My name is Peter.  I am 24 years old I was always an energetic child growing up, and looking back I had some depressions here and there like when my parents split up.  I would throw temper tantrums and curse at my mom. I missed my sisters dearly when they went to college.  I did have great times however in elementary school as I had many friends and we used to sleep in cemeteries and do all sorts of daring things.  I would ride my bike off 5 foot ramps thinking I was the greatest in the world.

Middle school saw a big change in my being. As a Caucasian male, I then
began to slowly associate myself as Hispanic and make only Hispanic friends. I picked up the Spanish language in maybe a couple months while locking myself in my room and listening to music in my room.  I would get into many fights as being small wouldnít deter me from somebody getting in my face. I was like a firecracker ready to burst.

This continued throughout high school. I also learned the Portuguese language in a couple of months.  I dropped out of high school in my junior year because I only needed 2 classes left to graduate.  I finished them at a nice adult education program where everyone was nice to me and I excelled.

Throughout high school and after I worked as a lifeguard at a health club, and I got free membership to the gym so I could exercise. I went to community college for a year.

Then at 20 years old I moved to Seattle Washington to live with my sister. I got a job at a market working graveyard shift and after a week I got fired for cursing at the boss for something miniscule he said to me.  I then sought an army recruiter as my sister was fed up with me.  I joined the army as a linguist because of my language ability. I went to basic training.  It was awful. 3 days in I felt a sensation in my mind and body.

It slowly built up with energy and more energy and more energy and I was so irritable I wanted to destroy everything. I was like a mad gorilla on drugs. I caused chaos all throughout the base and then I was hospitalized. I didnít know what was happening to me. They gave me anti-depressants which made it twice as worse. I threatened people and knocked over bunk beds and got into fights.  They discharged me with no diagnosis. 

I then went to stay with my dad in Arizona.  The pent up energy slowly went down.  I also began to sleep more and my dad could not get me out of bed. I slowly began to cry over nothing at all. It built up so that I wanted to kill myself for no reason. One part of me wanted to die the other didnít.  The part that wanted to live asked my dad to take me to the hospital. We went, and I went through hell.  It turned out after 2 weeks in the hospital after watching me very closely they came across my diagnosis. BIPOLAR ILLNESS! Finally an answer. I was indifferent of what to think

I then returned to Seattle on lithium and I was stable. I worked with kids at a Y.M.C.A. and I went to college. I was doing very well. Then when I was 22 years old one night something didnít feel right in my head.  It built up fast and it became a mixed episode. I was so irritable and full of energy yet deadly suicidal at the same time. horrible!!!  I was hospitalized but depakote saved the day.

Turns out I had a horrible doctor as we didnít monitor my lithium levels.  I had severe diarrhea, vision problems, severe hand tremors, and slurred speech.  I was hospitalized with a 3.8 lithium level when it should have been 0.6-1.2,  so thatís 3 times the normal amount.  At the hospital I was flushed out with sodium chloride for 3 days straight. docs said Iím lucky to live. 

Then after going abruptly off lithium I became psychotic. I saw things coming at me in my peripheral vision.  I was severely suicidal for one month.  After testing my kidneys for one month I was placed back on the lithium as I started lamictal, synthroidd, clonazepam, zyprexa, quite the cocktail but it works. 

After that entire horrible nightmare I am still here living with family
that is supportive, friends, I go to school, I can hold down a job.  I have
a great future ahead of me.  Ask me would I rather not be bipolar?  No
comment. I am who I am and I canít change that.  I donít feel as well as I
want to feel. I am still working with my doctor on that.  I go through hell 
most everyday of my life just to do what it takes to survive. Bipolar tries
to destroy me and is like a bomb when it strikes.  It is like a school
shooting. You canít stop it. I just want it to leave my head.

How is one supposed to fight their own mind? It is an endless battle. I hope that one day I can be cured of this madness.  I hope this has been informative and interesting for those who took the time to read a little bit about my experience. Thank you.




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