A couple of weeks ago, I started experiencing hallucinations and hearing voices. Mind you this isn’t new to me. Since I was a little girl, I use to see what I call “The Dark Man.”
This time was very different. I saw not only the Dark Man but I saw a 4ft. tall figure jumping up and down violently in my hallway. This movement was very manic. Preceding the hallucinations, I heard a scary mans voice saying “HELLO” to me (in a deep male voice), a few times. I didn’t respond.
I was so scared, I started crying I was so freaked out! What was this new figure I was seeing, and this new voice I was hearing?
The following morning, I sat down on my couch waiting for my coffee to brew. My husband was in the bathroom brushing his teeth. I was dark in our living room as it was only 5:00 a.m. and the sun hadn’t come-up yet. I heard a funny sound, I listened more closely. I was coming from my office, on the other side of my house.
I realized it was gagging! What? Gagging, it was. I thought maybe somehow my husband was gagging while brushing his teeth, but knew it was impossible as the sounds were coming in the opposite direction of where he was. But to rule it out I asked my husband if he was ok. He looked at me funny and asked why? I told him I heard gagging and wondered if it was him. He told me he was fine, and wasn’t gagging. I told him, I knew you weren’t.
I was freaking out again! Why was I seeing and hearing things? Why now?
I decided I needed to call my psychiatrist and tell him what was going on. The following morning I called, only to find out he was on vacation. UGH!! Now what will I do?
The doctor’s office called me two-days later and wanted to schedule me an appointment with the other doctor in the office (which turned out to be the director). I made my appointment for the following Tuesday at 9:00 a.m.
I had to ride out the weekend with this terrorizing in my head. Wasn’t sure if I was going to have anymore visions or hear things. Luckily, it remained to small things I would see in my peripheral vision. The voices had stopped though.
Tuesday finally came, and I was eager to see anyone about these hallucinations and voices. After-all I was looking for some guidance and help. What help I was going to get, I didn’t know as I wasn’t seeing my regular doctor on this particular visit.
I walked into the psychiatrist office, and checked in. After a brief wait, I was called in to the doctor’s office. We both sat down. He asked me, what was going on? Why was I there? I explained to him my hallucinations and voices. To my utter surprise, he seemed amused! Yes, amused!
I explained I was scared because this was the first time I had seen a new object/vision, and I couldn’t (unlike other times) get it to go away. I told him I cried and it frightened me greatly!
His reaction, again, was amusement. I wasn’t sure how to react. I was utterly confused. My regular doctor would have NEVER reacted in such an unprofessional manner. He never even took any notes!
I began to feel really uncomfortable at this point. He asked me how I was sleeping. I told him I had recently been up for the last couple weeks at 3:00 a.m. – 4:00 a.m. and getting at best 4 or 5 hours of broken up sleep.
He seemed ready to write me a prescription, until… I told him I was experiencing back problems. All of a sudden, he seemed interested in what I had to say. I told him I was waking up not due to sleep issues per say (I was trying to clarify as I really didn’t want any sleeping pills), but because my back was seizing in the middle of the night.
I told him I had started taking ibuprofen at night and during the day I was stretching my back to help loosen it up. I mentioned I was doing a yoga pose called the “Cobra” to help stretch my upper back and icing it too.
He then asked me to demonstrate it. He actually asked me to get on the floor and perform the pose so he could see what I was actually doing. I did, and was a little embarrassed to be frank doing so!
He told me of the “Plank” yoga pose, and suggested I learn to do that in conjunction as it would be a better pose for stretching my back. Though he was kind enough (enter sarcasm) to tell me he could hold the pose for 3 minutes and I was NO WHERE near being able to do that! But with time MAYBE, I could.
I thought this nightmare was finished, until he uttered these kind words to me “So, what are you doing about the weight?” Huh? What did you say (I thought)? He actually hit me below the belt! I was like a deer in headlights! My only response (as I was in a bit of shock) was, “I work out on my treadmill a few days a week.” He said to keep it up! That I needed it, no less than 30 minutes everyday if I wanted to lose the weight.
I never in my life had anyone be so crass!
If that wasn’t enough he told me “You know, bipolar isn’t a disease! It’s just ill timing.” WHAT! And this is coming from the Director himself! What was I hearing? He proceeded, “It’s always nice to meet another bipolar! I don’t get to meet many patients as I’m usually behind the scenes”
And I know why!
Two weeks later I had my regular appointment with my usual psychiatrist and mentioned about my visit with the director. He was floored! Surprised! He didn’t see anything in the notes of me even being seen while he was gone. And couldn’t believe what the director had said to me. He did reaffirm that bipolar is real, and my hallucinations are in fact an issue to address.
I missed my regular doctor!
I’m hoping I didn’t upset anyone by telling my story. But I know there are many who’ve had a bad experiences with a doctor. Don’t let a bad experience stop you from getting the proper treatment, it is crucial to management with Bipolar Disorder.
Please feel free to comment.