When we arrived at the ER, I was quickly checked over by nurses while being admitted, given an IV, and began having multiple tests done by doctors. In my stay at the hospital, I learned that I was experiencing a major manic episode and was diagnosed with having bipolar type II. This was horrifying news to me as it is the same condition that had plagued my own grandfather and mother, but I knew to at least not be resistant to help from the medical professionals this time around.

Once we got the manic episode under control, I began spiraling quickly and deeply into a very dark and debilitating depression, the worst I had experienced to date. I think part of it had to do with my complete and utter fear of the diagnosis and the terrifying experiences I had just been through because of delusions. This resulted in more doctor visits and medication changes than I could ever keep track of. Everything we tried didn’t seem to be helping at all. It was incredibly frustrating.

I was unable to feel much of anything at all except for misery for months on end. Every waking moment was filled with dread and wanting to not even be alive at all. I had many suicidal thoughts that were growing stronger as the only thing I seemed to desire at all was for this all to just end. Thankfully, the loving relationships I have in my life were what served to keep me from taking action on these awful thoughts that are really difficult to even try to explain.

I feel extremely fortunate now as suicide is truly a pandemic of its own. I know now from personal experience why this is the case because these thoughts can be all consuming and feel entirely out of your ability to control at all. If you or anyone you know is experiencing thoughts like these, please talk to your doctor and never hesitate to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. I’ve called it before a few times and it was incredibly helpful and useful to do so.

Well, this has been an incredibly revealing week on the backstory of my 2020 experiences. I do hope it serves to help folks who are suffering like I have. Next week, I will begin to share the ways I am planning to continue with progress in recovery for 2021.

Thanks for following along with me in the journey.

Author: Dave

LX Designer, entrepreneur & change agent. Immersed in collaborations that improve learning & working environments. Sometimes, I go fishing.

5 thoughts on “Diagnosis”

  1. Hey Dave,

    Sending more hope and encouragement your way. I have had family members that may have a similar condition. I studied it for awhile in order to be a support. I highly recommend looking into the resource below. You are not alone. The person running this channel is brave like you. Stay hopeful, stay strong. Give yourself lots of grace, especially on the bad days (they always pass even though it doesn’t feel like it at the time).

    Polar Warriors – Bipolar Disorder Support Community

  2. I’ve stepped into, and lingered there myself for too long a time, “madness”. It is a terrifying thing; suffocating, blinding, stifling, and worse. And yet, without that descent into it, I could never have ascended beyond the self that got me there in the first place.
    I’m a lover of Gibran, and he has this to say about such a journey: “Madness is the first step towards unselfishness. Be mad and tell us what is behind the veil of “sanity”. The purpose of life is to bring us closer to those Secrets, and madness is the only means. ”

    Thanks be to God I left (much of) my old self behind. I wonder, Dave, that for all the pain and hardship of this journey, does any part of it yet feel sacred? For me, looking back on my own, it was perhaps the most holy time of my life. Harrowing, but Holy nonetheless.


    1. Really great question. There are certainly hints of the sacred from past dark nights I have been through. For this one, I am beginning to catch the scent similarly, but I may still be too close to it all to fully realize how holy of a time it very well may be. Still, when I look carefully, I can’t help but recognize there are shifts and movements happening at what I can only describe as the soul level to take me somewhere entirely new.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.