How to recover from a very public psychosis.
September 19, 2012 11:04 AM Subscribe
How can I get over periods of psychosis and depression by putting it behind me, gaining some experiences and achievements to make the relapses feel like less of a big deal?or How can I stop thinking about me?
posted by Erred to health & fitness (9 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Please offer some advice to help get my life on track so in a couple of years I can look back and breathe a well earned sigh of relief that this phase in my life has passed, and feel proud that I've moved on achieved a lot.
The last few years haven't gone very smoothly for me to say the least. When i was 17 I became severely depressed, eventually had a complete mental breakdown and was hospitalised just before my 18th birthday. I managed to make a relative recovery and was discharged in time to sit my A levels and scrape into University.
Over the summer I began taking a lot of street drugs as a way of forgetting all the traumatic stuff that had happened (I had previously smoked weed regularly but avoided the harder stuff). I had turned into a bit of an asshole by then and sometimes felt entitled to treat people badly because of what I'd been through. My longtime girlfriend dumped me just before leaving to go to Uni. Some months after that I had an overdose and nearly died, had to move back in with my parents and soon let Uni work slip and eventually dropped out altogether. That aside, I started recovering again and came off the antidepressants and antipsychotics that I was on, under the supervision of my mental health team.
I thought I'd had my last run in with mental illness and things were going well until I had a relapse into psychosis almost exactly 2 years after my first depression started. This time it was different, I wasn't depressed, just stark raving mad, completely erratic. I went from manic highs to dysphoric fits of terror and was sectioned, discharged, hospitalised again, discharged and then sectioned yet again right before my 20th birthday. This last time was worse because I broadcast the whole thing on facebook for all to see. I would relentlessly update my status with personal stuff and unload all the shocking workings of my unstable mind on a second by second basis; worse still I was delusional, self-inflated to bursting point, and said some stuff that probably pissed a number of people off. I had some bad reactions to the meds I was on so stopped taking them. The psychosis went away and I was released a final time. (If I'm sectioned again I'm going to be there a long, long time, and the staff on the ward made that very clear).
So, it's over six months since then and I'm off all types of drugs and doing well; I'm exercising, learning to drive and taking some evening classes. I'll probably reapply for University when I'm ready but I'd be really grateful if you could help me use my time productively until then and going forward. My self esteem is understandably low, I feel completely pathetic for posting everything on facebook and feel that a lot of people that saw it look down on me. I hate that they have that over me. I've alienated myself with quite a large group of people my age.
I think the best way to get my confidence back is to throw myself into life and actually do things to be proud of, also I want to be a person that is worthy of other people's respect (a bit needy, I know). I want things going on in my life; goals set and targets reached; projects on the go; various passions and things I care and feel strongly about OUTSIDE OF MY SELF. That's the thing, I'm very inward thinking to the point of self absorption and want to change that. I want to focus on other things and I want to be able to take a genuine interest in other people. Ironically I want to achieve this by embarking on a journey of self improvement. I want to be a better and more well rounded person. This is where you can get creative, what would you recommend I do to get moving in the right direction? Any ideas welcome whether big or small; clubs, hobbies, volunteer programs, music scenes, skills to acquire, trips abroad, NEW THINGS!! your own experiences with recovery or otherwise would be even better. Whatever, it's all good!
In a few years I want to be sat putting the world to rights with some dear friends I respect and admire who feel the same way about me. Not in the same situation I am now, unable to truthfully hold interest in something outside of myself because I'm too down in the dumps and stuck in the past. If I bump into someone who knows about my illness and asks me what I've got going on in my life I don't want to have to reel off all the awesome stuff I've got going on because by that point I won't be so insecure as to feel the need to.
This is very long and broad I know, but it's my first ever post and I felt compelled to reach out here rather than on a mental health website because I really respect this community and think that you're a great bunch of people! Also perspectives from outside mental health might be useful.
HOW ON EARTH TO PUT A SERIOUS MENTAL ILLNESS BEHIND ME?
1. Help me forget myself, in a good way, by being immersed in cool stuff. Or just stop my inward thinking by learning to draw my focus to something else.
2. Any ideas for goals and projects to improve my sense of self worth and confidence; little ones and ambitious ones.
Or is this completely the wrong way to go about it? Any help appreciated.
If it helps I live in London, I'm male, and have a bit of money to fund any of the more adventurous suggestions.