Note: if you’re interested in some more history and hints about my life that make me believe “something wasn’t right” before the age of 16, I suggest reading Some of my feelings as a teenager first.
I was 16 at the time, I had a drivers license and my own vehicle. I went out a lot to feel some type of freedom and escape from the rest of my life. Once in a while I would stop at one of my (ex)friend’s house to talk with them for a little bit, but for the most part I would just think about things as I drove around without any goal in mind. It didn’t matter where I went, as long as I wasn’t home.
Then there was an officer…
After coming home from one of these pointless trips and pulling into the driveway, I noticed there was a NY State Trooper talking to my mother. I didn’t think it was related to me, so I got out and asked what was going on out of concern. But it turned out, he was there for me.
Apparently, during one of my depressed states, I had canceled an online web hosting service with part of the reason being something along of the lines of “I probably won’t be around much longer anyway. I’m going to kill myself.” ..and they took it seriously enough to call the police. At the time, I was stunned and somewhat angered, because I felt like my privacy was invaded and I didn’t ask for or want that. And, well, I actually was feeling suicidal – and I had been thinking about ways to kill myself for a few weeks. Of course, I didn’t tell the police officer that because I was afraid of what might happen if I told him. But my fears were about to come true, regardless.
And I was taken against my will…
After talking to the officer myself for about 15 minutes and trying to convince him that it wasn’t serious, he decided to handcuff me and take me in ‘for my own safety’ and evaluation. I guess he didn’t buy it, eh? So there I went, in the back of a NY State Trooper SUV, looking out the window at my mother in tears. ( I believe she followed in her car, or came shortly after, but I can’t recall exactly. A lot of this is actually a blur to me, because it was so overwhelming. )
At this point, I started panicking, having racing thoughts, feeling very irritable, and more suicidal than I already was. I had no idea what to expect and I absolutely hated being forced to do anything. The ride in the back of that car felt like it took hours, and I didn’t know where we were going. I believe we stopped at the police station, then ER for an evaluation.
While I can’t recall every detail about what happened, I do remember that after talking to what I believe was a psychiatrist (while in such a messed up state), I was transferred via ambulance to another place.
I denied that anything was wrong, but others didn’t believe me…
The next thing I remember is arriving at a place called Four Winds, which is a mental hospital. By this time, I’m really losing it. I was incredibly energetic, had more racing thoughts than ever before, very aggressive and irrational. I demanded to know where I was and why. When I found out they wanted to keep me there for an uncertain amount of time, I threatened to hurt people and/or break out the glass windows. I was so determined not to stay there, that I would have gladly cut myself on the glass or even been tasered (whether that was realistic or not), and still gotten my way out because I had so much adrenaline built up inside me that I was ready to take on anything and anyone.
And then a few words changed everything.
A woman who worked there told me “You’re just going to make it worse for yourself if you keep acting like this. And you aren’t going to get very far.” – and at that very moment, the logical part of my brain kicked in. I was making it worse for myself, and I had already ruined any chances I had of proving to them that I was alright. I started crying, and started to feel depressed and scared instead. I eventually calmed down, while my mother was (likely) giving them more information about me. I’m sure she was upset too, because I remember her saying she was sorry and loved me. She didn’t want to leave me there, but she had to.
So there I was, in a mental institute
I think my mind has blocked out a lot of the things that happened directly after. But long story short, I was in a mental hospital and I was being forced to stay there against my will. I stayed for nearly a whole month, and I hated it.
- Interested in reading More about my stay in a mental hospital?
And that’s how I was first diagnosed
Sometime during the long stay with them questioning me, my past, thoughts, feelings, reactions to blobs, monitoring me and my mental/emotional status, and whatever other tests they did, they came to the conclusion that I had Bipolar Disorder.
This whole experience was one of the most traumatic to me. However, after the years have gone by, I feel that it was necessary and probably even lucky that I did find out what was not exactly “right” with me for all those years. Maybe it was a blessing that those people called the police on me, and that I was forced to stay there where someone could monitor me for a long enough period of time to diagnose me properly. And although I still suffer greatly at times, at least I have an understanding of why, and I’m here to talk about it.