Relate to my suffering with bipolar disorder? (The Brilliant Madness)

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Offline Alan McDougall

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"Please note that what I am about to describe in the following paragraphs, is not the mild sometimes, beneficial hypo-mania of high performing persons of history who also had this disorder its mild form."

This mild form of mania also exists/existed in a large number of great and creative persons. It was in these remarkable people that had the huge energy of mild mania one saw in people like, Winston Churchill, Ludwig Van Beethoven, William Blake, Napoleon Bonaparte, Charles Dickens, T.S. Eliot, Robert Frost, Sigmund Freud, Ernest Hemingway, Abraham Lincoln, Jack London, Robert Cowell, Michelangelo, Mozart, Isaac Newton, Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, Vincent Van Gogh, King David, and King Saul.

What is absolute nothingness? Is infinity possible? Why do we exist? 

I tried in vain to understand the impossible to understand impossible concepts, such as infinity and eternity?

My finite mind tried to arrive at by precise and finite means the explanation for all inscrutable mysteries of the universe as well as, the enigma of evil, the enigma that there is no such thing as nothingness?, what is time?, what is life?, what is the of purpose of life?, what is energy?, is evolution true?, what is gravity?

On, on, and on day and night, without rest trapped in a cycle of questions, only coming up with unacceptable answers, which forced me to repeat the whole cycle again and again. A never ending unsettling uncontrollable flood of disturbing thoughts that gave me no rest, day and night.

To reiterate, the first symptom of mania is the lifting of depression one feel so very wonderful, I stopped all medication, privately without the knowledge of  my wife.

Once I reached the higher level of mania, where I no longer had any control over myself. I went into long altered states of consciousness, sometimes for weeks at a time, before some normality returned.

Energy became  boundless with no need for sleep or rest I  was absolutely without fear or inhibitions, stopped sleeping, develop extreme, sublime, exalted grandiosity, ecstasy, joy, wonder, delight, rapture bliss, elation, bliss, euphoria, hallucinates constantly and has bright eye-lid visions, stops, eating  and etc.

Who would ever want to give up a beautiful state of mind like this?

Everything was so much brighter, more intense, each colors are more beautiful, smell much more acute, food tastes wonderful, sleep is not necessary, endless imagery from constant reading. I wrote constantly filling up both sides of the pages of notepad books on everything that flooded my mind.

Everything became vivid and bright so glorious, beautiful colors of flowers grass, trees, sky, stars; everything is now observed and recorded in the minutest detail.

Reflecting back, I know now if I had continued in this extreme state of an extremely high state of mania, I would have gone out in a blaze of glory, burned, blinked out, and died. 

While like this I was absolutely abnormal and dangerous to both myself and those around me. "yes"

In my mind I thought I knew everything, did not need or advice from anyone, anytime and that I was the very essence of the transcendent and magnificent being of light.

It then progressed to constant non-stop rapid uncontrollable thinking, laughter, and increased sense of humor non stop talking. Everything became even more acute, in this advanced phase of mania.

While I perceived myself as very sane, extremely intelligent and in full control of myself, because I was omniscient, but in reality I had become increasingly delusional, started to hallucinate, hear sweet voiced and beautiful visions of other worlds realms, dimensions other, universes, and heaven. I saw colours that did not exist in our world. 

My eyes darted back and forth, back and forth, become red, and inflamed and terrifying to look into. I was in another reality beyond space and time where I existed outside time for which a blink of the eye equals eternity in our mortal reality.

One moment I would be in a state of extreme elation and the next belligerent, annoyed, hostile, aggressive and even violent.

I was hysterical rage and anger until I felt as if my brain would explode.

I know now that I was also unhinged mentally because of constant media reporting of rape, murder, killings, just prior to the South African democratic elections of 1994, that I had followed on TV while still in a manic state.  (South Africa just avoided what might have been one of the worst civil wars in human history mainly due to the forging attitude of that great man Nelson Mandela?).

Was I dangerous then? Yes! Very dangerous both to myself and others who crossed my path and if I had remained in this state much longer, I could have killed some innocent bystander or myself.

I could stop these horribly frightening unwelcome inputs from flooding my brain. Sleep continued to elude me.

I found everything said or any event around me extremely funny, no matter how sad it was in reality.

One of the doctors said to someone that “I was in the throes of severe vitamin withdrawal” I found this comment hysterically funny and us and burst into loud laughter.

The doctor corrected me by saying “I did not say vitamin withdrawal” I said amphetamine withdrawal.”

I was so fearless that I said the doctor could inject me with any drug he wanted to, even cyanide and I would not react, as I was omniscient.

They subsequently gave me five or six injections of some concoctions (anti-psychotic), in order to calm me down.

I started to speak to myself and had visions. I tried looking outward into infinity/ eternity/ nothingness and retracted my mind in alarm, in an effort to prevent myself from going completely psychotic.

Were there still options left for me?. Who could help me now? Where was I to go from this terrible place?

That is the battleground of my mind. I believe I came out of this hideous madness by going to my creator calling out to God to help me, and he lifted me out again into his light with infinite power and love.

I jerked awake from the coma, I saw a glorious beautiful translucent light of many colors, light now dispelled the darkness of me brain. Hope eternal returns to me my misery turns to quiet peace. I felt final victory of goodness could be at hand.

I looked out into creation and saw a view from the very highest of mountains. I looked out, saw there was no horizon, and attempted to look at and understand infinity.

The plain I saw went on forever and forever with no end. I tried to comprehend infinity and immediately started to retract, from this paradox of the incomprehensible.

I realized that it was futile to try to unravel the inscrutable.    When I got back home I noticed that I had become very creative writing papers on poetry, physics, history, philosophy, science, astronomy, cosmology, relativity and biblical interpretation. Unique thoughts out nowhere and not found in literature just came to me out of the blue as revelation which I then documented onto my computer.

Was this the last of the episodes? No! Nevertheless, up to the time of writing this article I have never experienced another episode remotely as severe as that detailed above.
I often hear that every event in our lives serves a purpose, has a reason that and everything it we come out learning from them somehow. Did I become wiser better person?

In my opinion I perceive what has happened to me as purposeless and needless suffering , which if it had never occurred, I might have succeeded much more in my job,  and had a much closer and loving relationship with my daughters and wife, that those of the bleak barren years that were stolen from me!

Maybe in the next life, if there is one, the reason, if there is one, will finally be revealed to me.

Anyone going through a similar experience is most welcome to contact me on the addresses listed below, I will do my utmost to help them in anyway I can.

You know this just might be the purpose I had to endure the suffering of the most severe type of manic/depression, so that I might be of some help and comfort to others in a similar dilemma, knowing no matter how dark things seem to be there is always hope.

My wife and kids, had never seen me or anyone else in this frightening state of extreme hyper- manic/mania and did not understand what was going on with me. (However she knew for certain it was not an act)

She had absolutely no idea how to cope with this new very frightening situation. I think she might have thought in the early stage of mania, which I was kidding or putting on an act deliberately, but when my very odd behavior did not let up and got more and more outrageous by the day.

She knew that there was something very seriously wrong with me and that I needed urgent medical intervention.

Looking back I am feel positive that I could have avoided the illness becoming so bad, , without drugs, especially the very addictive tranquilizers that had really messed me up.

All my previous life I had coped with stress and anxiety by blowing off steam by physical activity, such as a bodybuilder, enabled me to sweat off stress over the years. I have always been a highly strung person and exercise was always the method that helped me cope with life.

My mistake was going to see the wrong psychiatrist, who put me of these tranquilizers, which messed up my psyche.

These last  have, indeed, been very happy; during this time at my present home I finally began to come out of the smog of manic depression stopped all the addictive tranquilizers even if it killed me in my process. This proved so difficult that it took months to free myself completely from these extremely addictive drugs, even causing me to go into convulsions and be hospitalized.

I have been asked the below question a number of times!

Is being a manic depressive ill equivalent to true psychoses? Yes only during an extreme episode which are always temporary.

I can answer this question with some authority. As a long sufferer of manic depression I am most certainly not insane and the use of the term is a bad negation of very ill people.

Real psychoses is simply beyond description in the pain, fear and helplessness it brings to the sufferer (and family of course).

If it were not for modern medication I would not have survived.

I am balanced now!

Alan Grant McDougall (South Africa)

« Last Edit: 28/05/2016 20:56:20 by Alan McDougall »
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