The Thing About Being Crazy

When I finished my session with my psychiatrist today, I was stopped in the hallway by a sense of acceptance. I had requested to wane off my medication as I near the end of my two years conscription next month. “Medication?!” you might be exclaiming, my imaginary reader, surprised by the fact that yes, I do have pills to swallow. I also have crazy-talk-with-myself-syndrome and high cholesterol. So if it’s still not clear to you yet, yup, I’m nuts. And I’m okay with that.

In fact, I’m more than okay. I’ve pretty much accepted it as my way of life for over a decade now. It’s how I got through school, family problems, and all the sweet, sweet bullying. Being nuts has done wonders to my growth. And that’s why when my p-doc decided I should stay on my medication to stabilize, I am admittedly, very disappointed. For me, crazy is my normal. Stabilizing and becoming just another ‘normal’ guy… feels wrong.

When I’m writing stories, I like to discuss the plot with my characters. I’ll go and have a little psychotic break, right here in my room and imagine them sitting right beside me, shooting the breeze about what they’d do in their tales. Sometimes, when I’m bored and have nothing else to do, I’d conjure up a random character from my imagination arsenal and have a little chat That’s right, let it sink in. I willingly induce psychotic mania because I GET BORED! That’s how ingrained into my daily life Bipolar has become.

So what happens when I stabilize? Do I lose this daily routine? Do I stop being me? Am I going to be able to continue writing my stories? Bipolar is as its name says. It has its ups and its downs. Question now is whether or not the ups are worth keeping in the face of the downs. Is a future major depressive episode worth risking and facing for all the pros that mania has brought me?

I am well aware that treating the chemical balance within the body is the most guaranteed way of dealing with bipolar disorder, but there are many other factors that contributes to the triggering of it. Environment and personality¬†being the most obvious ones for starters. My worst depression came while under conscription. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. I have always been stress my whole life. I’m tense by nature. I’m conditioned to be tense. The thing is, being locked within a military camp puts unnecessary pressure on my otherwise freedom-centric world view. Wouldn’t it be okay to assume that I will self sustain the moment I am out of army next month?

The same amount of time it takes for my new adjustment of medication to take a noticeable effect is also the same amount of time needed for me to leave the army. Why can’t I try the drug less option first, given that they are both likely to deliver results? See, my problem is my psychiatrist is psychiatrist. I don’t have a therapist. I have a counsellor. But holding no doctorate, his opinions can’t hold up with the medical profession. The proper treatment of a mentally ill patient requires both a psychiatrist and a therapist/counsellor working hand-in-hand, treating both the medical and emotional side of the illness. This is a process lacking not just in my case, but in my entire country as well.

But back on track here, I love being crazy. I see people going nuts about clubbing and their inability to hold thought provoking conversation as something, quite frankly, disturbing to me. I’m afraid that stabilizing means my books will no longer be a gateway between worlds, my games will no longer be an adventure waiting to happen. But then again, going off meds means that I risk having another episode of depression. That’s not fun, and the fact is that most cases of recurring depression gets worst with each breakdown. There’s no guarantee that my next one will be any easier, or even the same level of intensity at all.

Not to mention I have to worry about finding work, and having to decide if it’d be best to further my education within the country or overseas, or not at all. Lots of problems are cropping up. In foresight, I guess if I do have another episode of depression, it’d most likely be from monetary stress. If it’s from that, I don’t have to worry about taking my meds anyway since I won’t be able to afford them. So much to plan, so much to foresee.

I guess I’ll just sleep on it.

Back and forth.

Back and forth.

What I’m trying to say is.

Crazy is my normal.

And it’s not that bad sometimes.

See you all next time.

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3 thoughts on “The Thing About Being Crazy

  1. Hi–I am so grateful for all of your support for our blog. I am so sorry to hear you don’t have the important combination of a therapist and psychiatrist working together. In the US the health care system has gotten increasingly screwed up and it is difficult for people to find this as well. It makes things so much harder. Hang in there. I love your blog.

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    • Hey! Thanks for your kind words. Likewise, thanks for continuing to read my experience. It’s not as thrilling and interesting and Robin’s, but I’ll continue to do my best.

      Psychiatric healthcare in Singapore is pretty backwards. We have cases of doctors sending mild depression cases to our local psychiatric hospital, the Institute of Mental Health (IMH). By local standards, that’s a pretty drastic, life changing step, equaling to an asylum. I got lucky that my counselor was knowledgeable enough to know to not send me there and took the scenic route in treatment.

      I know from others who were hospitalized though, and that the nurses at the wards are known for mistreatment of patients even till today. The doctors often give misdiagnosis and provide extreme treatments like ECG and psychosis medication without consent, even for mild depression or ADHD. I went there once and can still hear the screams. No joke.

      Healthcare, especially regarding mental illness, needs to update itself internationally. Aside from the US and Singapore, many 1st world countries still operates mental healthcare and its associating stigma like it’s the 1950s.

      Like

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