On 11/24/2011 shortly after midnight I had a major mental breakdow. I live alone and called 911. I was taken screaming/yelling out of control to the psychiatric unit of a Municipal Hospital nearby where I remained for 19 days. I was diagnosed as Bipolar and placed on Depakote and Risperidone. This was the first time in 71 years that I had ever been ill and on drugs. I live in a 100 unit cooperative/apartment complex for 8 years respected and well liked. I have no close family and mostly casual friends in the apartment complex and community. I had many close friends who have passed away or live in other parts of the country.
I was released and went to the family doctor who referred me to a psychiatrist. I spent two hours with the psychiatrist who said, "you're not bipolar". Both primary and psychiatrist refused to continue the medication. According to the psychiatrist bipolar is very rare a 71 year old.
Since this happened I have become very depressed. I can't face people and almost never leave my apartment. When I do it's at night when most people that I know are at home. I'm humiliated. Occasionally when I do run into people that I know they seem very uncomfortable and many try to avoid me. If I had a heart attack or stroke people would rally but not a mental breakdown.
It's extremely important that I leave this community. I have identified another community just 4 miles away where no one knows me. Once I move I'll be fine. I'm having problems doing simple chores like taking a shower, shaving, brushing teeth so how can I possibly pick up and move. I own my apartment but can easily purchase or rent another without selling.
I finally got around to making an appointment with a therapist who I see on Tuesday. I'm hoping that in time I'll become stronger and will be able to make the move. For the past 6 months, I've become a prisoner in my own apartment.
I'm grateful that I became sick for the first time in 71 years. At the municipal psychiatrict ward everyone that I met was welfare, medicaid ,food stamps, SSI, residing in the streets, 1/2 way houses, 3/4 houses, shelters. No one had a job or money. I say this because it made me feel so grateful for all that I have.
I spent so much time outdoors with casual friends and neighbors before this happened. Fortunately three have called and they do occasionally visit. They feel that I should face people and continue to live the life that I once did but I can't. I'm so humiliated. I so wish it had been a heart attack rather than a mental breakdown at 2AM yelling and screaming and waking up many neighbors. When I leave the buildings its from a rear entrance that few use. I only leave to shop for food. News of the breakdown quickly spread throughout the community. Bad news travels quickly. I so miss social contacts with people. I'm a stay at home/shut in who's in excellent physical condition.
When this first happened the depression was very severe. I'm now able to get out of bed and shower each day but I'm still quite depressed. Sorry for the long message but I just had to get this message out to those who understand depression. I'm not looking for sympathy. I have so much to be thankful for compared to those who I lived with for 19 days. Thank you for listening.
Post Edited (Michael In NYC) : 6/21/2012 10:07:50 AM (GMT-6)