Welcome to Fit of Pique. I will be your host/ess. I am someone who lives in between worlds, between white and native, between boy and girl, alternating manic with depressive. Two-spirited dyke queer indian halfbreed crazy mad lesbian boy butch homo.
A year ago I spent six weeks in a psych hospital in Montreal for an episode of manic psychosis. I’d spent years trying to avoid a hospitalization. And in some ways I always knew, I ALWAYS knew, that I would end up there. I have mixed feelings about the entire situation. In a lot of ways it was a really abusive, scary place to be in. In other ways it probably did save my life. I also have problems with my medications, I don’t trust the pharmaceutical companies, I think their primary concern is money, obviously. And yet my mental health depends on these drugs that have made me gain a lot of weight and put me at risk for diabetes. As someone once pointed out to me, I could be fat and sane or skinny and suicidal/manic.
Madness is still something that a lot of people have shame around. How could you let your brain go bad like that?! There’s an assumption that crazy people (I am reclaiming the word crazy) really do have control over their illness, that they have chosen to be crazy. The fact is, nobody chooses it, it chooses you.
My particular brand of craziness is manic depression, my first manic episode was kicked off by Effexor, an SNRI classed anti-depressant. (SNRI means Seratonin Norepinephrine Re-uptake Inhibitor) Some research being done now suggests that migraines and epilepsy are connected to manic depression. Perhaps it’s happening in the same area of the brain. What is interesting is that when I was growing up I had horrendous migraines which would last hours, often with severe visual disturbances that basically would leave me blind until it passed. I also had seizures growing up, usually the staring variety, but one time I blacked out and woke on the floor with my mother in a panic saying I had a grand mal. The medication I am on now was actually developed with epileptics in mind, and is still used to treat epilepsy.
Madness is a difficult illness to educate people about because the injury is inside of the brain where no one can see it. I was surfing around one day and came across this link which shows different brain scans, including a scan of someone with bipolar. It was amazing to see the proof. Being manic is a bit like having every switch turned on, all the lights, the t.v., the stereo, toaster, blender, computer, vacuum, a whole house of things going going going. Everything matters. Thoughts fly faster than the speed of light, space-time becomes warped, and if it gets really bad the hallucinations start. Being depressed, on the other hand, is like everything is off. There’s no more electricity. There’s no sun. There’s no feelings sometimes. Nothing matters.
My name is Thirza, and I want to be your friend probably, but I am socially awkward, so sometimes this is all you’re going to get.