So, I’ve probably been hypomanic for 6 months now and I just updated the doctor again during my regular checkup yesterday. (For the uninformed, mania is kinda like the opposite of depression where you get all hyper and happy and everything. And hypomania is a low dose of that.)
Anyway, my doctor was pretty chill. We eventually determined that the dosage of medication was alright and continued on it. She asked me how it felt. I said it’s alright, I was more productive than usual, needed less sleep (8 hours instead of my usual 10), and my mood was generally stable. I also told her that this is probably my baseline.
She surprised me by saying (okay not really, because she said it before), that she wouldn’t mind being hypomanic herself. Not what you’d typically expect a psychiatrist to say, but hey, she’s a Senior Consultant, so I’m not arguing with her.
That was the first thing I wanted to discuss with her.
The second thing was that I’d read a book and determined that I’d had a touch of OCD. I told her I couldn’t step on cracks (on the pavement) or had to step on cracks, and then she asked me a couple of questions about hand-washing. I mean I don’t wash my hands for 10 minutes, but I do it much more thoroughly than the average person would after going for a course to help minister to HIV patients because that was what they emphasised on – handwashing.
She told me that if the total time of the compulsions (walking on cracks and washing hands) didn’t take up more than 30 minutes of my entire day, it probably isn’t a cause for concern. Plus I don’t have obsessive thoughts. It’s there, but it’s not debilitating. So she’d leave it.
Which left me with my most important and third issue I had to bring up to her. Which was this: How do you differentiate between hearing from God and hallucinations?
Let me give you some context. As Christians, most usually believe God will guide them or lead them through either inner promptings or with an audible voice, the latter usually being rarer. An inner prompting is usually a thought to do, or not do, something.
I explained how I’d read many books that talked about being led by God, but was also disturbed by newspaper articles of people being charged in court for doing something illegal because “God told them to do so”.
She listened patiently and then told me a couple of things that made a lot of sense:
- Usually what God tells the person to do is consistent with Scripture.
- Also, it is also consistent with the person’s lifestyle.
- In charismatic churches, there can be an effort to make one psychologically suggestible, especially in a group setting.
- A calling is usually different. When someone is called to a certain occupation, one tends to do it with passion, even after many years, and one usually doesn’t execute it mechanically, but from the heart.
- A calling must be discovered.
Okay, that’s all for today. For those concerned, I’m taking my medicine regularly, 2 pink tablets of Deanxit (Flupentixol & Melitracen) every night, one yellow Votazine (proMethazine Theoclate) topped off with a Melatonin tablet to help me sleep. The hypomania is under control, and I’m due to see my favourite doctor in 8 weeks.
So that’s all for today.
See you next time!