Friday, November 18, 2011

Making Sense of Psychotic Mania

After reading the links I have posted, and based on my own experience, I think psychotic level mania is more than the text book definition of "a loss of contact with (consensus) reality."  For me, it is a combination of things, and I believe it is at once an illness and more than an illness.  While I am not in denial that psychotic mania is symptom of an illness, I believe that it may be a psychological breakthrough at the same time.  Perhaps arriving at a mental or spiritual state, mistakenly, that otherwise might require years of meditating.  What is considered to be a mental breakdown may be a mental breakdown and a mental breakthrough occurring at the same time.  

I think I have shown I am a "seer" when manic, yet not in a clear way.  I believe I have tapped into a spiritual state, absent of ego or self perhaps, and there seems to be an absence of pain and suffering - as if I've reached Nirvana.  Stuff from my subconscious such as long lost values, and a psychological crisis such as a mid-life crisis might come to the forefront.  A grandiose story or mythology plays out.  There seems to be an increase in creativity as I had music composing in my head a few times.  And I am also just plain delusional and somewhat out of self control.

Full blown mania seems to be, in part, an amplification of mental functioning, which is a very desirable state to be in.  The full blown manic state, if it could be triggered in anyone by taking a drug, could be sold for a lot of money.  This heightened state is unfortunately combined with being out of touch with reality, in my experience and opinion, which is the "breakdown" aspect.  I don't intentionally pursue manic episodes because I can't handle the out of touch with reality aspect, and because I am fearful that they might happen increasingly and uncontrollably.  Additionally, it isn't practical for me to ride out and experiment with episodes  unmedicated because of full time job and part time parenting responsibilities.  Also, I am concerned that the depression I have the rest of the time might worsen.

Foreseeing Events
The Wikipedia definition of mania is:  "A state of abnormally elevated or irritable mood, arousal, and/or energy levels."  Notice that there are two types of mania, the elevated and the irritable.  I myself have had only the elevated type.

Wikipedia also shows "madness, frenzy," and "to be mad, to rage, to be furious" as the Greek root of the word mania, which reflects the irritable type of mania.  But according to another  source, (http://www.theosophy-nw.org/theosnw/world/med/me-elo.htm ) mania meant "ardor, rapture, enthusiasm, i.e., being infilled with a god." -- which would represent the more common type of mania, the elevated type.  This other Greek root of the word mania appears to be a sort of "lost" root, perhaps because of post ancient Greek religion, since "being infilled with a god" would be blasphemous.

Also -- there may be something to people with Bipolar Disorder being “seers,” or modern day oracles:
"The idea that the Pythia was in a trance condition may have come from a misunderstanding of how the Greek words mania and pneuma were used in connection with oracles. While today the term mania refers to various forms of hysteria and insanity, to the ancient Greeks it meant ardor, rapture, enthusiasm, i.e., being infilled with a god. The word pneuma was used for "air," "vapor" and, philosophically, for "soul" and "spirit." When the Pythia mounted the tripod she received, according to Strabo, the pneuma, the divine "breath" or afflatus, a word defined as a divine imparting of knowledge and power and of inspiration, meaning in this case the divine wisdom or breath of Apollo."
Because of that connection of the use of the word mania at it's source, it's possible that the ancient Greek pythias had mental illness.  And if they heard the voice of "Apollo," it would be equivalent to "hearing voices."  Although I realize I may be twisting around the alternative meaning of the root of the word mania, it’s also entirely possible I’m not the one doing the twisting.  Also, the definition of the word oracle is telling since "ambiguous or obscure" fits my own experience of forecasting events;  Oracle:  "An utterance, often ambiguous or obscure, given by a priest or priestess at a shrine as the response of a god to an inquiry."  I am not claiming any linkage to a god or gods of course when manic, but equating "being infilled with a god" to "a spiritual experience" seems appropriate when manic.  From the Wikipedia Pythia page; "The scholar Martin Litchfield West writes that the Pythia shows many traits of shamanistic practices...  He cites the Pythia sitting in a cauldron on a tripod, while making her prophecies in an ecstatic trance state, like shamans, and her unintelligible utterings."

In the past, I have woken up before large earthquakes happen, such as the 1994 Northridge earthquake in Los Angeles County when I woke up wide awake, not knowing why, and by the time I was into a glass of orange juice the earthquake struck.  I was also looking for a woman who had Alzheimer’s disease who was lost in the mountains, with the help of my dog, while I was living in a mountain resort town, with permission of the search and rescue coordinator.  I didn’t find her, but the name “Switzerland” came into my mind.  The woman was later found on Switzerland street in the town.  I was not manic when these premonitions occurred.


As I mention in my post on my third manic episode, I may have forecasted the South Korean dictator Kim Jong-il's death, a near collision asteroid, and the use of stealth bombers, which all happened during the same year (2011.)  I also may have forecasted Osama Bin Laden being located in a compound with "high fences" accessible via rappelling (from a helicopter) as well, including the crash of one of the stealth helicopters (although I thought it was a stealth bomber that should be crashed as a sacrificial offering or something.)  If they were forecasts, they were not made in a clear way.  It is possible these things were coincidences, but it seems odd to me to have three in the same manic episode, so I think they were "obscure" forecasts.

How does the seeming psychic ability relate to the less extreme form of mania -- hypomania?  Well those of us with Bipolar Disorder I who consider ourselves to be entrepreneurial types get jealous, speaking my own mind anyways, when we see another category of Bipolar folks -- a category where there seems to be little to no depression and a lot of hypomania -- get all the attention regarding being "ideal" entrepreneurs.  But it's an easy deduction to make -- having Bipolar Disorder seems to equate to being "visionary" and creative no matter the degree of Bipolar.  And those who have a little bit of mania as their usual mood probably don't have to deal with depression as much as those of us who are depressed the large majority of the time, and also as much as those with Bipolar who cycle up and down a lot.  That could easily explain a higher amount of success, since depression obviously cuts into a person's productivity, and (hypo)mania is the opposite of depression, so it increases a person's productivity usually, as well as providing them with vision and creativity.

I personally think any degree of Bipolar would make for a good fit as far as starting a business.  And I think, as usual, Bipolar Disorder is hugely misunderstood in that NY Times article.  Us "loonies" make good entrepreneurs too.  And I think if we had something to be excited about, like starting a business with capital, we'd put in the long hours necessary, and that our mood would elevate because of the excitement.  All we'd need to do is warn some fellow coworkers that if we start to lose it, we should be referred to a hospital.  In my case, I have only been "loony" three weeks in fifteen years.  Stigma is very pervasive, even where you find an open mindedness about being "just manic enough."  Still, I suppose there is some common sense regarding the "ideal entrepreneur" with a special case of Bipolar Disorder, that if they didn't have the worsened memory and possibly worsened cognition that the rest of us that have Bipolar Disorder apparently do, they'd have the betting advantage.
Spiritual Experience
The discrepancy of the root of the word mania might actually help to explain why mania seems to be misunderstood.  If you think mania is simply "madness," then you'd lock up manics and give them anti-psychotic medication.  If you use the "lost" root of mania -- "ardor, rapture, enthusiasm, i.e., being infilled with a god," (as a mental breakthrough) in addition to the "madness" definition, rather than merely use the "elevated" definition, you might treat it like a "spiritual experience," as described in a few of my links.
It wouldn’t be surprising that mania would involve being in a spiritually ecstatic state as the brain is supposed to be, among other things, the “hardware of the soul.”  The brain/soul normally running on eight "cylinders" as opposed to say four with a depressive “mood,” and perhaps sixteen cylinders when fully manic  (I’ve never agreed with the label “mood” disorder, as I think there is a lot more to bipolar states than being in a particular mood.)
Our culture apparently sees just the delusional and somewhat out of control issues, and deals with them by locking the person safely inside of a hospital and treating them with anti psychotic medication -- seeing mania as only a negative event and trying to stamp it out as quickly as possible (treating the mental breakdown but not the mental breakthrough.)  One of the hospitals I was involuntarily committed to had different therapeutic art activities, however.  There is another viewpoint covered in my linked to John Weir Perry article that psychotic episodes could best be dealt with in a controlled facility but without medication.  That would require an ideal situation of being able to take several weeks away from work and family, in a specialized hospital, and to be able to afford the longer term and more specialized treatment as well of course.  I wonder if anything would have resulted differently if I were in a facility that didn't use medication but instead had a lot of structured meditation time, as well as Jungian psychotherapy, for instance?  Perry ran such a facility in the 1970's in Northern California.  If you search for such a facility in Google you won't find any results, unfortunately, so it appears there are today no mental hospitals that don't medicate.

To their credit, I should be thankful on the other hand that in both cases when I was hospitalized for a manic episode, I did not end up crashing into depression as I did crash into depression at the end of my first manic episode (which is the one where I didn't get hospitalized.)  Since it took me a few months to get back to my normal somewhat depressed self, that is a big deal to me.  The ideal case would be no medication, just meditation, and no resulting depression -- but whether that is a realistic or not scenario would have to be tested out.

There is a new DSM-IV psychiatric category entitled "Religious or Spiritual Problem."  David Lukoff, PhD, mentions:  'The DSM-IV, specifically notes that an individual can be diagnosed with both a mental disorder and a related problem, as long as "the problem is sufficiently severe to warrant independent clinical attention" ... Thus, for example, Religious or Spiritual Problem could be coded along with Bipolar Disorder ... if the religious/spiritual content (frequently observed in manic states ...) is also addressed during treatment of a manic episode. This greatly expands the potential usage of this category since the symptoms and treatment of many mental disorders include religious and spiritual content...' 

Interestingly, although obviously controversially, the abstract of the article, "The Role of Psychotic Disorders in Religious History Considered," by authors Murray, Cunningham, and Price, states, in part:  'The authors have analyzed the religious figures Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and St. Paul from a behavioral, neurologic, and neuropsychiatric perspective to determine whether new insights can be achieved about the nature of their revelations. Analysis reveals that these individuals had experiences that resemble those now defined as psychotic symptoms, suggesting that their experiences may have been manifestations of primary or mood disorder-associated psychotic disorders.'  (I have not read the entire paper as it requires a subscription or a one time rental.)  I read half of the book "Rabbi Jesus" by Bruce Chilton several years ago, which is a historical take on Jesus, where the author surmises as well that Jesus had bipolar disorder.  I found the book Googling for "Jesus" and "bipolar" in fact after my first manic episode, since I felt like a religious prophet during that experience.

I mention in my post on my second manic episode about hearing a voice that I could ask questions of.  I have discovered that this new found voice is also present when I am hypo manic -- just a little bit manic -- although it is not a loud and clear voice in my head as with the psychotic level, it is just more of a normal thought kind of voice.  And I can still ask it questions.  Update:  The voice is really present I have found when I am in a normal mood as well.  So I think I have learned how to access it as a skill.  I am not sure if you would call it my soul, my subconscious, Freud's Super-ego, or an Over-Soul / God / Universe / Higher Power.  No matter -- whatever it is, it comes in handy actually because it always gives good advice.  Sometimes it tells me the decision is mine to make and doesn't give an answer, which sometimes comes in the form of not saying anything at all in response to a question.  Other times the voice will be in agreement with my decision or just acknowledge my own decision.  My best guess is this is Freud's Super-ego, because it's sort of like having a dispatcher to a driver -- a dispatcher is a sort of supervisor for the driver, although there is two way communication and decision making.  I would say this is a benefit of bipolar disorder, unless it is normal psychology to have such a voice.  Perhaps it is normal to have this voice and if you are depressed you do not have the voice available?  As there are days when it seems absent -- perhaps those days I am in a bit of a depressed mood.  Or it may be that I am just not requesting it's assistance, I'm not sure.

Update:  On the same page I link to above in this paragraph - "new found voice" - the author of that blog, a PhD psychologist, in response to my comment on this topic, says she doesn't think it is the super-ego as that would be harsh and critical, she thinks it is the "voice of wisdom."  Sounds good to me, although I find it rather strange that I would only be connected to such a voice after going through psychotic experiences.  Other pages on the web when you google "listen to small still voice" refer to it as the voice of the Holy Spirit, as the quotation "still small voice" is from the Bible.  So I think what it was would be entirely dependent on your "faith"/belief system.  I think I like referring to it as "the dispatcher."  Leaving open the question, then who is the "dispatcher" working for?  And the answer could be "God" or "The Universe."  Once again it doesn't really matter -- all that matters is that the voice is in fact wise and accessible and perhaps access to it is a learned skill, that may or may not require a mental disorder to achieve the ability to access it.  There is a saying, "you have to be a little cracked in order to see the light."  Perhaps this wise advisor is that "light", or a "light" of wisdom.  It is important to note perhaps that while I was psychotic and had a voice "in my head" (which was the loud and clear voice,) I think that was the same dispatcher, but that the dispatcher was going along with my delusions as if it was also delusional.  But when hypo manic or normal in mood, there is no delusion, and thus the dispatcher is also not delusional during those times.  So I think that would imply that the PhD psychologist I link to above might be incorrect in believing the voice of wisdom to be external, unless I misunderstood her.  It would be internal.  But "working for" (the external.)  And to that end I think I should just link to this Wikipedia page on "the Higher Self" and leave it at that.  (On that page you will find Christian, Hindu, and New Age views on "Higher Self."  And I guess being a bit of a curmudgeon, I might side with the New Age at this point on Higher Self, but with the addition, which may be found in some religions I think such as Religious Science, of the "working for God/The Universe" bit rather than being God/The Universe.  I was practicing Religious Science a few years ago, for a few years, but got turned off by it's seeming, well, attraction to the "Law of Attraction" and resulting materialistic ($) nature, which I don't suppose Ernest Holmes had intended.  And I don't really like the idea of having practitioners who charge members for healing services, that seems kind of wacko.  Thus I may just stay a Western Buddhist, even though I have a belief in a higher power -- which I think is compatible with Buddha -- he may have just avoided talking about a higher power more so than being an non-believer in a higher power.)  I wrote on the online discussion group right before I snapped into a manic rocket launch, "count on me to find the truth," regarding some alledged corruption within the non-profit group I was volunteering for.  Ironically, perhaps I have found that "truth" by gaining access to my higher self after my manic experiences.

Increased Creativity
The only evidence I can find of a link between mania and creativity in my own experience -- is that I had original classical music composing and playing in my mind, at the same time that I was trying to write a humorous play-like script via email discussion group mailings during my first manic episode.  I think that if I were a trained musician, I would have been able to compose the music on paper.  The writings may have produced a few laughs but didn’t last long, perhaps because of the inappropriate medium I was writing in.  During my second manic episode, I had a modern piece of original music composing and playing in my mind as well.  Again I had no way to compose the music onto paper as I am not a trained musician.  When I am hypomanic or battling depression with medication, I have no music composing in my head, nor do I write much of anything except for this blog.  I would like to write, but I never seem to be able to come up with enough creativity to come up with a good idea for the story, not to mention undertaking the seemingly herculean task of writing a screen play or a novel.  Even though my own life story has been pretty dramatic, follows a story structure, and would be relatively easy to write since I know the story already and don't need to dream it up from scratch, I don't think there would be enough interest in most of my life.  Perhaps there would be interest in the three manic episodes, but they only total about a month or a month and a half of my life.  Apparently, every scene in a story needs to have conflict.
Grandiose Story
The nature of manic psychosis in my experience is – in many ways you can function just fine, in other ways you have trouble concentrating, and even though you believe grandiose stories taking place in your mind, you keep the stories under wraps as much as possible, as you still realize they would be seen as crazy by others.  As Serena Roney-Dougal's title explains in one of my links, it is as if you are "walking between" two worlds. 
If I were to write a short film screen play or stage play about bipolar disorder, an important element of the presentation would be to blend reality with the psychotic  break with reality, so the audience would not be able to tell what was real and what wasn’t, just as the person with the psychosis can't tell.  The movie ‘A Beautiful Mind’ did a good job of this in my opinion, when the main character was experiencing his numbers conspiracy psychotic episode.  You couldn’t tell whether the “code” Nash was “discovering” was real or imagined.
The issue of grandiosity being an element of mania could be a result of feeling that you are playing an insignificant role in life.  I believed, during the episodes, that I was tied into the US Government, the White House, the Illuminati, people in Heaven, you name it.  Perhaps feelings of insignificance underlie depression, or feeling that you have made too many irrecoverable mistakes in life, or feeling that you have not met your goals.  I have read that mania may be a response to depression.  Or it could simply be that things are exaggerated and amplified during mania.  Also, psychotic mania might be the bringing to the surface of subconscious material, as the John Weir Perry article explains.

Update:  I believe this to be true -- that full blown mania exposes and magnifies our subconscious desires.  In my case, I have had a "closet" interest in screen writing for quite some time, but I have never committed to learning the art of screen writing nor have I tried to write anything.  But my first and second manic episodes include thinking I was an Elizabethan playwright, perhaps the reincarnation of Shakespeare, and that I was "broadcasting to Heaven" while filming live through my transition lenses glasses, while also being filmed.  This has actually resulted in my deciding now (November 2014) to finally pursue screenwriting in my part time, even if it never makes me a dollar in income.  I have realized that I have a need for creativity in my work, and I have decided to give this screenwriting desire a chance.  No psychiatrist told me this -- I have realized this on my own and also with the help of the John Weir Perry article.

While "racing thoughts" are supposedly a symptom of mania, it is closer to the truth to say, in my opinion, that a lot of things take on special meaning, and an incoherent story unfolds as things acquire meaning in real time.  Perhaps psychosis is a way that the psyche forms an alternative story in order for the patient to have higher self esteem.
Causing Events?
Mania is actually a fun experience, to be honest, and I wouldn't mind trying it under controlled settings – supervised – if I could afford a few weeks (or months?) away from my work.  I felt I could walk all the way to the lake resort town in the mountains I used to live in, the night I was taken by CHP officers to the hospital for trying to run away from them, after running out of gas.  I felt no pain – my bad knee from a high school football accident didn’t have any pain, and I was out of shape but didn’t feel like it.  I could feel warm or cold depending on what I wanted, apparently.  I stood on the side of the freeway, declaring to myself that if I could not be in the ski resort town, I’d just bring snow to the area I was standing.  I felt very cold then, shivering.  There was in fact a small amount of snow that fell to the ground a few weeks later in that part of Los Angeles County, which I drove through while taking my kids to their grandmother’s house.  It wasn’t the first time the area had snow, but it was still fairly unusual to have been that cold, especially during the day.  The altitude in those foothills is about 1,500 feet, which is an unusually low snow level for Southern California.  So the delusional part of me still believes that I conjured up the cold front and storm as a shaman might be able to.
If there is any truth to causing things to happen (I retain a slight delusional belief that I did cause things to happen while fully manic) -- as compared to foreseeing them happening -- to making real magic -- it would probably be because of the powerful nature of strong beliefs, a.k.a. the Law of Attraction, because when you are in a full blown manic episode you strongly believe the myth that is taking place.  Whereas when you are grounded in reality, you would never believe such a story, not strongly at least.  When you think about it, how can you tell if a person has caused something to happen or psychically forecasted the event to happen in the future?  I remain skeptical of my causing any of the coincidences that occurred during my manic episodes, yet I do have some delusional belief that I am a "druid" when fully manic.

Uselessness (for me) and Dangers of Psychotic Mania
The link to Wikipedia's page on psychosis includes "Findings such as these have led to debate about whether psychosis itself causes excitotoxic brain damage and whether potentially damaging changes to the brain are related to the length of psychotic episode. Recent research has suggested that this is not the case although further investigation is still ongoing."  So the argument that allowing psychosis to play out causes brain damage doesn't appear to be proven.  However, psychosis can be dangerous, such as the time I almost ran my car out of gas driving on the freeway, thinking the car could drive without gas.  Most people have jobs and family duties that a psychotic episode would conflict with as well.

This begs the question -- "why would you want to have the psychosis / mania play out?" -- and for me there is no answer as I don't find it useful, yet for others the answer could be different -- for artists or musicians for example.  Or for people who are into their "spiritual" or "shamanic" journeys.  If there is any truth to causing events mania could be useful.  More realistically events are forecasted rather than caused – but who would find the foretelling to be useful?  And would all of the forecasts be accurate?  (Nothing happened in terms of the US Navy blowing up an enemy submarine as I “foresaw” during my second manic episode, for example.)  Even if I were to learn how to harness my psychic abilities during manic episodes, the manic episode would be too difficult to handle.  I may be able to develop psychic ability during my normal, medicated moods as well, which would be much more practical.  Although I mentioned in the beginning of this post that it was my opinion that mania includes heightened mental functioning, it is the out of touch with reality aspect that makes it impractical and too difficult to handle.


There is the benefit as I mentioned above under Spiritual Experience of my having a small voice that I can ask questions of, my subconscious or God or my soul or what have you, while hypomanic.  It never gives bad advice.  The voice was not present prior to my full blown manic experience.  So it is a skill I have picked up because of having bipolar disorder, and is only available while hypomanic.

If the John Weir Perry theory, which it appears he has obtained from Carl Jung, is true -- that the psyche is reorganizing during psychosis, as a healing process -- it would make letting psychosis ride out unmedicated useful. Perhaps one could ask, while being safely hospitalized, to stay off medication, possibly on religious or spiritual grounds (based on the new DSM-IV psychiatric category "Religious or Spiritual Problem") -- if you could afford the longer term stay.  During my first manic episode, I let the mania run it's course.  Perhaps I have benefited in some way, although the ensuing crash into depression wasn't helpful, and I still have manic depression.  The other two times I've been manic I was involuntarily committed to hospitals that used medication rather than let the psychosis run it's course, so I couldn't fully tell if those psychoses were useful in terms of a reorganization of my psyche.  I would have liked to have gone to a facility like Perry's if I could afford to take that much time away from work, in case there might have been some healing taking place.  (Although Perry worked with schizophrenics, it seems to me schizophrenic psychosis and manic psychosis have much in common -- and it is possible that Perry had some patients with Bipolar Disorder I in his facility as well as schizophrenics.)  I could probably obtain Jungian psychotherapy now during ordinary, slightly depressed "mood" if I could afford it, and perhaps discuss my manic episode material.

Sometimes you hear people with Bipolar Disorder saying if they had the chance to undo having Bipolar, they would choose to keep it.  Apparently some people experience Bipolar with a lot of hypomanic or manic moods that they find useful enough to outweigh their depressive moods.  In my case I would choose to undo Bipolar, as I haven't gained anything from my three manic episodes.  My hypomanic episodes have not produced anything of value either.  And the rest of the time -- which is the large majority of the time -- I have fought depression with medication, and I feel less alive than I would if I didn't have the illness.  The memory loss and "brain fog" I deal with on a daily basis is also a definite disadvantage towards being able to make a living.
In another culture such as a primitive culture, full blown mania might be a gift, as Serena Roney-Dougal mentions in her article that I link to, but in my culture it is not seen as a gift.  Likewise, while mania may be spiritual, as discussed in the John Weir Perry article, Western culture is not geared towards dealing with mania as being spiritual.  If a person could ride out their psychosis over a long period of time in a supportive hospital setting without medication, I suppose that might be an ideal case.  There is a risk -- the "kindling" theory -- that manic episodes can increase in intensity and frequency though.  Although this is just a theory, some "don't try this at home" advice is probably well heeded, unless the person with the manic episode believes the benefits of mania outweigh the risks.

Mania and Depression Prevention
What is helping?  The medication helps a lot, I take Buproprion generic (Wellbutrin) and Abilify.  I don't know if the Abilify will prevent another manic episode or not, although I hope it does, in combination with my not participating in any online discussion groups.  I don't think I need to take the Abilify, now that I know what my trigger for mania is, although I do need to take the Buproprion anti depressant or else I am depressed full time.  I play it safe and take Abilify, however, just in case it prevents another manic episode.  Abilify seems to help by being an anti depressant also, so it is a very good medication to take for Bipolar.  I will be glad when Abilify is available as generic as it costs $300 per month, even when saving by cutting the 10mg pills in half instead of being prescribed 5 mg pills.  Because I have a health insurance deductible reimbursement plan, I will be able to afford to continue to take Abilify.  I don't like the idea of taking Lithium and needing blood tests, and other mood stabilizers I have taken such as Depakote have side effects I don't like.  (Update: there is a potential new drug on the horizon that looks very promising and that should be cheap as it's patent has already expired.)
Online discussion groups are my trigger -- igniting all three manic episodes.  (Update: apparently I am not the only one.)  I can only assume that my mind (or over-active imagination?) fills in gaps regarding there being no non-verbal information.  So I have banned myself from all online discussions.  Exercise and sleep are important, as well as stress reduction.  Meditation helps to reduce stress and might help with depression, as well.  I am starting to take Omega 3 fish oil tablets.  Check out this YouTube video which mentions fish oil as one of six factors for fighting depression naturally.  (Update -- the fish oil does seem to be working as a natural anti depressant.)

My Third Manic Episode Story - January 2011

My third manic episode story happened after I had been working in the work-at-home tech support job for almost a year.  Because of mania being triggered by online discussions, I was not able to concentrate on my work, and my supervisor noticed also, so I took a night off, combined with two regular days off on the weekend.  The mania kicked into high gear, and I ended up in the hospital again, taking about two weeks away from work locked up in a small hospital in the Pasadena area that I referred to as a resort, it was so nice compared to the first hospital I was involuntarily committed to during my second manic episode.  Luckily, my employer was fine with taking a doctor’s note and did not terminate me.  You’d think I would have learned to avoid online discussion groups by then.

During this third manic episode, I had a story playing out as usual.  I took my children to Disneyland, which is about a thirty minute drive from where my children live, buying “2-Fer” tickets, where Southern Californian’s get a 2 day deal for the price of 1 almost.  The first day we went to California Adventure, and the second day to Disneyland.  I wanted to make sure my kids had their fill of Disneyland before they grew too old.  They were 9 and 10 at the time, and when you are manic, you just put it on the credit card.  I don’t spend a lot of money when I’m manic.  I don’t have much money to spend on the other hand, so I'm not sure how much I'd spend if I were wealthier.  I don't think I'd spend money wildly though -- the most I would do would probably be to take the kids to Hawaii for a vacation.  Although it's possible I might start a business if I had some capital in the bank -- however, both of the businesses I've started in the past have been successful, and I started them without capital, so it could be a successful business.
I am quite capable of driving safely when fully manic, so I do not believe that I endangered my children.  I ran out of gas knowingly though one night however, when I did not have my children in the car.  I pulled over on the freeway just in time before running out of gas completely, while trying to drive the car on oxygen or something.  I could feel oxygen again coming through the air conditioning system, which was another hallucination.  I was trying to "fly" the car, seeing if I could levitate the car just off the freeway to be a way to drive without using gas.   I felt I could walk all the way to the lake resort town in the mountains I used to live in, the night I was taken by CHP officers to the hospital for trying to run away from them, after running out of gas.  I felt no pain – my bad knee from a high school football accident didn’t have any pain, and I was out of shape but didn’t feel like it.  I could feel warm or cold depending on what I wanted, apparently.  I stood on the side of the freeway, declaring to myself that if I could not be in the ski resort town, I’d just bring snow to the area I was standing.  I felt very cold then, shivering.  There was in fact a small amount of snow that fell to the ground a few weeks later in that part of Los Angeles County, which I drove through while taking my kids to their grandmother’s house.  It wasn’t the first time the area had snow, but it was still fairly unusual to have been that cold, especially during the day.  The altitude in those foothills is about 1,500 feet, which is an unusually low snow level for Southern California.

I do not intend to involve my children in the future if I am ever in a manic episode though, to be safe, and to shield them from my craziness.  Although judgement goes out the window when you are manic so I could try to fool everyone and take them somewhere again -- this is something I hope I don't do, and I hope I don't become manic again anyways since it doesn't seem useful to me in any way.  My kids did notice that I acted strange, during the Disneyland trip, however, and recently when we talked about the trip to Disneyland they told me I was "just staring around at things."

I drove up to the employee gate, telling the security guard that I was reporting for duty working as Goofy, as I believed I was to don a Goofy suit for part of the day.  She promptly pointed to the visitor's parking garage and picked up the telephone.  I also stopped at a bus stop, thinking a special bus or tram would be picking us up, expecting us.  My kids told me to get out of the bus stop -- an example of their helping to keep me grounded in reality.  I also used my friend’s idea from hiking, which was not such a strange idea, when he gave the trail map to my children and told them to navigate the trail system as a learning experience.  So I did the same thing, giving the map of Disneyland to my kids and letting them decide which ride to do next.  This took some cooperation between them, and they learned the best solution when arguing over what to do next was to compromise, doing what the other person wanted first, then doing what they wanted after that.  It slowed us down a bit as they walked ahead of me, being the leaders, but I’d say it was probably a great learning experience for them.  While I was inside Disneyland, I thought I was normal and not noticeably manic or crazy, maintaining my composure, although I had the story and realtime meanings going on internally.  Since my kids noticed I was "staring" at things, though, it's a good bet some others might have noticed the same thing, but for the most part I blended in.  As mentioned before, I had one foot standing in reality, and another in the manic story.
I wanted my son to be more proud of his father, so I bought him a Stealth Bomber model at the aircraft store in California Adventure, since I used to work for the company that makes the Stealth Bomber at the time the first Stealth Bomber was made (I got laid off four times in five years after college in large scale corporate layoffs, with the fifth job having to quit as the business was going under, and getting laid off from Northrop was one of the layoffs, which happened during a period of defense department spending cuts.)  I had worked as an “IT” computer jockey in a division of the company that made drones.  It was a much better job than the one I have today.  I “flew” the box of the model, pointing it in the right direction, between my legs, as incognito as possible -- without my son noticing or anyone else for that matter, hopefully, while we were riding on the Silly Swings.  I thought that I was flying the real bomber remotely or something.  Again, I was torn between my manic story and my reasoning with reality, which was really the case in all three episodes, particularly the second and third since I knew I had bipolar disorder during those two episodes.
I figured Disneyland was in part designed, especially Tomorrowland, by aliens, and I also felt that the entire Disneyland resort was acting as a balancing mechanism, balancing visitor’s minds towards World peace.  I observed some Middle Eastern women in line on one ride, thinking they must have been Osama Bin Laden’s sisters.  I envisioned how a fourth Disney theme park with a Middle Eastern bent built in Tehran would be a major contributor to world peace.  I stared at both the Matterhorn and the real Southern California mountains in the background, which were snow topped, at the same time, while riding the Ferris wheel at California Adventure, thinking about a connection between something that stood for a dream and the real world magical fruition of the dream -- about a connection between the snow topped Matterhorn model and the real snow topped mountains.  I was compelled to stare at them as part of the "ritual" experience I was going through.  I also felt the high prices for food and souvenirs was a good idea and set the stage for economic growth individually and collectively.

On the Indiana Jones ride, I thought the ride was putting me through the Skull and Bones ritual that Yale college students go through, and that I would become an honorary member of that organization, as well as the Illuminati.  When a bell rang while standing in line, I thought that to represent the killing by bomb from the Stealth Bomber of North Korea's dictator, and that I pulled the trigger to release the bomb, "ringing" his "bell." (As an update, North Korea's dictator, Kim Jong-il, died of a heart attack in December, 2011, coincidentally.)

I think I hallucinated some benevolent men watching me at Disneyland, in a few places.  They might have been real security guards if someone noticed I was acting strangely, or they could have been perfectly life-like hallucinations.  I figured they must have been members of the Delta Force (and that I was as well now, with communications being psychic rather than spoken or written.)
During another part of my visit to Disneyland with my kids, I thought to myself that I was the reincarnation of Walt Disney, and my job was to walk around the park and give instructions for improvements.  What a great job that would be.  Fortunately, I had the presence of mind to not tell anyone what to do, nor to take any part of my story seriously, other than feeling I was Walt Disney.  I bought a flashing wizard stick and a Goofy sweatshirt, along with a few souvenirs for the kids, and I walked around with the wizard stick flashing, but tucked into my back pocket -- a sort of compromise between believing the internal manic story and not wanting to look weird.  I did believe I was a sort of sorcerer of course.  I also hung the flashing wizard stick from my rear view mirror in my car afterwards while driving at night, thinking it was some sort of navigation device or something.
At one point after I dropped off the kids, I parked outside of a bar, and I thought I was “moving the planet” out of the way of an asteroid.  I actually experienced what seemed to be the car slightly moving back and forth while parked, a number of times, once for each move.  There was a near collision asteroid approaching Earth at the time of this writing, which is three quarters of a year later, in November 2011.  But also, Stealth Bombers were used to bomb Libya in March 2011, during the Libyan civil war, which was part of Arab Spring.  The Arab Spring was a sort of “movement” of the planet in a way, perhaps.  There is a very small delusional part of me that still thinks I contributed to the finding of Bin Laden, that I caused the use of Stealth Bombers over Libya, and that I helped to trigger the Arab Spring (and as an update that I caused Kim Jong-il's heart attack.)  What makes more sense of course is that I foresaw those significant events of 2011, but not in a clear way.

The night after one of the days at Disneyland, I stopped at a McDonald's restaurant, and a plastic cup took meaning to be a holy grail of sorts.  I kept the cup in the glove box in my car.  When I arrived home, I smashed one of my mother's china coffee mugs as part of the continued ritual, which I also thought was the holy grail, which then took on the image of an alien symbol.  I saved it, but I eventually threw it out and bought her a replacement.  

I also thought I was flying a stealth bomber remotely for part of my drive back home, and for some reason I thought the stealth bomber should be crashed as a sacrificial offering or something after it was used to "ring" Kim Jong-il's "bell."  After or during the third manic episode, I emailed the CIA, informing them that I had evidence that I was somewhat psychic, although undeveloped psychically, and that I thought Bin Laden was located somewhere related to Castle Crags, which was a rock climbing spot in Northern California, that I climbed with a friend once during college.  As it turned out, Osama Bin Laden was killed by Navy Seals in May, 2011, in a compound that was accessible by rappelling (from a helicopter) and that had some characteristics of a castle, particularly the 15 foot security walls.  It was probably just a coincidence, but I entertain the idea still, that there might have been something to my intuition about high “castle walls," rappelling by rope, and Bin Laden’s compound.  Bin Laden was killed about four months after I sent the email message.  (Another update:  As a coincidence, one of two stealth helicopters crashed accidentally in Osama Bin Laden's compound the night he was killed by Navy Seals, which had to be destroyed by explosives to protect technology secrets.  So my delusional beliefs about forecasting or causing events also include the idea that the "bell rung" was Bin Laden's, not Kim Jong-il's, and that the crashed stealth bomber turned out to be a stealth helicopter.)

One night when the kids were not there, I was drinking and doing a continuation of the ritualistic things, but it took a comedic turn while drinking as I was doing a Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean imitation, including a flop onto my bed which resulted in my bouncing off onto the floor, since Depp's character always seems a bit tipsy I guess.

I also went on a short hike in nature to a California State Park area that is near me.  I thought that there were more birds than usual and that they would fly near me - and I have always felt that way when I have been manic, that I have attracted and have been connected to animals.  I also heard a pack of coyotes howl nearby, which was odd for the middle of the day -- this could have been a hallucination or it could have been real -- I have no way of telling as the hallucinations blend in perfectly.  The delusional part of me of course felt that the animals were responding to my manic state.  And a delusional belief that remains still thinks this was, and sometimes is, the case.

The emptiness of the "grail" was supposed to represent Buddhist "emptiness," and at a fire ring at the State Park, in a model Chumash indian village, there was a metal object that looked like the top of the McDonald's cup in the fire pit.  This meant to me that the grail was empty, as the top was to be burned in the firepit.  I have since noticed that the metal object is most likely a cover to keep moisture out of the fire ring.  I also had a train of thought going where I should eat just oranges, including the skin, and there was an orange grove and ranch nearby which I thought the owner was going to give to me.  I actually started to drive late at night after coming home from Disneyland with my children, to the ranch home, but my daughter started crying and telling me not to, both kids told me not to, so again that was an example of where they put me back into reality as I promptly turned around and drove them home to get to bed.  During the second manic episode, I first had the thought of being given and living on the citrus farm.

Also during my third manic episode, I thought of myself as a "Merlin" or a druid, since I was not Native American by ancestry, but mostly Irish.  I purchased a book on druidry after the manic episode, although I have not participated by doing the rituals of druidry from the book.  One reason is that I believe you'd have to be manic (or in a trance which might trigger mania in me) in order to really create magic, due to that delusional part of me that still believes (and perhaps it's true after all, who knows?) I can be a sorcerer when I am manic, and I can't afford to be manic.  Not only is mania a bit out of control, I would lose money from not working, incur expenses from being hospitalized, and possibly even lose my job.  I also need to be able to spend time with my kids and not have my wife threaten to keep them from me because of my getting manic episodes, having poor judgement and as a result spending time with my kids while manic.  There is actually a Druid "grove" (group) nearby, that has monthly rituals, but they have polytheistic beliefs which I don't  have, and so I'm not sure if it would be a good fit for me.  I don't feel that "plugged into God" when I'm not manic, so I don't know how strong my beliefs would be in any religion for that matter while I was practicing it.  (I have most recently pursued Buddhism.  I was raised Roman Catholic, and I have participated in some Religious Science a few years ago as well, along with some Unitarian Universalist.)

My Second Manic Episode - Holidays 2009/2010

The job in LA ended after three months as the company was sold.  We were unable to pay one of our two mortgages, and our renter stopped paying the rent as well, so we could no longer pay either mortgage on the house.  We tried to short sell, but I read that a short sale is no better than a foreclosure on a credit record, so I decided to tell the real estate agent to just let the house foreclose, during the Christmas holiday season.
The stress was almost unbearable when we had the renter and we could not afford to pay the mortgage on our house, which was our only investment.  I was so stressed, I had trouble applying for jobs.  It seems to me that a person with bipolar disorder can’t handle as much stress as a mentally healthy person.  I did get a few interviews, but no job.  I tried to deal with the situation by learning about Buddhism and meditation, meditating in nature near the condo we were renting.  A few times I got to a level of real peace – where I had a spontaneity and “present moment flow” -- after meditating for an hour or two.  That state of mind was wonderful when dealing with my children.  I showed them how fun it is to clean up a room when you can re-arrange the furniture, for instance.  I could be very present with my children after meditating for a long enough period of time.  Another way I dealt with the stress was to go for a hike on a nearby trail that was not used very much.  I would break branches with my hands to caretake the trail for people to use without having to be bothered by brushing into branches or ducking to avoid them.  I took my kids on this trail a number of times and they enjoyed it as well.
My wife cut our expenses by finding a smaller, less expensive house to rent.  I started to spend some time in another online discussion group that was about religion, while I was going through the financial stress, and I went through a mid life crisis I think at the same time, which all contributed to triggering my second manic episode.  This time I dealt with the mania and mid life crisis by drinking, while also stopping my medications.  I had a story running through my mind with a military theme, because of a member of the discussion group sending me something about how military fits into a grand scheme of things, and how it’s theory applies to the business world.  I do also have a patriotic streak.  I worked at a defense contractor at one point, and I felt patriotic while working there.  I had also tried to join the Navy Reserve at the same time, but I was disqualified for admitting that I had tried marijuana in the interview.  I had considered the Navy Seals or some other Navy job after college but it was just a brief consideration, thinking I should find a regular job and get married.

(Update:  In Buddhism, part of "Right Livelihood" is considered not working in the weapons industry.  However I disagree on the strictness of this, as I believe someone on the receiving end of a weapon may just be reaping the consequences of their karma (of their actions.)  Similarly, the military man or woman doing the delivering can be seen as delivering consequences of karma.)

The mid-life crisis aspect of the manic episode had to do with getting in touch with long lost values, apparently.  Politically, I am primarily an environmentalist, while secondarily I have other values from both sides of the isle.  I think I was kind of doing my own psychotherapy during this manic episode, which is one reason why drinking was involved – to help with airing out stuff from the depth of my subconscious, perhaps.  The drinking was completely misunderstood by my wife.
While manic, I thought that the flashes I saw on my computer screen must have been my deceased father’s spirit coming through the Internet.  I also felt like I was the reincarnation of Moses, George Washington, and Winston Churchill during the episode.  My CIA name was Moshe and also Monk Seal.  At one point I also felt I was half the reincarnation of Churchill and half Hitler, with each taking one side of the brain, which would explain having bipolar disorder.  Also, that Osama Bin Laden was my counterpart on the other side of the world who was afflicted with the same condition.

I went outside one day, feeling like Moses, with umbrella in hand.  It was starting to rain, and there was a lightning strike not far away, which further fueled my psychotic beliefs.  The water was rushing through the irrigation canal while I walked over a bridge, and this reminded me of Biblical stories with floods and parting seas.  I hiked to my meditation spot and saw a black leather jacket hanging from a tree limb, and I figured it must have been Satan’s jacket, also representing Hitler, and that Steven Spielberg was involved somehow and he was the one who ripped a hole in the jacket.  There were foot prints on the ground leading up a creek bed and away from my meditation spot, which I thought must have been Jesus’ foot prints, since I had a suspicion that one of the people in the online religious discussion might have been Jesus, based on an image asking if the person was Jesus in the discussion web site, which was apparently a joke.  I had imagined myself controlling Navy submarines, blowing up an enemy nuclear weapon armed submarine.  Since I believed my father was inside the internet, and because of his being a radioman in the Navy during WW II, I figured I had the help of my father in the fiber optic lines running across the oceans as a sort of sonar net.  I hallucinated some people who were out of site behind the trees, who were hiking out of site to keep up with me, cheering on what I was doing.

While walking back over the irrigation canal, I had the idea of being half reincarnated as Churchill and half as Hitler, and while feeling like "one hundred percent Hitler" I stared at briefly and thought of jumping into the irrigation canal, which was a sick feeling.  I then became "one hundred percent Churchill," while Bin Laden would have experienced the opposite -- becoming worse than he already was by becoming all Hitler and no Churchill.  (As an update, after learning about Carl Jung's "unconscious" theories, "Hitler" apparently represents the archetypal shadow .  I originally didn't mention anything about Hitler, not being a fan of his at all, to say the least, but after learning about the unconscious I figured I should include it.  I had no thoughts of harming others during my brief feeling as Hitler.)
I then walked as (fully) Winston Churchill with umbrella open while it was raining lightly, through the shopping district and back to the house.  I have not had acting lessons, but I really felt and acted like Churchill while manic.  I learned what it takes to be an actor, although I don’t think I could act at all while not in a manic state.  I also acted the part of the person who narrated “The Secret” movie, talking to my wife about a related “law of attachment,” telling her we needed some space apart from each other.  This again was way beyond my normal self expression and acting ability.  I think again because of the powerful belief that you are being these people.  I really thought I was Moses, George Washington, and Winston Churchill, at different times.  I also believed that I caused the rain storm and the lightning strike while “being” Moses.  I still have a small delusional belief to this day that I caused the rain storm and lightning strike.  My inside joke at that time was that I was sure to find a job in Hollywood if I could make it rain.  And I believed the Buddha must also be reincarnated and somewhere near, presenting a different kind of Trinity and a different kind of Second Coming -- Moses, Jesus and Buddha.  While hiking, I hiked past an Asian man with a dog, so I figured he must represent Buddha.

At some point during this second manic episode, I thought my son had been pre-selected to be a future American president, and that the presidents were being pre-selected way in advance, by the government.  There was a reason why the guy living next door worked for JPL and why there were police officers living across the street in a city-owned property -- they were there to protect my son.  I think I even told my son that I thought he was going to become a president, which my wife used against me later, although I cleaned it up later by telling my son that what I really meant was that I thought he'd make a good leader.
While George Washington, I packed my small Toyota Yaris with some belongings, an American flag, binoculars, and a computer joystick.  I was wearing my Cub Scout leader shirt, and a leather jacket which I rarely wear.  I wanted to spend some time at my mother’s mobile home, to get some space from my wife.  She pleaded with me to stay, but I kept avoiding her contact, telling her about the "law of attachment."  I also planned on driving out to Edwards Air Force base to try to get work there.  I have a cousin who works at the base.  I remember telling my wife, “you can’t just walk into an Air Force Base holding a pair of binoculars and an American Flag and tell them you want a job.”  Although perhaps that was exactly the kind of spirit that was needed to find Bin Laden, I thought.  The joystick was from playing Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator with my son, but I of course figured there must be a more important use for it, such as flying drones.  When I worked as a substitute teacher for a high school alternative education classroom in the desert, I would let the boys play Microsoft Halo if they were caught up with their self paced school work.  The meaning this took on during my manic story was that I was also to train boys at that facility, since the school district had budget cuts and partially shut down I had heard, to be real life remote control warriors.  That is why I hallucinated a few boys who came out in the rain near the bridge where it was raining to see me, when I was being Churchill.  I also know a Sri Lankan Buddhist monk in the high desert.

On the way to a fast food restaurant to have lunch, I hallucinated, I guess, a black SUV stopping in the middle of the four lane road, with some men in suits getting out of their doors.  I stopped, then drove around the SUV into the other lane, then turning into a fast food restaurant to get lunch.  If it was a hallucination it was very real.  There was another vehicle on the freeway ahead of me with right turn blinkers on, and a woman driving, which I thought was a signal for me to merge onto another freeway to head out to Edwards Air Force base.  I had the presence of mind to continue on course to my mother's mobile home.  These experiences felt reminiscent of the movie 'The Matrix.'
At the mobile home, I started hearing a voice internally that gave me instructions.  Furthermore, I could consult it at any time, asking questions.  I was a fan of Ted Turner’s, so I walked in step around part of the golf course where I was staying, and I put out two beers on the patio, one for Ted Turner and one for Jesse Ventura, as I figured they were both coming to pay me a visit.  Since there were two military men coming (Ted attended military schools in his youth if I remember correctly from reading his auto biography,) and Ventura of course was a Navy Seal.  I went around the house tidying it up.  My mother was wondering why two opened beers were outside.  It is amazing how much I can drink while fully manic, without being affected much.  I went through a case of beer in just a few days.  A bit later there were also a chorus of voices answering my questions at the same time, who were people I was psychically linked to.  

I drove to the grocery store, and felt that I was breathing cold oxygen, while feeling a higher amount of gravity, taking slow steps to handle the increased weight.  Outside the store, I was told to stop at a spot in the parking lot, and not move, holding my cell phone to my ear, for some minutes.  Then the same thing outside of my car, when I hallucinated and saw a tree appear on my windshield while I was staring at it, as I was "cloning life" onto another planet.  I was a ground, and Senator John McCain was flying through a worm hole after being launched by the space shuttle to the moon.  I could hear McCain's voice and I was psychically talking to him while he surfed the worm hole.  He also spoke to my father.  I had joked that I was afraid of heights, so the space shuttle trip to the moon was for McCain, being a pilot, while I would be better off staying as "ground" in a submarine, being the last one off the planet, as all the people on Earth, at least the good ones, were going to follow McCain to a new planet or parallel planet or something.  There was someone from the government who represented a past Internet business customer of mine, who was apparently a trainer of Navy Seals, at the driver's seat of a car, parked near me to watch over me while I was being this important link to space.
My uncle was a volunteer at a WW II aircraft museum in town, and so I took my mother to see it.  She had never seen the museum, although she was of the WW II generation.  I thought I was being filmed for a movie by now, and that I could film and broadcast to Heaven I guess, through my Transition Lens glasses.  I had come up with a humorous line, to go after Osama Bin Laden, “give me two redundant routes of Army Rangers up the same mountain, and drop a daisy cutter down the middle.”  The two redundant routes meant Judaism and Christianity, and the daisy cutter referred to the Buddha, which was another reference to the "Trinity" that I had come up with.  It also referred to military strategy of course, and football.  I could think in various character accents, such as Popeye, and so I had some one liners like that one all to myself just in thought.  I then thought that CNN was testing me to see if I could either take Larry King’s job when he retired, or if I could be the voice of Ted Turner’s ‘Captain Planet’ cartoon.  I hallucinated some CNN news and a Larry King broadcast, all perfect but hallucinated on the TV, at the same time that there was a real broadcast.

I had a song that my mind created playing in my mind, which was really quite creative and unique music I think -- I had no way of recording or composing it as I have forgotten how to read and write music, having only played trumpet in middle and high school.  I also had a small part of Led Zeppelin's 'Black Dog' song playing in my mind, with a twist.  When I had called my psychiatrist -- I can't remember why I called him -- my song was playing as an auditory hallucination as background music on the telephone while I was on hold.  I felt I was psychically linked to Dreamworks studio, that they were developing my movie, and that I was psychically linked to their orchestra and choir, as they were making the sound track.  When there is music playing in your head while you are manic, it is not the usual background, dull music, it is loud and clear and stereophonic.
Regarding the title of my blog “Broadcasting to Heaven,” I also heard the voices of my father and John Wayne.  I felt I hallucinated making physical (cold) contact with my father's spirit.  I could put film clips of Notre Dame football games on the religious web site I was participating in, that was a social networking site, which would allow my father to watch.  Everything I was seeing I thought I was broadcasting to my father and maybe to others in Heaven, such as John Wayne and my long time friend's father.  John Wayne was acting as the "movie" director, at one point.  He also gave me coach-like encouragements.  I could really be a good listener when I was going around thinking I was filming everyone I was talking to, including my mother, who told interesting stories of what it was like for American women during World War II.  A brother of mine told me, afterwards when I told him this part of the manic episode story, that he wishes I had actually filmed my mother while she recounted the WW II days.  I left my mother’s place when I felt she was being controlling towards me regarding taking my meds.
I had considered driving to the Air Force base in Nevada where drones are remotely flown, but fortunately I had enough presence of mind to drive home instead.  Back at the house, I ended up sending an email to my sister threatening her to not attend my mother’s 85th birthday party due to a past controversial accusation.  The threat was nonsensical, which was actually a joke in bad taste, regarding Navy Seals and Buddhism (Navy Seals are not afraid of getting their heads cut off in Afghanistan as they are not attached to them.)  It was not taken in context of my internal manic storyline, of course, so my sister contacted my wife, who in turn contacted some social workers from the County, who were escorted by two police officers.  While the social worker was continually trying to make me say that I threatened my wife, which I didn’t, I finally agreed to go to the hospital when the police officers told me I didn’t have a choice, even when I pleaded to get back on my meds, which were located an hour away at my mother’s house at the time.  I did admit that I threatened my sister by email (that she had better not attend my mother's birthday party or I would cut her head off.)  Obviously I wasn't seriously contemplating harming anyone, it was an empty threat.  Without being privy to my internal joke, it would come across the wrong way of course, in the real world.  There was genuine anger towards my sister however, surfacing from the past, at the time I sent the email.
This happened right before Christmas, so I ended up spending Christmas away from my children, locked up in a mental hospital.  I was there a few weeks I guess.  Initially I stayed overnight in an intake ward at another hospital, sleeping on the floor on a rubber mattress.  At the intake ward, I objected to being held involuntarily by refusing food and medication.  There were about a dozen of us sleeping in that room, half on the floor.  The mental hospital I was sent to the next day was in central Los Angeles.  I gave in and took medication and food at that hospital.  I seem to get along with people of all stripes and colors, so I had no trouble fitting in and making friends, and the diverse patients I should say also had no trouble getting along with people of different ethnicities and social classes, including myself.  The patients were quite friendly, most of them anyways.
One of my two roommates was having a problem with paranoia as he would sit up on his bed awake all night long, watching me and the other roommate, not getting any sleep.  We had some great volleyball games outside on the exercise yard.  There were some people who had never played volleyball before but took to the game very quickly, being good athletes.  One of the patients was going around promising everyone he would pay them a lot of money when he got out, and later he wanted us to sort of worship him or something.  He must have been manic.  Another friend I made in the lunch room told me he thought the ones and zeroes of information going through the Internet was a conspiracy of some kind.  He was a computer programmer.  He told me to watch the Truman Show movie, starring Jim Carrie, when I returned home, after I had mentioned to him that I felt I was being filmed during my manic episode.  I did watch the movie and I did enjoy it, although I read that it is not about mental illness, it is a parody on the media and culture providing an artificial atmosphere to our lives.  To me, the movie would also make sense if it were about psychosis.
We did some art projects at the hospital, and I remember doing them very quickly - hyperactively.  I made two collages, as one wasn’t big enough, for instance, during the time that others made one.  Although my wife visited me once, when I asked her to bring a change of clothes, she unfortunately refused to pick me up from the hospital when I was released.  Luckily I had a  friend I could call who came and picked me up the same night.  He also helped with my Internet business while I was in the hospital.  Although I had told my wife I wanted some space, in part perhaps because we had been 24x7x365 for fourteen years, since I worked at home, and she did my accounting also at home, I didn’t want that much space.

I had no choice but to move in with my mother, who lived an hour from my rented home.  I tried to return home after a few weeks, but my wife insisted that we were different people and she didn’t want me to return.  In fact, she got a restraining order against me, based on the emailed threat I made to my sister, which the judge did not want to grant, but did so because of a technicality in the California law regarding threatening one person allowing another person to get a restraining order.  My wife's restraining order had nothing to do with my being physically abusive or threatening towards her.  Although I have had moments of verbal abuse towards my wife, I can only surmise that the restraining order was punishment for losing the house and for temporarily taking her computer away from her to move the accounting duties of my business to myself.  The separation was also punishment for the worsened financial situation, most likely, although I will admit that our relationship wasn't ideal and needed some counseling to patch over some issues, as well.

This was a very painful time for me, and added insult to injury regarding feeling like I hadn't accomplished much in life.  I had lost my dog, my house, my job, my mind, and now my wife and, to a large degree, my kids.  I managed to see my kids on the weekends, insisting that I could take them to stay with me at my mother’s house every other weekend, at some point, which my wife agreed to.  During the summer, I would take my children every weekend.  The rest of the time, at night, I would Skype to my children, on webcam, helping them with their homework, holding back tears the first few times.  The first time I spent the weekend with my kids, I had to take them straight from their school because of my wife’s restraining order, before my wife could pick them up.  Since then she has allowed me to at least set foot on the property, but not come into the house, when I am picking up or returning my children.
I managed to obtain a work at home technical support job, which didn’t require a college degree and didn’t have high pay, but had good benefits and was better than no job or a low paying job.  As I write, I have had the job for a year and a half, so my brain seems to work well enough to be productive enough in that position.  My memory is not so great, but I write down detailed notes, which I refer to, searching in the computer document, quickly enough.  I also ask others questions when necessary.  Sometimes these questions are asked more than once due to the forgetfulness, which is a bit embarrassing.  I have managed to get a rating of 3.5 on my reviews so far, which is .5 higher than "meeting expectations" for the position.  My productivity is average -- some technicians are faster and some are slower than I am.

My First Manic Episode Experience - 1999

I took Prozac, a year before I met my wife, at age 33, based on a diagnosis of unipolar depression.  Prozac’s strength seemed to wear off over time, so I quit.  I was out late a few nights roller blading in the middle of the night, having trouble sleeping, which prompted me to go to a psychiatrist, who diagnosed the depression.  In retrospect it is easy to see that I was probably experiencing symptoms of manic depression, in the form of hypomania.
Not long after I got married, the financial strain of supporting my wife, and with a baby on the way, gave me a lot of stress.  We spent too much money on the wedding, on a new car, and my rent doubled as well after I moved in with my fiancĂ©e.

I was participating in an online discussion group, which was done by email, not on a web site, back then.  Some internal politics turned the conversation bitter, and this bitterness seemed to launch me into my first of three Bipolar I level manic episodes.  The mania was a result of the bitterness, as well as the inability to decipher the truth of the accusations, I think.  In the virtual reality environment of email communications on a computer screen, my strong imagination attempted to fill in between the lines, apparently, and this seemed to trigger the break with reality.

This first full blown manic episode experience lasted about seven days.  I thought I had reached enlightenment and that I would make a fortune with my mind as active and imaginative as it was.  My wife was concerned, however.  She tried to get me to go to a psychiatrist.  I wouldn’t go.  I had no idea what was going on, but it didn’t seem like a problem, it seemed like something positive, although strange.  I felt on the same level as a religious prophet or saint.  I felt connected to animals, other people, nature, and the universe.  At one point I was compelled to lay down on my back, and I thought I experienced a spiritual waterfall pouring onto me.  I also thought I saw a holy spirit of some kind.  Since I had no idea what I was experiencing during that first manic week, my mind probably interpreted the mania to be a spiritual experience.  This interpretation may have triggered the religiosity of the experience, whether true or imagined.

Some weeks before my first manic episode, I woke up in the morning with auditory hallucinations of leprechauns or fairies laughing and running out of the condo.  My psychiatrist told me later that it was normal if the hallucinations are auditory and are before fully waking up.  I had visited a Celtic web site of some sort before those hallucinations.  And I got an order for a web site with fairies in the domain name, from Australia or New Zealand, around that same time, which seemed an odd coincidence.  I had a fear of gnome/leprechaun garden statues after the manic week because of these auditory hallucinations.  When things like this happen in real life that seem synchronous to delusions and hallucinations, it leads me to believe that there might be something paranormal to mental illness.

I had a symphony playing/composing in my mind at the same time that I was writing what I thought was a sort of play in what I thought was an Elizabethan English accent, while sending emails to the discussion group email list, humoring and confounding the members, during that first manic week.  I felt I might have been the reincarnation of Shakespeare.  At one point I went to Universal City Walk, an outdoor mall.  I wanted to dance to the jazz musicians, but no one else was dancing and my wife didn’t want us to be the only ones dancing.  I put my hand on her stomach and I believed I was healing some past psychic hurt of hers, believing I could heal with my hands.  I was able to drive just fine -- I did not drive fast or unsafely.  But when we returned home, I sprinted up two flights of stairs to get my next obsessive thought into an email message, and on "time."

I heard the telephone ringing three times, a few times, which were additional hallucinations.  When I sent email messages, they seemed to be sent at time stamps that were divisible by three, which also probably were hallucinations.  I was unable to verify the time stamps afterwards, as I was afraid of the experience, and as a result I decided to delete all of the emails from my computer.  This was an element of mania that I experienced again in the future, where I wasn’t sure if something was hallucinated or if it really happened.  As time has gone on, and I have three manic episodes of experience, I realize those things were hallucinations, yet I am also open to the possibility that there is some quantum physical element taking place, where the “break with reality” is some sort of alternate reality or possibility.
I could hike faster and stronger while manic.  On a hike, I remember looking from the top of a viewpoint over the city and freeway, thinking “it’s all magic.”  That isn’t too crazy of a realization, since we know from advances in physics that things really are glued together with a sort of magic at the deepest level.

Full blown mania is a very intense experience.  I felt connected by strings, to the universe, and I felt I could communicate with “God,” but moving through about 7 to 9 levels of Gods, by going up a sort of chain, and back down, using feelings.  I had another realization that “it’s a hall of mirrors,” while I was thinking about and imagining the universe.  I also thought that “God is alone, sitting in a chair, in a hall of mirrors,” and the mirrors were to address God’s loneliness, since humans are said to be made in the image of God in Christianity.

At the end of the manic week, I finally crashed into a deep depression.  Although such a crash is supposedly typical of mania, I did not experience deep depression after my second and third manic episodes.  I was lying in bed crying, part of the time at least.  The crash prompted me to finally decide that I should heed my wife’s advice and go to a psychiatrist, thinking I must have developed schizophrenia.  In actuality, I was probably in a mixed state of depression and mania.  The mental confusion from being in a full blown mixed state was so intense I could not drive.  My wife had to find a psychiatrist, make the appointment, and drive me to the appointment.

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder I, the strongest grade of bipolar, because of the high level of mania, and I was prescribed an anti-psychotic (Risperdal), an anti-depressant (Celexa), and a mood stabilizer (Depakote.) Over time, I settled back into a depressive state only.

I started to improve, although it looked like it was going to be a long road.  Two hours of work in my Internet business a day was all the stress I could handle.  The rest of the time I was swimming and walking/jogging to try to better my mental health and manage the stress.  I went to a few different doctors, trying everything from testosterone injections to electrical acupuncture.  The acupuncture did work as a treatment for depression, but going three times a week was not within my budget.

When I went to my favorite hangout, Barnes and Noble, I seemed to be able to perceive very quickly which books seemed full of “baloney” and which ones didn’t, in the self-help section anyways.  It took a few months to pull out of the stress.  As the years went by it seemed like I continued to improve.  I don’t like taking drugs of any kind, so I asked my doctor if I could quit first Risperdal and then Depakote, and he gave me the OK on both counts, not many months after I was first prescribed.  I was unable to quit Celexa, feeling hung-over and depressed when I tried to quit the medicine cold turkey.  I later learned there was an ailment called SSRI Discontinuation Syndrome, which involved withdrawal symptoms from SSRI anti-depressants.  The syndrome mimics the symptoms of depression, making it very hard to quit, as I figured I could not go without the anti-depressant.  So I continued on the Celexa for some time.

After buying a house in the mountains by financing the down payment, and losing a large customer, we had to cut our health insurance expense, and so I quit Celexa as a result of not wanting to pay out of pocket.  I seemed to go OK without it once I got over the withdrawal, which took some weeks.  But my mind wasn’t at full tilt by any means, not on the Celexa and not off it.  My brother asked me what depression was like, and I told him that it was like having a bad hangover every day.  It is more involved than that of course as it also involves depressed feelings, and since memory and cognition are affected.  Mental "fogginess" is another aspect.

I got hypomanic a few times, from being involved again in another online discussion group that had some bitter political conversations.  I would mostly be hyper sexual during those times -- nothing psychotic or intense.  The hyper sexuality led me to do a bit of inappropriate flirting.  I mostly experienced bipolar disorder I as a middle range amount of depression, and I did not (and still do not) “cycle” in moods like many people (supposedly most people according to the official definitions of bipolar) with bipolar disorder do.  Others experience more rapid cycling of moods, with some cycling even within the same day.  Having full blown manic episodes on a daily or weekly or even monthly basis would be debilitative.


At some point a few years later, my wife decided to pursue an elementary school teaching credential, and I decided I should do the same and teach math in high school, which was in demand.  During some field experience at a middle school, I realized my mind was not up to par as I had trouble remembering some basic math and I just didn’t feel that sharp.  Later I was doing student teaching at the high school -- trigonometry and geometry.  I finagled my way through it, re-learning the math the night before teaching it, but many of the advanced questions at the end of the chapter I could not do.  I was rated well on two surveys by a representative from the university who observed me.  However, I called in sick the day I had a midterm for a reading class I had not studied for, having taken two courses as well as the student teaching position, and the master teacher did not like my taking a day off on short notice.  Also, she felt I was a bit rusty, and the first few days I was late, although I wasn't teaching yet, just observing, so she decided to remove me from the student teaching.  I had tried to explain to her that I was dealing with bipolar disorder without being on medication, but that apparently just made me look even less reliable and probably contributed to her decision.

The teaching experience was unfortunate as the school had two openings for math for the following year, and I had my foot in the door.  It is common for people with mental illnesses to be discriminated against when they disclose that they have a mental illness.  As I heard in a YouTube video, when you are open about mental illness, others look at the disorder, rather than the person.  All the more so if they don’t know you well, of course.  For this reason, I don’t recommend disclosing mental illness to anyone except close family members and friends.  You can’t blame people for thinking that we must always be crazy, I suppose.  The reality is that we are rarely crazy, and the craziness is not dangerous in the large majority of cases.  Three weeks of craziness in fifteen years, in my case.

The student teaching experience led me to decide to pay for my own health care and get back on an anti-depressant, so I started on Wellbutrin XL, asking my doctor for something new that might work better than a serotonin booster.  Wellbutrin did seem to help quite a bit.  Unfortunately, our cash flow situation was getting worse and we had to move, renting out our house.  I also obtained a job from someone I knew in LA, and my wife wanted to be closer to her family, so it was time to move.

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I found an older web page that I wrote which I will copy below, which describes my first manic episode with some different details.  Sorry about some of the content being a second time.
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In the working world, I was good with PC's and held spreadsheet related jobs when personal computers just came out. This was in the latter 80's as I graduated from college with a degree in business in 1985.


I had tons of bad luck with jobs, and poor choices/bad luck with girlfriends. I had had I think about 6 jobs in 6 years, something like that. Many were layoffs beyond my control, this was the era of corporate layoffs. It affected my psyche of course, with stress and lack of confidence. Gradually I think I may have suffered from a light case of medical depression, perhaps induced from a combination of bad luck in this period of my life and genes.


Eventually I found myself self-employed and finally with a decent career as such. I took some LGAT (large group awareness training) seminars that shook my psyche and rearranged my thinking. This I still believe was a very positive experience in my life, yet I objectively entertain the possibility that perhaps it may have been one factor in my later manic episode and bipolar diagnosis.


While I was taking these seminars, I met a great gal (so I thought) and later became married. We then had two children. We owned a home in a beautiful small town and continued to run the small internet business. While the silver lining of the dark clouds of my younger adult days seemed to appear - there was one blemish - my first (and only) full blown manic episode, which lasted a week. It changed into a deep medical depression at the end of the week, at which time I realized I needed to see a psychiatrist.


When a lot of stress combined in the form of stress from my business, getting married, financial troubles including owing the government back taxes, it was the straw on the camel's back and I slipped into the full blown mania. At the time I was also active on an email subscription list for a club I belong to, and the discussion played a role as well, as you read things people write but it isn't reality as you cannot experience the nonverbal communication - therefore you can't tell if someone is telling the truth or not on an email subscription list. There were some serious allegations of fraud and so forth on the list. I think I was also questioning Christianity and my beliefs that were a part of me from my catholic upbringing. I think the LGAT training sort of de-brainwashed me from some long held religious training and left me with a sort of soul searching regarding my religious beliefs and beliefs about Jesus.


At any rate, I became absorbed in the list serve discussion and it turned into a sort of screen play for me. I saw the people writing on the listserv and contributing to a sort of play being written. I saw the drama, the soap opera of the people involved and their allegations of fraud.


Before the mania kicked in - I did experience some vocal hallucinations. This was several times upon waking in the morning, in the state that is almost awake and waking up, I experienced what I thought were voices of a sort of troll or leprechaun or such beings, that were benevolent but that ran out of the house when they noticed I was waking up. I could hear them laughing and calling my name and so forth. I thought it was strange but I didn't think much of it as I figured it was just the end of a dream or something. (Later my psychiatrist told me these experiences are normal if it is during the state when you are beginning to wake up.) I joked about it with my wife a few times.


The creative need, which was a very strong need indeed, urge isn't a strong enough word, for me to write on this discussion list was so strong that after getting back in the garage driving the car with my wife as we went out, I literally raced up two flights of stairs so I could get back to the keyboard and write some more of this "screen play" which was in my head. Furthermore, as I wrote my mind dictated to me creatively, with a sort of Elizabethan or "Shakespearean" English accent. And I had only experienced a few plays of Shakespeare, I had not had much training or education in this area. I suppose you could say the mania had allowed me to touch a part of my mental capacity for a sort of genius in the area of literature. That was my take at least - I have no idea if I read my messages now, which I had deleted fearing the illness that had beset me, if they would have the same impact - perhaps they would be nonsensical and much of the banter was actually taking place in my head and not from the keyboard. I did feel as if I could heal people psychically by touching them - I touched my wife like this to try to heal what seemed to be a mental scar of hers regarding her self-esteem. At that time she seemed to open up to me this mental scar, talking about it, and at no other time did she open up to me like that. I did not go around trying to faith heal anyone though! I wanted to dance when no one else was dancing, with my wife, to a two person jazz group - at the outdoor mall we went to, but my wife didn't want to as she would have been embarrassed. In a regular state of mind I would never had had the urge to dance there in public in front of two musicians I don't think unless others were dancing perhaps. At this time I wondered if I might not be Jesus, but thankfully I wasn't totally convinced of this suspicion. There was no better explanation for how I felt during the fun, natural high part of the mania.  I felt I might be on the same level as Jesus, however.


During this week of mania, I had tons of energy, this huge need to write this bogus screen play, I thought I must have reached a state of enlightenment, similar to that of a prophet, it was easy for me to go out hiking hills - I felt stronger. At one point on one of my hikes in the hills, I became fearful that I might disappear as my energy seemed so hot and bright. My rapid speech and my seeming enlightenment of course scared my wife. She recommended a psychiatrist but I would not go, telling her I had reached an enlightenment which could only be compared to a mental state of experiencing heaven on earth. I also entertained the idea that perhaps (being raised Catholic but not practicing most of my adult life) if everyone's mind changed to this level of "enlightenment" and productivity, that we would have a sort of 2nd coming of Jesus, in the form of the "body of Christ" - all citizens of the planet on this same enlightened wavelength. While I was manic, I felt connected as if a puppet - to strings - to God and to others and the universe. I read later that this is a common experience when people are manic - a connectedness experience. I thought that God has his God, and he has his God, and so on. That there was a sort of kite string - the Ultimate God would pull the string this way, then this would delegate its way to me. Then I would control what I could on these invisible strings in the reverse direction going up. I was a sort of puppet. At one point I felt as if God was lonely, sitting in a chair in a hall of mirrors, pulling his puppet strings, that the faces of God in the mirrors were all the subordinate Gods and eventually us as subordinate Gods. All strung together. I also entertained the idea that perhaps this was not God at all but a sort of mental trap one could fall into and be trapped in this hall of mirrors which was actually an experience of hell. I didn't know if I was under the influence of "god or the devil". I dictated what I thought at one point at least were Gods words on the email subscription list, that I had been to heaven and hell that week. Mental states. When I was manic, I felt as if I could make a fortune - since your mind seems to work at very high rpm, the opposite of depression which brings about less productivity and creativity and a lower “rpm” level. If I stayed manic I might have been able to write some wildly creative screen plays, if I could focus long enough. But all the mania in the world is not worth the ensuing depression, so I was happy to be at a normal “rpm” afterwards, however common a person I remained.


When I heard helicopters overhead I thought it was that people knew about me as a sort of 2nd coming, although I really did not believe I was a 2nd coming, perhaps all humans combined if they had the same mental clarity would combine into a body of Christ type of 2nd coming. I thought horns honking on the freeway (which was close by) were horns honking because of me.


The number 3 seemed to haunt me during this week. In part I think due to the trinity and the reference I was entertaining about the 2nd coming as a body of Christ. I may have either really experienced or hallucinated, it is impossible for me to really know, the phone ringing 3 times on several occasions for example.


At one point during this action packed week of mania, I got down on the floor laying on my back and experienced whether in actuality or in delusion, and flood of energy coming at my mind - an enlightenment type of experience. As if truth itself had entered my mind as if being hit by a fire hose stream of information in energy form. Very much like one Joan of Arc movie where she is portrayed experiencing this sort of thing (which led me to believe that perhaps Joan of Arc was bipolar/manic.)


Toward the end of my week of mania, I thought that I was communicating to a certain point in the universe, either God or aliens or to heaven - to someone or some group. I thought the FBI would find out I was communicating there and I would be in trouble. I thought the internet was one huge antennae and that I was sensitive and gleaning truth and communication from this particular direction in space, which was roughly in the direction North.


Another time I had mentioned the illusion and analogy of the rat in the maze, looking for the cheese which the rat thinks is outside the maze, but it is really inside the maze - as an analogy for us already being in heaven during our lifetime but we don't realize it. The next morning I could have sworn there was a dead rat in our alley and I called the homeowners association to have their maintenance crew come and pick it up. Was there really a rat - I think so but at the time I didn't know I was experiencing mental illness so I do not know for sure today. It could have been a mere coincidence as well of course.


During the mania, my wife enjoyed sex with me more than ever before or after I think.


I don't know why the number 3 was so important and prevalent in my week of mania. I would write something for instance, with much urgency, and find that I emailed it exactly at say 9 pm - a divisible of 3, on more than one occasion. Again I had deleted all my messages fearing the bipolar disorder, it makes you quite afraid when you experience a mental illness and you have to start taking medication. I was also afraid of troll or leprechaun type dolls for several months after my manic episode as well. I wish I had saved the messages. I found them to be on the subscription list archive later - but it seemed to me someone had edited them and removed many of them. Whether that is true or not - I could not tell. It may be that I thought I wrote more then what I did, and that some of it was different from the reality of what I wrote.


I tried to forget the week of mania as much as possible. I was afraid if I wrote about my experience that it would trigger the full blown mania again. As anyone who has experienced the down side of bipolar disorder - the terrible depression which is a sort of "what goes up must come down" - it isn't worth the week of heaven for months of hell. The depression was so bad I could not drive myself to the psychiatrist, my wife had to drive me. Later I drove to a local store and forgot which direction to drive home. I could only work 2 hours a day (thank goodness I was self-employed). Gradually over months, I could work more and more and got closer or back to normal.


The psychiatrist put me on 3 types of meds, an antipsychotic, an antidepressant, and Depakote which is the standard mood stabilizer for bipolar disorder. Not liking drugs, I gradually removed myself from taking the anti-psychotic and then the mood stabilizer with success. After several attempts to free myself from the anti-depressant - I found I could not stop taking this drug.


I believe I had two side effects from Celexa:
  I got carsick easily and my libido was low.

I lived a happy, successful, fulfilled life afterwards thank goodness and thank God. I gradually got better and better. I exercised a lot, took the anti-depressant on a regular basis, and I read every book I could find on the subjects of bipolar, depression, and mental illness at the local Barnes and Noble. I think educating yourself can help a lot. I did not use psychological therapy. I should include, to have an objective account, that I did meet a nun on an airplane flight - I mentioned this story to her and she said she would put me in her prayers. I did feel better that week and beyond. I think all of these things helped me to pretty much be cured of bipolar except for it being very light. I tried chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage. I did not have enough money to do the acupuncture 3 days a week, so I quit (insurance does not cover it.) I will say with objectivity though, that the acupuncture did work as a natural anti-depressant. It's just that it was medicine designed for royalty and to this day you need to be wealthy to do acupuncture enough to make it work. The anti-depressant was cheaper and just as effective, probably more effective. If you are wealthy and bipolar - you should go to a reputable acupuncturist though and give it a try on a 3 times a week or more regimen. I read a book I found on the internet about dental amalgam illness from mercury in tooth fillings - and I thought for a while perhaps that is what triggered my bipolar illness. Now I believe that it probably is just a genetic trait I inherited. I learned that my cousin had a bad case of bipolar (killed himself after all his troubles with his marriage), and that a 2nd cousin now, younger than I, has a bad case of bipolar. These genes are probably from my mothers' side of the family as a result.


The glitches I still live with are: I think like a playboy - even when married, I seem to have too much interest in women sexually, although I have not yet cheated, it would be easy for me to "lose judgment" and cheat. I am moody - I only want to do things when I am in the mood for them. I get moody about food, exercise, etc., and eat a 99 cent fast food hamburger often instead of eating what is in the refrigerator. I believe that I am a little bit of a forecaster of things to come - but I do not have a grasp of the details of what is to happen - I felt something bad would happen a week or two prior to 9/11 for example, but I did not know what. Sometimes I entertain the possibility that my word is so strong now, post LGAT training, that things happen because of my words. I don't fully believe that but it is a sort of suspicion of mine at times. One good side of the moodiness is I seem to know what I want or have a taste for or think is closer to the truth more now than before as well.


I actually like my current feel for my relationship with God. I feel that he is out there, at a certain direction on the compass - North from my perspective at least, that he is always out there and that he relates to us in a very subtle way. So subtle that if we do not take control of our lives and have faith in ourselves, that we can miss his wishes for us entirely. That organized religion can even get in the way of this very subtle relationship.


Sometimes perhaps the anti-depressant makes me feel as if I am living in a heaven on earth.

I also think unhappy people, assuming their basic needs of food, water, shelter and belonging are met, are in a mental state of hell. So to speak, not really seriously. Sometimes I think the anti-depressant may have put me in a bit of a "la la land" in this way, but it surely is better than being medically depressed. Indeed if the heaven and hell concept do turn out to be mental states in our lifetimes rather than places our souls go when we die, it would make sense to feel like you are in a "la la land" compared to "normal" folks. Or it may be that "normal" folks have been in this "la la land" all their lives, and I am only now experiencing it as a result of finally overcoming a deficiency of serotonin and/or other chemicals - that I am finally normal.

I am quite happy and productive. Although I doubt how much stress I could handle. I make a very good father as I have always loved children a lot. I could spend more time with my children - perhaps we all could, and need to. I enjoy teaching them when I do take the time, playing with them and taking them into nature. I hold the suspicion that prophets throughout history may have had bipolar disorder - perhaps being manic most of the time. It takes a manic to know a manic, and I had experienced my week of mania as if I had become "the next best thing since Jesus." As one author of philosophy told me via email after I emailed him, "you have to be a little cracked to see the light."