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Relationship Help after SEVERE MANIC EPISODE

This story is painful & very recent.

I met a girl, we both had a mutual attraction for each other, we met half a dozen times in an art class that I had been taking. At first I thought I was just nervous around her (because my hands were shaky, I think I was having dissociation prior to this, low grade depression, also I had a heightened sense of awareness, my heart was racing, maybe even my mind) Eventually this all manifested in a severe anxiety attack and that's when I decided to see my doctor.

My psychiatrist, prescribed me Wellbutrin for anxiety, but this is where all hell broke loose: my whole world as I have known, crumbled.

This med shot me SKY HIGH, immediately I started talking nonstop (I'm usually reserved) I started to write a "BOOK," started hallucinating - everything became so vivid and colorful, I think I was delusional by that point, because I had never felt euphoria in my entire life (I have always suffered a chronic depression) Naturally, I was like "Damn this feels great! This must be LOVE!" It didn't stop there, that level of high, kept getting higher and higher and higher ... until I lost all sense of reality.

I had this girl's number, I did call in this spell of euphoric grandiosity, instead of getting to know her in the normal sense, it was entirely one sided, I couldn't stop talking. Somehow she must have really liked me, she agreed to go on the date. Except by that point, the euphoria had worn off, I think I must've been suicidal and having multiple panic attacks when we met at the park. I was also freaking out, seeing "shadows" I was crying.. a grown man crying.. what a disaster. The date ended horribly, I had a total mental break down, I lost all boundaries, I might have spewed a lot of negativity. She was very concerned, she tried to help me.

Once I was back to my apt, I got paranoid, locked myself in my room and I stayed there for a couple months writing this "book" -- the whole time I was hallucinating, seeing things crawling on walls, believing in my fortune cookies, that things were happening "for a reason," I made all these connections and associations that boggled my mind.. it was the craziest feeling... my mind was racing. I also felt a ghostly presence in my room and somebody was talking to me and I wrote it all down, I documented it all. I went insane in my room & I have a full record of the incident. I wrote ~1800 pages of craziness.

At the same time, I started texting all sorts of people -- but mainly this girl I had met.. I sent her about ~20,000 words of text in a 3 month period. Somehow she said it was okay to send her these texts??? I kept texting like a madman... Most of it was harmless, I was writing poetic rhymes and such, maybe even professing my love for her? Mostly it was just me talking to myself... the whole conversation is so screwy and I have a record of all of it.. there are literally pages of text... Normally I'd send a 5 word text, or none at all, this was completely out of character! but I believed that I was writing a "book" through the texts...

At some point I kept swinging up and down - literally every hour I was completely unstable, no ground... I felt like a dozen different people. The moods were crazy. (this was my first psychotic episode, and diagnosis with BP I)

This gal did recognize I was having a major problem. She kept repeating "I think you need meds, a mood stabilizer perhaps? A good doctor, therapist?"  she was so nice and caring, except I was so delusional and had no sense of reality.. I completely lost it. I was at the point where I had forgotten who I was, to make matters worse I didn't listen to any of her advice, or any advice from my family and friends who were all very concerned. I thought my doctor was trying to kill me, I didn't trust anybody.

This episode lasted 5 months total... Somehow I stabilized to a degree, just enough that a trusted friend convinced me to go see another doctor. This is after I started having multiple panic attacks, suicidal thoughts, and worse. I don't know how I survived, the lows were horrible. I literally fought off trying to kill myself the entire period.

This is the problem (my gal friend who tried to help me that whole period, she tried to console me) Except, at the end when I thought I finally had a grasp back on reality.. I may have said some stupid inconsiderate thing to her... (I was still delusional and probably irritable) She ended up hating me at the end or probably given up that I'll remain crazy forever. When I tried to explain that the things I had said were not based in reality... that I had been delusional.. and that it all hit like a brick afterwards... I think she was insulted. I was still delusional when I said these things... I did not have any tact or sense of rationality until after I'd been on lamictal for over a month now..

It's so embarrassing... I did fall in love with her, in the completely wrong way! In a completely one sided way. I had to force myself to "fall out of love" because the way in which I fell in love was so blatantly false. I hate manic love, because it's UNREAL but it's REAL, and it hurts just the same... what a disaster. I had to break my own heart and hers in the process, now I feel horrible about the whole ordeal. She hates me now, that or I'm too crazy to be around and has moved on. Damn this episode... I did such stupid things... I wish I had got to know her! This is horrible. I feel terrible now.

The last part of the story: she told me "DON'T TEXT ME! I WILL IGNORE THEM!" I hate bipolar impulsive behavior... should I wait a month or two and email her? I wasn't my self! This *****. Should I try to contact her? After I've recovered? I hate this mental illness, but I guess I finally have an answer for my chronic depression. FINALLY!  
8 Responses
Avatar universal
As a bipolar 1, on no meds, I know the feeling of guilt and shame that comes with acting crazy around people. Mostly, I tend to go off in the mountains, but sometimes, I have done some pretty embarrassing things. My psychotic break was about 18 months ago now. It took a good year to fully recover. I so relate to you saying that you "thought" you were doing better, but were likely still manic or affected by your break or bipolar. I too kept going back to start up my life again, as it was, but couldn't seem to function well for very long. I cussed God, asked my wife to kill me, went to jail, honestly, I don't even remember most of a month. Slowly, memories of what happened are coming back, like dreams I had.

Anyway, how did I deal with those I love and who love me, friends, and neighbors? I focused on getting more stable, found as many forms of support and accountability as I could, and truly worked with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to change my MO and perceptions of myself and the world I live in. The only way I have been able to make my neighbors not fear me, because I do think I scared some people, is to live in stability for awhile and prove through my actions that I am doing better. Nobody blames me for being a maniac, but they seem to have loosened up, as I was not crazy for enough times of talking to them. Now, neighbors share stories of other bipolar friends and how they empathize with me. I just tell them, if I am acting crazy, call my family or ask me to leave, politely.

One thing I struggle with a lot is obsessive thinking. For example, I can totally see myself fixating on that gal you met, sometimes it's the government, sometimes religion or science, but I have had to learn to see when I am acting manic and giving something more value than it deserves. Focusing on healing and balance in myself seems to be the best way for me to have healthy relationships, which has been hard for me all my life. I change all the time, even without a severe episode. My changes make it hard for people to get to know me. Am I an introvert or extrovert? Am I intelligent or ignorant? Am a creative or a drone? The answer is, YES. I can be extremely optimistic or pessimistic, outgoing or withdrawn, my recovery has been me practicing at knowing the state i am in and responding appropriately. I have a plan for mania and depression, those plans are shared with hose who love me, so they know when to tell me to go hide or recognize my state of mind.

I used to only make decisions in a stable state, or as stable a state as I am ever in, and also in mania. Now, I have learned that the mania decision making is likely worse than in depression. I don't make any major plans nor decisions in mania or depression. I use other people to decide if I am in a stable state or not, as I cannot see myself a lot of times. Like right now, I am hypo manic, have been for a few months. I am making sure to get enough rest, even if I can't sleep, I lay there and meditate. I have learned a great deal about myself and seem to be able to not go psychotic, so far. My wife told my daughter last night, "You need to give your dad some space, he is manic and feeling inspired, just let him express it." She also reminded me that I have to eat and rest to maintain this level of energy and inspiration.

So, it sounds like you had an SSRI induced episode of mania. This may not be a bad thing, especially with an entire life of depression. It is important to learn how not to go psychotic though, I hate feeling psychotic, it's so intense. I would avoid Wellbutrin. My doctor said, "No way YOU are taking Wellbutrin, it has been proven to cause mania and potential psychosis in bipolar 1." I think it is very important to learn about any med, before you ever take it. It is also important to get a solid diagnosis, from more than one person, unless you totally trust one doctor. Use some of your mania to educate yourself at crazymeds.us. That is a good web site to learn about all the meds that are prescribed for the mentally interesting.

I would focus on therapy and finding your own balance and coping skills, girls will come, girls will go, but your brain will follow you everywhere you go. As you find inner peace, or at least acceptance, then all the other pieces of life will fall into place. Focusing on a girl as your path to peace or freedom is not likely going to help you nor win the girl.

6726276 tn?1421126668
Dear Manroot. I read your story. I have been almost as manic, but I get put in hospital before I can go out of my mind completely.
  You mentioned Lamictal. Is this helping you?  Usually Pdocs have us on several meds that work together.
Concentrate on art class. Work. If you enjoy writing, write a book you can publish & make some $$ with.
  My Uncle had a funny saying. There's a mop for every bucket. And a butt for every saddle.
  You've probably not found the right bucket for your mop yet. Give this girl a break. She's asked you to leave her alone.
   Do not become a stalker. She'll need to get a restraining order and you'll get into trouble. Consider it done. There's a zillion girls in the world. Join
P o f or some other dating site. They have friend websites too.
  We understand you here. At DBSA you can get involved in a support group.
  I respect your feelings for this girl. Now you need to respect her feelings.
  Maxy
Avatar universal
I feel so bad for you. I don't know how you made it five months like that. I couldn't even make it a week before I freaked out and was dragged to the hospital. Were you taking the wellbutrin the entire time? I'd stay away from antidepressants. They are not good for people like us!

I would move on from the girl you were texting during your situation, even if it may be hard. :o( It sounds like she doesn't want further communication with you. Or maybe she'll want to work things out and contact you. I'd leave things up to her.
Avatar universal
To manroot, weaver and maxy,
I am so sorry you guys have this disorder. I know how terrible it can be. But I am proud of you all for being real and educating me.  I hope and pray your worlds finds peace.
Kat
Avatar universal
Thanks for all the commentary. One good thing about this whole ordeal that I've come to realize is that I've probably been undiagnosed BPII my entire adult life (ie:the last 18 yrs+ felt like a depressive torture cycle to hell and back-- that I had mistaken or accepted as simply being myself because I'd known nothing else for so long, I wasn't ever self aware of the moods as I am now.) On a 0-10 mood scale -- I must've hovered around 3-3.5 (just above the worthless/hopeless stuck to the ground feeling) most of my life, but somehow managed to push through with brief periods of "happiness" ie hypomanias. [email protected] works really well, I feel stable, and confident (this is what it feels like to be "normal?") Damn have I missed out! <-- I swear it improves everything, impulse, obsessive thoughts, focus, concentration, my posture... this list goes on and on. I've never felt this level of hope, never. [No pain no gain?] One downside is that I keep having strangely vivid nightmares/hallucinations that freak me out; sensations that my body is moving or something is touching me - it almost feels like I'm awake when it's happening. Weird stuff. Anyways, it's much better than that episode, that was torture, and I had no sense to get any help. At least now I do have answers, but after the most painful experience of my life!
Avatar universal
I did notify my doctor and quit the Wellbutrin after 3 weeks, but after that.. it just got worse and worse... every time I thought I was stable, it go higher. Then it just spiked nonstop. I don't know why my family just let me "figure it out on my own" If it weren't for this girl I probably would have killed myself. That's why I feel so badly about the end result.
Avatar universal
On the morbid sense of humor side of things .... Welcome to the bi polar 1 club lol. Some hard truths about being in this club are having to deal with consequences of episodes, psychotic breaks , mass mania  whatever you'd like to call em. Cutting your losses after a break is one of the toughest things any of us must deal with.

You've been given some great insights by others and I must agree that further communication with the lady love you spoke of would be a mistake. What you can gain from this experience is knowledge. You now have experienced the ugliest side of bi polar 1 you know what it feels like first hand and you must now focus on learning how to prevent future breaks.

It seems to me from your description that the wellies,  ( Wellbutrin ) put you over the top and as weaver had said stay away from them. My advice would be to stay away from any anti depressants as they all are designed to push you up and as you have now seen what too far up looks like, in my experience it's easier to deal with the downs drug free and medicate to stop or prevent the ups.

More importantly learning what your stress triggers are and being able to acknowledge warning signs of mania and prevent it by seeking proper care and treatment is the best way. It is now always going to be a possibility that you will go psychotic again. The more it happens the more likely it is to happen again and a mood stabilizer by itself will not prevent psychosis from occurring. So take this experience as bad as it has been , the events leading up to your break and try and pin point the stress triggers and factors that pushed you over the edge. Once you've done that you will know what to avoid.

I feel for ya on the crappiness aspect of your whole situation it sux and it hurts. All you can do is learn from it and move forward. Hit me back with any questions or clarification needed. Your not alone and as I said before lol welcome to the club.
Avatar universal
This sounds so like what I went through fall '07 to '11 or so. On and off I destroyed my life irreversibly through texting before I could really live life.

It was uncontrollable, it was untreatable, it was unstoppable, unrepairable. My texts were only harmful to myself. They were rapid and started as some kind of attempt to joke around but exploded and became something I never meant it to be and now I am defined by these out of character psychiatric outpourings by countless of merciless strangers who know nothing about the impact of real mental illness.

I also had serious concussions years before my manic episodes and psychosis, too, and brain injuries, however mild can really change you.
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