When my mind’s not busy being depressed, I sometimes have other irrational behaviors. I become hyper-productive, which is kind of a good thing, actually, because it lets me get ahead on classwork. Not just schoolwork, though–in moods like this, I often find myself painting, drawing, or writing. The only bad thing, and I didn’t even notice this, it was pointed out to me by my stepdad, is that I tend to take on a lot of projects at once when I’m like this, and then when I fall back into depression–which inevitably happens, weeks, maybe days later–I abandon them all. It drives the people I know who firmly believe that you should always finish what you start crazy.
And then there’s the bizarre, flash-fire anger, which I discussed in a separate post already.
Then there are the truly erratic behaviors I’ve exhibited in the past. Sometimes I get these feelings that nothing bad could possibly happen, which is totally different from normal paranoid, careful self. A clear illustration of this that I can think of is the time I pulled a 90 degree turn while driving at near-60 miles per hour without braking. Needless to say, I didn’t flip the car, but I could have, easily, especially in a minivan, and the fact that I even pulled a stunt like that bothers me. So much so that no one knows about it other than my sister and cousin (and, of course, other than any reader of this blog.) But what scare me even more are the bouts I’ve had with what I psychiatrist at the hospital informed me are called psychosis.
The definition of psychosis is pretty much any break with reality, whether it be visual hallucinations, audio hallucinations, delusions, etc. The doctor (who kindly answered every question I had) also informed me that there are even tactile delusions, which I am very glad I have never had, because the thought of it creeps me out immensely. What I have had, however, are delusions, and very, very brief voice-hearing. The voices I have heard only twice, once just a senseless, focus-less babble which was a lot like overhearing someone’s conversation from the next room but not focusing on it; the other time was simply a male voice saying, “Yes,” several times. Strange, right? But the delusions were far scarier. Usually they manifest in the form of intense (but thankfully, fairly brief) and irrational paranoia, such as the time I once become truly convinced for no reason at all that everyone I knew was in on a massive plot against me, that for every time they had been nice to me they laughed behind my back, even my parents and closest friends, and the delusion (which I “knew” was true as surely as I knew the sky is blue) brought me to verge of tears. Another time, I had a bag of crickets, which I was about to feed to my pet tarantula, sitting on my floor. I suddenly was seized with the firm conviction that the crickets knew something I didn’t, that they were in on some kind of conspiracy against me. It was so strong and so terrifying that I took the bag of crickets, hid it under my shirt, and ran downstairs and out the door. I put the bag in the trash can outside of my house, but that wasn’t good enough; I had to be certain they would die. So I picked up a cinder block and dropped it in after them. Satisfied, I walked back in the house, and eventually the bizarre thoughts passed, leaving me plenty of time to sit around wondering what the hell I had just done. Something I didn’t mention: it was the middle of summer, at least 98 degrees outside, and I had walked out in bare feet on the black pavement. I didn’t feel the pain on the bottoms of feet until after the delusion had passed, something I find interesting.
The good thing is that my psychotic episodes are not exactly common, at least not as common as my mood changes. That’s something else about myself that I find inexplicable: how I can be utterly depressed one day and happy as a lark the next, with no reason for either my depression or my happiness. I mean, it would be one thing if something had changed in between them, but no, it’s the exact conditions of yesterday, with the only thing different being my state of mind. It’s hard to cope with, and I know that my friends who I am not as close with and so don’t know what I’m going through find me very difficult.
I wish I could explain everything to them and be more open about my mental illness in general, but who wants to be labelled “crazy”?