Thursday, September 28, 2006

Mania triggers

Kodeureum said:

"By the way BPG, have you ever investigated the instigating effect of political upheaval on your manic episodes?"

Good point. Looking back I can see that there were definitely political events involved in the majority of my psychoses:

  • 1984 - first and worst psychosis. Serving 2 years compulsory army duty for a government I did not agree with. In fairness though - this one's triggering had more to do with a marijuana trip gone wrong.
  • 1987 - "Black Monday". This day in October was the biggest one day fall of Wall street in over 50 years. People were jumping out of New York office windows (and there were no islamists incolved). BPG had all his money in stocks at that point and was also writing his fianl economics exam in 3 days (pole-vaulter style). OK so this wasn't so much of a political as a financial event but it was definitely a major international occurance.
  • 1989 - The first Gulf war. BPG glued to CNN 24/7 for about a week. Once again final exams that same week with a godalmighty cram effort required to pass.
  • 1992 - This one was VERY political. South Africa's last Apartheid referendum where the white population had to vote YES or NO to holding fully inclusive democratic elections. The YES vote prevailed but it was a very tense period with disgruntled right-wing extremist whites blowing up bridges and things. I felt VERY strongly about this referendum. This country HAD TO HAVE democracy in my view, and had a NO vote prevailed Mandela would still be in jail, and fck knows where BPG would be. The day after the referendum I was admitted to hospital. As I mentioned a few days ago, I arrived in the bustling voting hall that day with my old army helmet on, a great big "Y" painted on the front, and after voting stood outside the hall and screamed "Good Morning South Africa" at the top of my lungs.
  • 2005 - my little flirtation with psychosis in June last year didn't involve any political triggers, rather - religious triggers.
It is obvious (in my case anyway) that stress is a huge trigger for mania. And when it's group stress like a political event on a national or international level, the group panic fuels individual agitation like Iranian Oil on a catholic fire. When you're really unstable yourself, teetering on reality's cliff face, its damn reassuring that the rest of the world is for most parts "stable". But when everyone around you is unstable, sheesh man it's easy to topple on that cliff.

3rd world war? I reckon I'll definitley up (or restart more likely) my anti-psychotics. When the storm clouds are rolling in - put yer raincoat on.

What about you guys? How would your moods withstand the outbreak of a full-blown nuclear war?


  1. Total breakdown for me. I couldn't handle anything of that magnitude.

  2. I would be solidly in my most disabling mixed-episode state. I was there for both Gulf Wars as well, head between my knees metaphorically.

    BTW, you should consider the fact that pot is a common self-medication for manics. I have to suppress the urge to smoke heavily whenever there is upheaval in my life. Though you may be right to give it some credit for the episode. But which came first? The chicken or the egg?


  3. Politics and world events had no part to play in my manic episodes. They were stress induced. The first one was brought about at a time when I was doing approximately 1 hour a week of work on a construction site and socially I was completely isolated. I kept saying to myself, "something has to happen" as I was finding it difficult even to go shopping for food. When an new opportunity came around it brought on a massive high that I couldnt come down from. I repeated the same manic thoughts on the same date for the next 2 years as I went over the same thoughts in my mind and as I was going through other stressful events. Polarised times of boredom and high stress combined with a poor lifestyle bring out the worst in bipolar WillBeFine.

    It has to be pointed out that by going by the book the first manic episode a man experiences is normally in October when he is 30 years old. So maybe my first manic experience is just Cosmic timing?

  4. I guess I might be an abnormal man. My first manic episode was in June when I was 17. Maybe that's why I feel so old. Thanks for taking note of my comment, BPG. :-) It's good to know others find some value in my observations, armchair philosopher that I am.

  5. i cant even WATCH war movies .. no joke, 10 minutes of the pianist and my head was WHAAAAAAAAACK.

    so, an actual war?????
    actually this year we had some sort of a "civil war" going on in my city in which prison rebels started shooting off policemen and burnign buses and that kind of stuff, we had a curfew and were not supposed to leave our homes bla bal bla you know the deal.....

    anyhoo, im the kind of person who wont leave home unless totally necessary..

    well during that time i dont think i set FOOT in the house.. and would always drive by police stations which were bomb targetgs..



Recent Posts