it is probably a good indication it is time to go. The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance share a list of signs on their website that include hallucinations, delusions, suicidal thoughts, thinking/talking too fast, too depressed to get out of bed, substance abuse, haven’t eaten or slept in days, have tried outpatient therapy and it didn’t help, and/or need to make a change in treatment under the supervision of a doctor. All smart answers. I haven’t seen obsessive thoughts listed but that is another sign that sort of falls under delusions.
What’s your take on the issue of inpatient hospitalization for mental disorders? Do you know when it’s time to go?
Mud cakes the bottom of my jeans after
walking over myself in dark woods.
I trip on crisp leaves covering rocks.
My pretty mind explodes in tears not
because I am hurt but I am half.
I don’t shower or change clothes.
I eat cereal for supper and brush my
teeth with toast.
All control is lost and I demand
Jesus carry me. He is crushed I
don’t remember his name, Christ.
A few more conversations and
suddenly, I’m crazy.