complete emptiness following psychotic episode

A

andrewl

New member
Joined
Dec 25, 2016
Messages
4
#1
hello,

In the Summer I suffered my first psychotic episode. It was very severe and I was hospitalised against my will for approximately 2 months. During my episode I had delusions of grandeur and I thought I was capable of the most ridiculous things. I viewed everything I was doing with the utmost importance. At the start of my episode I tried to kill myself when my friends (who weren't aware I was suffering from a psychotic episode) ridiculed the outrageous and nonsensical rubbish I was spouting. I'm left with a scar on my left wrist for life. I swiftly got worse after this, and at the highest of my mania I even believed that my father was intending to kill me. As a result, I armed myself and at points made threats towards my family, as well as the police. It was a very traumatic experience for everyone involved.

Before the episode, I was very depressed with suicide ideation, but was functioning socially whilst attending one of the top UK universities. I was a funny guy in spite of my depression and had many friends, as well as a girlfriend. I previously had a radio show with my friend and was very sociable, easy to talk to, overall a pleasant guy.

When I was released I was still slightly manic, and as a result, I had no trouble socialising. However, when I eventually came down from my mania, I've been suffering with the most horrible sensation.

I can't speak to my family, my friends, no-one. I've become mute, like my personality has been wiped away completely. I've become socially withdrawn. I don't know who I am, who I was, why I was ever confident or what confidence feels like. I can't maintain a conversation with anyone. I used to be quick-witted and likeable. I'm now a husk of my former self. I've felt this way for the past 6 months. Nothing seems to be changing. Nothing gives me pleasure. I have become a 22 year old child, incapable in so many aspects of my life. My memory is atrocious. Each and every day I question the worth in continuing a life which I already feel like I've lost. I'm just a shell of a person. I look like a person. I know what it's like to feel like a person. But I'm not. The only break from the constant torment is when I fall asleep.
I dream that I'm still the person I was before everything happened.

I have a loving family who want the best for me; I know they want to see me recover and become who I used to be, finish my degree, re-join society. I know that this won't be possible, if I'm stuck feeling this way forever. I have accepted I will never find love again. I've previously known love so I don't feel too bad about this. I can't kill myself; my family don't deserve that. So I'm stuck awake, not living, not really existing, with the prospect of being a loser who never leaves home, doesn't have friends, can't communicate with his own family, can't communicate with a therapist. I hate who I've become. I'm indifferent to everything I experience. It's not a life worth living.

Anyone else feel this way? anyone else who can tell me they experienced this and then recovered, miraculously returning to their previous self and living a fulfilling life?
 
S

spiritfriend

Guest
#2
Recovery is hard. It takes a long time and sometimes you feel like it's not worth it. But the funny thing is that you probably don't notice that you're improving. I think you opening up on here shows that you know the problems you're dealing with and that you want to change. Maybe that's a step in the right direction.

I said something like this before: Maybe you can't be your old self again, but you can grow into a new you. I know how hard it is. But know that this is because of your mental illness. That doesn't make you a loser at all. It's not your fault that everything turned out this way.

Therapy really helps. And also having the right kind of medication. This also takes time to find the one that works for you, but in the end it's worth it. I believe you can find some kind of happiness in life again.

Good luck with everything.
 
A

andrewl

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Joined
Dec 25, 2016
Messages
4
#3
Thank you for your reply. So I should give up trying to return to my former self? I suppose that's right. That person seems so far away. I need to change. I don't want my mental illness to be my excuse for not achieving anything in life. It is my fault, I made some bad decisions.

I just find therapy difficult to engage in, based on my inability to converse. Thank you, I appreciate that.
 
N

NeatMonster

Guest
#4
Hi,

I have indeed felt that way, yes. For months on end, just like you. You mention at the end of your post miraculously returning to your former self and living a fulfilling life. In answer to that I think you can lead a fulfilling life, yes. I believe that you never return to exactly who you were before, however. Our experiences shape us and they affect our futures. You have the potential to let this experience affect your future in a positive way rather than a negative way. That will take a lot of hard work on your part, I won't lie, but it's quite achievable. You can definitely lead a fulfilling life once more. The poster above, myfriendluna, has offered some fantastic advice in her response. I second that advice word for word; it's heartfelt and wise in my experience.

Good luck
 
C

Coast2

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Joined
Oct 9, 2016
Messages
1,235
Location
UK
#5
Hi Andrew,

Try to be easy on yourself - you've been very ill and recovery is a process. Clearly you have already come a long way in that process, but there is still some way to travel yet before you feel like you're functioning fully again. It will take time.

You're probably coming to terms with your illness, and how it affected the way you viewed both the world and your place in it. You don't mention if you're on any medication but some can leave you feeling low and withdrawn. Hopefully as you become accustomed to the medication these symptoms will lesson, and you'll start to feel like your old self, but without the pyschotic symptoms.

I also had my first, and hopefully only, psychotic episode in the summer. The antipsychotics has left me feeling very flat, demotivated, lifeless and very depressed, but the psychosis has gone now.

Like you, I have insight. I know I was ill, and i know that I am still ill, but not in psychosis.

Hopefully you will continue to recover and will never have another episode. If you do start to experience delusions, hopefully you will recognise the symptoms and will take steps to prevent another episode.

There is no reason that, when you are fully recovered you could return to university, finish your degree and move forward with your life.

I wish you a full and speedy recovery and a very Happy New year.
 
H

Holzi123

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Joined
Dec 27, 2016
Messages
2
Location
Austria
#6
Hi Andrew, your text speaks out my heart.

I'm almost in the same situation. I also had my first psychotic episode in Summer.
Since that time i experience the same emptiness you described. Every day is a hard day and my only relief is sleeping. And even with that i have my problems.

I also have the same problem with speaking to other persons. I can't really communicate.
And i even have got a scar for life but on my right wrist from that psychosis.

I still do have hope, but all i can do is suffer the same pain with you.
Please Update your progress here.

God bless you,
i wish you a good recovery
 
T

Tonic

ACCOUNT CLOSED
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Mar 6, 2016
Messages
3,346
#7
I feel low now too and unable to socialise.

I also had my first big big big episode of psychosis at uni.

My life has got a lot better since then.

Did they diagnose you?
 
A

aspieguy84

Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2016
Messages
10
#8
I had an episode last night. Broke my hand, very badly bruised my wifes hand.(I'm ashamed of that). In all of my episodes I've never hurt her, self harm and destruction yes but NEVER hit anyone else. I slammed the door my back was turned. So I don't know if she had her hand in the door frame(it wasn't when I started to slam the door) or she tried to push it back open
 
A

andrewl

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Joined
Dec 25, 2016
Messages
4
#9
sorry that you're not feeling well. That's good to hear. Yes, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I never had instances of mania before my episode and cant really imagine experiencing them again so I still question the diagnosis.
 
K

Keliza

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Jan 30, 2017
Messages
4
#10
I'm so glad you posted this, I know exactly how this feels. It's completely alienating and so difficult to communicate when you're constantly conscious of what you're saying and whether it makes sense or not. You have made such a good move joining this forum. I wish I had done this when I had my first (and only!) episode at the end of my first year of uni 9 years ago. It wasn't until I finally reached my final year of uni after a heavily medicated 'gap year' and a long period of denial that I decided to reach out. I found someone (on youtube) who had described the almost exact same experience as mine and it changed everything. She was so likeable, confident, funny, and hearing her speak about her experience filled me with confidence about myself. I suddenly didn't feel so alone and different. I finished my degree, got a job, went travelling, have had some great life experiences.

But that one person in the video wasn't enough, I still had the memories of that time I spent in hospital constantly in the back of my mind and now here I am, 27 and sat up in the middle of the night trying to find more answers and like minds. I'm receiving what I hope is the right therapy now for the first time because the help I received back then was not enough (shitloads of medication and a weekly walk around the park with a CPN) and simply blocking things out isn't enough. I've never relapsed but there have been times I've been stressed, lost sleep and seen little signs creeping in. I've not managed to hold down a real job and I think that's because of my issues surrounding my experience. I'm scared of the smallest amount of stress, cannot afford to lose sleep and have very low confidence so i'm not the best employee... I'm at uni again now doing a postgrad degree in philosophy because I think that's where my strengths lie. I still need to work through things though because, like I said, that one video wasn't enough. I'm counting on the therapy but also the general reaching out. I spent a long time thinking mental illness was something to be ashamed of and nothing except a standard 9-5 life was acceptable. But actually I think it's ok to try lots of different things, feel weird, fail at things, but when you need help - ask for it, it is there. And you are not alone.

P.S they wanted to diagnose me bipolar but in the end they just said it was a one off thing.
 
S

Smogmonsta

New member
Joined
Mar 20, 2017
Messages
1
Location
England
#11
hello,

In the Summer I suffered my first psychotic episode. It was very severe and I was hospitalised against my will for approximately 2 months. During my episode I had delusions of grandeur and I thought I was capable of the most ridiculous things. I viewed everything I was doing with the utmost importance. At the start of my episode I tried to kill myself when my friends (who weren't aware I was suffering from a psychotic episode) ridiculed the outrageous and nonsensical rubbish I was spouting. I'm left with a scar on my left wrist for life. I swiftly got worse after this, and at the highest of my mania I even believed that my father was intending to kill me. As a result, I armed myself and at points made threats towards my family, as well as the police. It was a very traumatic experience for everyone involved.

Before the episode, I was very depressed with suicide ideation, but was functioning socially whilst attending one of the top UK universities. I was a funny guy in spite of my depression and had many friends, as well as a girlfriend. I previously had a radio show with my friend and was very sociable, easy to talk to, overall a pleasant guy.

When I was released I was still slightly manic, and as a result, I had no trouble socialising. However, when I eventually came down from my mania, I've been suffering with the most horrible sensation.

I can't speak to my family, my friends, no-one. I've become mute, like my personality has been wiped away completely. I've become socially withdrawn. I don't know who I am, who I was, why I was ever confident or what confidence feels like. I can't maintain a conversation with anyone. I used to be quick-witted and likeable. I'm now a husk of my former self. I've felt this way for the past 6 months. Nothing seems to be changing. Nothing gives me pleasure. I have become a 22 year old child, incapable in so many aspects of my life. My memory is atrocious. Each and every day I question the worth in continuing a life which I already feel like I've lost. I'm just a shell of a person. I look like a person. I know what it's like to feel like a person. But I'm not. The only break from the constant torment is when I fall asleep.
I dream that I'm still the person I was before everything happened.

I have a loving family who want the best for me; I know they want to see me recover and become who I used to be, finish my degree, re-join society. I know that this won't be possible, if I'm stuck feeling this way forever. I have accepted I will never find love again. I've previously known love so I don't feel too bad about this. I can't kill myself; my family don't deserve that. So I'm stuck awake, not living, not really existing, with the prospect of being a loser who never leaves home, doesn't have friends, can't communicate with his own family, can't communicate with a therapist. I hate who I've become. I'm indifferent to everything I experience. It's not a life worth living.

Anyone else feel this way? anyone else who can tell me they experienced this and then recovered, miraculously returning to their previous self and living a fulfilling life?

Be comforted dear soul, There is always light behind the clouds.
Good luck my friend, you are stronger than you realise.
 
naominash

naominash

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Joined
Mar 26, 2016
Messages
2,602
Location
North Carolina
#12
I remember the mania, the psychosis, and the inner dryness that followed.

All the while, I felt like a loser.

But if you can believe it, it's these very things that contribute to our life's purpose, if we let them. If we don't give in to feeling defeated and focus on doing what's necessary to find balance. Struggle does make us stronger. Just try not to be too hard on yourself in the meantime, okay?

If you push yourself too hard in anything, your mind will respond to the stress. Finding a good pace is important if you're going to stay out of the hospital. Do not quit any medications cold turkey. If you want to stop, than let a doctor help you taper off.
 
C

Craig_wn

Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2017
Messages
6
Location
Devon, England
#13
I have been there as well, I went through my first psychotic episode when I was 19 (I'm 21 now) and I to went through a similar stage. I thought that I was a broken man with so many different thoughts compared to other people my age.
The way I snapped out of this way of thinking is that I became proud of what I went through and who I have become. Like you, I was in a very bad place with thoughts to hurt myself and others. How many other people go through a similar thing and come out worse than me. No matter your progress, you should be proud of who you are. It's makes you unique. I bet you are less likely to judge people and you are more understanding of people's problems because you have been in a dark place. Not many people our age can say they have been through something similar. Life is a always a lesson and this is a big one for you.

Don't beat your self up. Life is a roller coaster. Sometimes you are up, sometimes you are down. Best thing you can do is not focus of what you have been through too much and focus on what's next in your life.
My point is you shouldn't aim to be the exact same person you were before because that is impossible. Instead you should try and be better than your past self. Apply this lesson you have learnt to become better. To become more understanding. To just be a better man, to your family, your friends, everyone you care about.
It will get better dude. Keep your head up and stay strong...
 
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A

andrewl

New member
Joined
Dec 25, 2016
Messages
4
#14
An update from me :

This was a recent post of mine on facebook.


I've been wondering for a long time now how I would begin to write this. Given that it is mental health awareness week, I've decided that now is probably the ideal time to try and share a bit about my own mental wellbeing.
If you told me a year and a half ago that I would spend the majority of my summer in 3 different mental health hospitals, I would have probably laughed. And yet, this is indeed how I spent 2 months in the summer of 2016. I was sectioned under the mental health act, for the safety of myself and others. It was a terrifying time. It was an exhilarating time. Having been a long time sufferer of depression, I felt as though I was finally waking up. Like I was finally seeing the world through the eyes of someone who was free of mental health concerns. To me, I had finally become the person I always wanted to be; confident, gregarious, insightful, funny, attractive. My senses were heightened beyond belief. I felt like I could talk to anyone about anything, like I was important, and that the world revolved around me and my brilliance. It was as though everything I did was played to the beat of my favourite song. A song that was rightfully and unashamedly about me.
What I did not, and could not see was how I was actually behaving. I did not see what everyone else was seeing. Where I saw brilliance, others saw mania. I could not see how insane my actions appeared to everyone else. How could I be embarrassed when I thought what I was doing was right, and that it in fact made perfect sense. My explanation of psychosis is by no means perfect, and to pin point an accurate definition is difficult. It is different for different people. Heightened confidence, hugely exaggerated levels of self-esteem, grandiose ideologies, and false beliefs are all symptomatic of psychosis. Understanding this feeling is hard for those who have not been through it. It is an extraordinary feeling, a feeling that no drug could ever hope to emulate. A feeling that is as terrifying as it is empowering.
It follows that with such intense euphoria would come extreme lows of angry paranoia, and deep feelings of inadequacy. These violent mood swings were so powerful that on a number of occasions I attempted to commit suicide, coming close to succeeding in one instance. What is deeply saddening is that 20% of those who suffer psychosis ultimately achieve this tragic feat. I think this figure emphasises just how traumatic it is to find yourself in this position. And now, I do not want sympathy. My self-destructive behaviours and decisions ultimately contributed to this happening to me, for which I have myself to blame, and I have done so for long enough.
As difficult as this period was, I'd like to draw attention to the following:
Psychosis happens over a specific period of time, and as such, once your ego has sufficiently deflated, and your delusions have vanished, the whole ordeal swiftly becomes just as confusing and bizarre for the sufferer as it was to those who witnessed it. I think what has been difficult for me is that I do not remember a lot of what happened. I remember some things very well, which I'd like to forget, and other things not so well, which would serve me well to remember. Unfortunately, this is not possible. For a long time, I was so ashamed of everything that happened that I could not leave my house. It's taken a while, but I feel I am beyond that. What I hope to emphasise is that who I am now bears little or no resemblance to who I transformed in to during this period of time. I feel normal, whatever that is.
Given the rather fascinating nature of psychosis, I am more than happy to discuss it with anyone who wishes to learn more about it and its place in the world of mental health. I am completely aware that I used a few different websites as platforms for my babble, and I am completely aware than a lot of people are now completely aware of me. Not ideal, but you move on. I did a pretty decent job of making sure everyone in Buckinghamshire and about half of London knew I was absolutely bonkers, but I like to think that chapter of my life is behind me. I cannot let myself dwell on how embarrassing the whole ordeal has been, and I would rather like to see it now as somewhat amusing, which I'm sure some people understandably felt it was at the time.
I would however like to extend my apologies to anyone I may have offended. I'd also like to thank those who have stood by me throughout this experience, and continue to do so. I can't imagine how difficult it must have been for those around me to watch me transform in to a deeply unpleasant, and disturbing individual. My family has been perfect in every aspect of my recovery. I was hugely fortunate to have received the treatment I needed when I did, and I am still hugely fortunate to be receiving the support I do currently. I sincerely hope that those who are suffering from mental health difficulties can find the courage to ask for the help they may need.
Having bipolar affective disorder has its ups and downs (ha), but I like to think that unpleasant experiences serve to draw attention to the all of the pleasant ones we do have.
safe
 
Kerome

Kerome

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Sep 29, 2013
Messages
12,744
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Europe
#15
You don't say much about your current condition, but from your reflections I surmise that you are no longer feeling the emptiness of the thread's title... that's a good thing, recovery of a sort. The brain and the body are capable of remarkable feats of recreating themselves, so the one thing is not to give up hope.
 
B

BornAStar

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Joined
May 8, 2017
Messages
87
#16
Hi Andrew, I am going through the same thing you are and i know how hard it is.But now im on medications and psychotherapy and i feel somewhat better.My advice to you is to find also a good therapist and try some new meds,since the current ones obviosly dont help.You could try group therapy and you will find people who feel the same way you do.Also,you're not alone.I suffer from psychosis too.I had believed that devil was trying to hurt me,that all people are against me and some grandiose beliefs i am ashamed of.I couldnt lieve the house,i was completely unsocial and was falling into my own world.I couldnt handle life.I am btw transgender and i couldnt stand body dysphoria and hated being called a girl.I attempted suicide two times.My psychosis was also followed by hallucinations (of people and animals).I also believed i was going blind and that i have cancer.Over the summer last year i fell into full psychotic episode.I've been hospitalized 5 times in my life.What I learned is to not blame myself,but the ilness.
Also i think you made a good choice in joining this forum.Try going out more often,thats what i do now.and dont forget my advices from the beginning of my post.Take care
 
C

Coast2

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Oct 9, 2016
Messages
1,235
Location
UK
#17
It is possible to recover from psychosis.

This time last year I was sectioned after concerned family and friends wrote numerous worried emails to my GP. I was convinced my phones and emails had been hacked, that the FBI were listening to my phone calls and cameras had been installed in my house. I believed all my family and friends were in this huge conspiracy against me. I was awake all night and sleeping all day, I wasn't eating properly or even completing the most basic of personal hygiene routines. I was a mess.

I was in hospital for around a month. I thought cameras were in my room and all the Doctors and nurses were watching me 24 7. I had auditory hallunications in hospital and I thought the TV and radio were broadcasting encoded messages about me.

Ten months on I am recovering. I returned to work in January and i am looking after myself again. I'm socializing, learning a language and regularly exercising. It hasn't been easy but I've done it.

Recovery is possible.
 
H

harryresperidone

Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2018
Messages
8
#18
hi andrew, i am literally going through exactly what you describe , word for word, from the psychosis.... to the empty 'dead state' that i am currently in and have been in for around 6 months now.... your post gives me hope and i was hoping to ask you a couple of questions regarding your recovery re length of time , medicine, how gradual it was/not !? would mean the world if you saw this and replied , sound , harry. i messaged you on here privately also!