- Mental Health
A Shopping Spree Look At Me-An Inside Look At Bipolar Disorder
Five Thousand Dollars? Really?
The meaning behind the illustration doesn't really call for an explanation. But I will give a brief one, It depicts what a bipolar mixed episode is on a very wretched day. On this particular day, Maudie, a kind and often cheerful soul, landed in the psychiatric ward for a month. Because she had been intensely manic that day. With depression, irritation, anguish, and rage chucked into the mix. Bipolar 1 with manic/mixed episodes are one of the most dangerous, and the most difficult to treat.
Maudie had reached the point of no return. She went to her regular psychiatric appointment that day, her regular psychiatrist Dr. Lid was not in, so she saw a substitute, Dr. Can Full Of Beans. Maudie recounted to him in great detail how very manic yet embittered she felt. She had a storm of raging emotions going through her head, her anxiety level was so high her ears were ringing. Maudie's recollection of these events were not very clear. Because she was in a psychotic state that Dr. Can Full Of Beans failed to recognize or just did not have time to deal with the circumstance, or merely did not care.
Maudie in her psychotic blur left the psychiatric office, and chose to go shopping. The voices in her head were not leaving, they were coming somewhat regularly now. Maudie could not push them away, as hard as she tried, they remained inside her head. She was very destructive, she cut her arms and face with a razor blade. Not deep cuts, she doesn't know why she cut herself, it was to occupy her brain she reasons. She began to make phone calls to EVERYBODY she knew, everyone in her cell phone address book. Each person she talked to, warned Maudie to go to the hospital immediately. So that is what she did. Proceeded to the emergency room immediately .
Once she arrived in the emergency room, they proceeded with a psychiatric evaluation. To Maudie's shock they informed her she was okay to go home. Maudie was in a serious psychotic break and needed help, help she did not receive. She was apprehensive about leaving. Maudie told them she barely remembered her name. But she signed the release papers nonetheless.
Shock set in. But there was nothing to do but leave. If the psychiatric team said she was fine, who was she to argue. She did argue, she begged them to give her medicine to make her feel better, to stop the voices. But they insisted she could leave. Maudie left, alone. Feeling banished and ashamed.
The voices became stronger, they displeased her. So she went shopping, shopping until the money was gone. Maudie's cart was choke full, it didn't matter with what, it was full of things she didn't need, but she didn't care. She did what she had to do. Shop, so she would not hurt herself even more. Maudie made more phone calls. Her therapist and psychiatrist told her to stay put, they would find her. Maudie didn't listen. The voices were stronger. "A Shopping Spree, Look At Me," Maudie sang.
She drove and drove all over the city. Randomly stopping to shop. She rear-ended another vehicle, and drove over the curb. The men in the other car let it go. The phone calls Maudie made were erratic and hard to comprehend. Maudie's therapist and doctor were never able to locate her. Maudie reached her mother on her cell phone, her mother was able to guide her the 60 mile drive back home.
The next day, Maudie's parents took her to the hospital, her regular psychiatrist Dr Lid and therapist Miss Feel Okay had Maudie committed. No one understands why, in her condition she was not admitted the day before. Maudie had very obvious cuts and scratches on her arms and face. Self-injury was very evident. Maudie had visible mental health issues. She had been in the hospital several months earlier, Maudie now built a wall as far as reaching out to professionals. No more.
And this last incident with an emergency room, single-handedly demonstrated to her, people with a mental illnesses are not always taken seriously. This day was Maudie's one super manic day in a super store buying super stuff. By the time it was all done Maudie had maxed out her super credit cards to a super $5,000 dollar limit. Yes my dears, a super 5,000 dollars. Maudie no longer uses a credit card. Not even for emergency's. It is the only way to avoid psychotic shopping spree's from getting out of hand. And that is how the illustration goes. A shopping Spree, Look At Me.
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