My Delusions and My Husband

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https://psychcentral.com/lib/the-challenges-of-bipolar-disorder-delusions/
originally posted on psychcentral.com

Even when you think you are well recovery can take a turn and bite you in the ass and remind you that bipolar disorder must be thought about first and foremost. Sometimes I forget that I must put my disorder before everything else in my life. I must make sure that I put my bipolar care plan before I do anything else, which means that sometimes I may miss out on other things in my life that I may enjoy doing. It bothers me a lot. I, just like everyone else wants to go about my life as normal as I can be. However, if I don’t pay attention to what time I take my medication, pay attention to what time I go to bed, or how much sleep I get, if I don’t make sure I get some exercise and some sun, I could end up going manic or end up in a deep depression. My care plan is in place to keep me from having an episode and it is there to keep me safe.

I have a fear of being alone. This last two months my husband and I have been fighting an awful lot. We hadn’t done much fighting in the last five years. The problem is me. I have let my delusional thoughts take back over my mind because I have been fighting them so hard in another area of my life. I either need to learn how to control these delusional thoughts all together or I need to rid myself of the situation because my marriage needs to come first.

Delusional Thoughts are Overthinking

Delusional thoughts are basically overthinking. It is where your mind makes up so many thoughts that are so far from the truth about a situation that you start believing the own lies you have made up in your mind. For me, that means that I create problems where they don’t exist in the relationships in my life.

Some of the people in my life know how to shut those thoughts down for me very well and learned how to in a short time period, to do so with ease and I am now frustrated with my husband because he doesn’t have the skill set to be able to do the same for me. Sometimes all I need is to be reminded I am over thinking and that I am thinking too much. Sometimes I need a distraction or a good thought to move me away from the bad thoughts I am currently experiencing. Regardless, I am currently struggling because the thoughts have become so overwhelming.

Delusional thoughts have taken over. Mindfulness is going to take some practice again and I am going to have to remember to not say anything for now, because everything I try to talk to my husband about seems accusatory to him. I know I can’t try to actually discuss anything with him for now about my emotions or feelings on any matter. I am just going to have to let things be for now, and let my thoughts be my thoughts. I will have to take too here and my personal blog to write about what my thoughts are.

Suicidal Thoughts Resurfaced

Sometimes, just getting my thoughts on the screen can make all the difference in the world. It can ease my mind and make it easier to digest. When I am feeling delusional I get suicidal. Which is very difficult for me to handle because I don’t feel suicidal any other time. Only when I am truly manic and going through a true psychosis. Yesterday was the first time in almost 12 years that I begged for death. It was something I haven’t experienced in a long time and a thought that hasn’t crossed my mind for many years but as the delusions got harder to fight the only way I could think to end them was to take my own life. It was the only way out. That is the scariest feeling in the world.

Today looks brighter and I feel stronger and I have more hope today. My delusions have stopped for now. I have mindfulness at the forefront and I am keeping my self-care in mind. Bipolar care recovery is what I do best and rebuilding is what I know. Here is to a fresh start once again.

The Challenge of Bipolar Disorder and Living with Delusions

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Being bipolar can be challenging. For me it’s partly because my mind refuses to shut off. When I’m not doing much and just being around the house, I find myself doing the one thing that makes most people break into anxiety: overthinking. It’s one of the quickest ways to find yourself in depression.

I spend so much time pressing out the thoughts that I have forgotten what an impossible task this is. Ironically, I wind up having to take medication to help my brain press out the thoughts now causing anxiety.

Fortunately for me, normally they work. However, sometimes the thoughts become so overwhelming that no matter how I try to distract myself, I can’t seem to manage to do so. Paranoid delusional thoughts can come at me so rapidly that even when I think I have the whole bipolar delusion thing figured out, I realize that ability goes and comes.

Most of the time my delusions are that people I know and are on my side do not like me. I think people who are trying to help me make things better are against me. I feel that everyone around me is talking badly about me and are having conversations with each other about me and the things they don’t like about me. I think every giggle they make with someone else, and every look they exchange has got me in the center of it. It’s as if I am standing in front of a class in my underwear. Except for me, I am not dreaming — at that moment it’s happening in real time.

Sometimes they get so extreme that I believe my biggest supporter is against me. Sometimes I am able to pinpoint what I have done wrong with my compliance plan for managing my bipolar and figure out quickly how I got off track and started down the path where the delusions began. Other times I struggle so badly that I know that no matter how well I take care of myself the delusions will never be more than a thought away. They, just like breathing, are a part of my life. I don’t get to decide to do it, when to do it, or how often they come. I have been told many times I am a likable person, so why I believe that others dislike me will always be something I don’t understand. My mother-in-law used to say, “Tosha, they have better things to think about than you.” Although though I know that’s right I still cannot make the delusions or the overthinking stop.

I try to keep myself busy throughout the days. I read, study things I find interesting, crochet (but there is a lot of free time for thinking while crocheting), play on Facebook or clean. Sometimes, though, when things are really coming at me fast, the overthinking and delusions won’t stop no matter how hard I try to repress them. When they happen, I tend to create the environment that I was trying to avoid. I will talk about someone, call them a name, because they are out to get me, or so my mind believes. I will make up a reason for my husband to be upset with me or me to be upset with him. I believe he isn’t loving me enough or we aren’t connecting anymore. I think since I have bipolar and my mind is always going that I need the reinforcement continuously.

Now that he and I are nearly 40 and our children are well into their teen years, life is slowing down and because of it, there’s more time to think. I have more time to develop problems that are not really there. I can normally get past them, sometimes convincing myself that I am overreacting. Every once in a while, though, I forget to check myself and the delusions create something out of nothing.

My husband is very forgiving. It might take him a day or so, but he tries to remember I am not always in control of the thoughts that bog down my mind. He tries to reassure me that what I am thinking isn’t happening. At times he has just refused to talk about something because he knows I conjured it up and he won’t fall prey to my mind like I do. I am very thankful for that. He has lived with me for long enough to know when I’m having delusional thoughts.

They can be strong or they can be weak, but I am never truly free from their torment. The biggest battle has been fought, though, which was the battle to know what the delusions were. I didn’t know at one time that the paranoid thoughts I was having had a name, and they were actually part of bipolar disorder. I was both relieved and scared to learn that what was happening to me had a name. Scared because it meant that I truly did have the disorder but relieved because if it had an actual name maybe they had developed something to help me. I was lucky treatment helps me get a handle on what’s happening.

I never wanted to be put on an antipsychotic, never considered what I manifested was psychotic behavior. Long before I figured out that the thoughts were actually delusions, my doctor knew what they were. He never told me they were bipolar delusions and common in the condition. He treated the symptom of the delusions, which, I believe, has more than once saved my life. I worked hard to find the right doctor. I had two other doctors before the one I have now. He listens to me and he doesn’t give me the same medications he gave the patient he saw right before me. He gives me the medicine I need to treat my symptoms. This means I am not taking medicine I might not need. He sees patterns in my behavior and helps me recognize what my mind is doing. I trust I am getting the right care.

When the delusions start, I know what to do. I know now that they will be there no matter what I do. My doctor said when it comes to medication we have it all right. I have to learn to talk about it and learn how to work it out for myself. I can’t depend on the medication to correct everything.

Today, because I felt guilty for overspending, I started to blame myself more than my husband blamed me. In fact, he had let the situation go. Then he talked to me a bit about my thoughts and did not feed into my paranoid thoughts of him being more upset with me than he truly was. Eventually I was able to see what I was doing.

More and more I am able to recognize the fact that I am overthinking a situation, that my mind is not being rational. I am able to warn my husband and let him know by saying, ”I am having a hard time not overthinking things today.” I am lucky enough to have found someone who says he will never understand why I do the things I do, but he will always support me through it. I am a very lucky wife.

So yes, overthinking is a bipolar symptom. I no longer walk around in a solid depression because of what I feel others think of me. I am able to be confident and have good self-esteem. I am able to be a leader and try to help others when they don’t think they can keep going. I don’t let the delusions win. I tell them who I am, and I don’t let them destroy things I have worked hard to create. I am able to remind myself that this is part of the disorder. What I am going through is going to be there sometimes, but I don’t have to let it control me. I make the decisions in my life, my mind doesn’t anymore. I know my mind thinks it is in control most of the time but I always remind it that I, not it, is the one with the ability to stay in control of the delusions.