Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Bipolar time - My Top Five Hallucinations

1) The praying girl.  This was a recent development t

I do not know how hallucinations you may have, but the bipolar group of the (1) and (II) varieties can really be amazing or terrifying.  Or, just so what, there's a Hobbit in my underwear drawer, and yeah, he likes me, OK with that? Huh?

I am a not a doctor, but I do have some experience in the business, having been bipolar for a long time.  And, now that Showtime's thriller program Homeland (and everyone' s favorite BP girl Claire Danes [as Carrie] was last seen running from an execution in Iran) has wrapped up its third season and our latest BP Disorder heroine in Black Box has just begun her show (with hallucinations, but only the patients so far),  I wanted to contribute to the lull (hmmmm...) by sharing some of my favorite hallucinations of the past few years.

5) Radio KNUT - this one is the usual music from a distant radio.  This is a more common hallucination, but mine comes normally when I'm in my house on colder days when the furnace comes on and the hot air swooshes through the grate.  I am then entertained by voices and songs harmless, and in some cases, soothing.  Occasionally, I make requests for some Tony Bennett, or Sinatra, but I'm not heard.  More Glen Miller is all I get.

I look at it all like this, and part of my philosophy comes from some time spent with Buddhist teachers.  From the site bipolar.about.com - Bipolar disorder is an illness that affects thoughts, feelings, perceptions and behavior ... even how a person feels physically. It's probably caused by electrical and chemical elements in the brain not functioning properly (see What Causes Bipolar Disorder? for more information), and is usually (but not always) found in people whose families have a history of one or more mental illnesses.
While we're at it, let's be clear about something: a mental illness is one that affects the mind, not one that's all in the mind.
That's a pretty good layman's term definition of BP.  I will add that from the Buddhist perspective, there is the diseased brain and there is the mind (that part of you that when you are thinking seems to be talking right above your eyes and inside the skill.  Close your eyes and think of your favorite movie or show. Now watch what you picked. See where it is? Yep. Okay, open your eyes). The mind is you, your being, or soul, or whatever works. I'm stuck in here as you are stuck in your body. If the body is diseased, it will effect you and the brain you are using to function in the body.  BP is not your fault, nor is MS (for my fellow MS'ers out there).  I use this to remind myself that a hallucination is just that. Not reality. It does not mean I can't enjoy it, though.
4) Flowers.  Right after I turn off the light at bedtime, and lay back on the pillow, the show begins. With a small nitelight in our parlor giving any brightness to our bedroom, its just enough to see the black flowers begin their dance across the bed covers.  Seemingly held together by the daintiest lace, the flowers move and swirl on silent winds that make no sense to me, but I just watch.  Sometimes. Other times I'll extend my hand out and increase the swirl. The flowers respond, growing and moving to what movements I make.  Last night my wife sat up with me while I "played" with the flowers, and telling her what I could see.  Jackie is used to this from me.  She asked me if I was concerned about this and I said no, its just part of what I am.  But it makes me think sometimes that there is more to all this.
3) Bugs.  Living near a forest has made the outside a bug filled zone through much of the summer and fall.  Actually, it's not that bad when you consider that most of them are flying around in my head.  But I do go through a lot of Raid.
2) People in the house.  When my wife was working and I was home, I'd be writing or whatever and I was reading, I was, at times, thinking there were people in the house aside from yours truly, or, if not people, then the glass angel on our dresser bedroom cabinet is after me.  

1) The praying girl - She appears among the flowers that are dancing around the bed but she is kneeling and slightly above Jackie, and praying.  She is dark outline, of course, but she is in prayer form.  When I told Jackie what I could see, she said "Well, at least she's praying for me!"

Look if you are hearing and seeing things that you don't recognize, you need to speak to a doctor.  They may be able to help.  I know what my hallucinations are.  I do not fear them. 

Thanks for reading

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