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Clown Hunting...my experience with bi-polar disorder

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posted on Jan, 22 2014 @ 05:07 PM
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It was 2:00 am when my cell phone rang. Groggy but knowing what was probably happening I reached for the phone, paused for a second and then pushed the talk button. My stomach went sour when I was instantly met by inconsolable weeping. “Hello” I said into the phone quietly but loud enough to be heard over the crying. “He has lost his mind” came the response from between sniffles. “I am afraid he is going to kill me”, the soggy voice continued. “He is dressed up like a rodeo clown, loaded a gun and has left on his ATV.” “Calm down” I said back through the receiver, “what happened, where did he go?” I asked not knowing quite what to do or say.

This conversation went on for about ten minutes before I realized I had better get over to my father’s house about an hour’s drive away. His girlfriend, whom I had been speaking to, was 83 years old at the time and dad was in his mid 70’s. On the drive over, I called my brother who was even less impressed by the early morning call than I was.

“It is time to go clown hunting” I told him and then simply said “meet me at dad’s house.” There was nothing more that needed to be said.

You see my dad suffers from bipolar disorder. He was diagnosed ten years earlier when he was caught naked trying to steal an airplane from our local airport. He was hospitalized for two weeks and placed on pretty heavy anti-psychotics. He got off of the drugs a month later and was found naked running around in the middle of the freeway three states away. My brother had to go bail him out and get him hospitalized once again. This is when they finally diagnosed him with a mental disorder. The first hospital visit, they thought he had a little break down or maybe took some drugs. We knew dad would never do drugs. He was a cowboy from Wyoming and hated drugs and users and would never take any willingly anyway. So we thought it might just be a break down too….until the second episode.

After this second episode, he was more willing to stay on his medication and things were fairly good until my 2:00 am call ten years later. Don’t get me wrong, he was never the same again but he seemed 80% or better. He had gotten slowly off of his drugs over a three year period and had been off of them for over seven years. We almost forgot about his disorder.

Back to the day of the call.

My wife and I let our eldest son go spend the day with grandpa. I knew something was wrong when I got a call around noon from my dad saying that I should probably come and get my son. I pressed further and he said that I just needed to get him soon because he (my dad) was saying things to my son that he shouldn't. I was already in the car to go get my son before he had finished his sentence. This is why I was not surprised by the call at 2:00 in the morning.

So, once I got to dad’s house….I realized just how bad things were. First he screamed by on his ATV with a creepy vacant smile on his face and sure enough, he was dressed like a rodeo clown. I am still not sure that he even recognized who I was. Once in his driveway, I see that he has moved his motor-home into a “defensive position” in front of his house. He must not have been able to figure out how to open the windows because they were all broken out and he had guns positioned inside at every window opening. Then I get inside and find his girlfriend still sobbing. She tells me to just get her out of there. So, I took her into town and she got on a plane and flew to a friend’s house. On the way to the airport, she informed me that dad never told her about his mental disorder. She was obviously very confused by this whole ordeal.

My brother made it to the house shortly after we had left and searched for dad on one of the other ATV’s but could not find him. He went back to the house, made coffee and waited. I returned hours later to find my brother trying to sleep in a recliner and my dad speaking in tongues in another. My brother just looked at me when I walked in and we both knew we had a long day ahead of us going from doctors to hospitals etc.

Dad was hospitalized for two weeks again. Got off his drugs again and six months later had to be hospitalized again. Just before this last visit to the hospital he tried to purchase a fleet of Toyota Trucks, several pieces of land and racked up some impressive credit card debt. He was having the driveways of every house on his road plowed and the church up the street as well. He was trying to start businesses for my two brothers and my sister. It was a nightmare trying to track down everything he had done and was trying to do financially.

The good news is it has been about a year since his last episode and he has been staying on his medication. He is now maybe 60% of the man I grew up with but he is living a fairly normal life. His girlfriend came back and is helping him out as well.

So, here is the kicker….I am wondering if bi-polar is even a real thing or is it possible that he is/was demon possessed or is it something like HAARP that messed him up? My dad has always been very outgoing and smart but also has always had something…..like a glass cover over his personality. You can see into it but can’t quite get in touch with it. He was heavy into the Masons (31st degree) and pretty much my entire family thinks it is more "spiritual" than medical.

I know this was long winded and I apologize but wanted to see if ATSers had any research or thoughts on this subject and/or if anyone has had to deal with this “bi-polar” disorder?

Thanks in advance.




posted on Jan, 22 2014 @ 05:26 PM
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reply to post by UxoriousMagnus
 


Uh...
I'm not a psychiatrist, but I am going to venture a guess that bipolar disorder isn't the only thing going on here. Sounds more like dementia or some disassociative disorder. Bipolar is real. I know many people who suffer from it from all walks of life. I hope everything is addressed and everyone will be all right.
Wow.
edit on 22-1-2014 by the owlbear because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 22 2014 @ 05:34 PM
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the owlbear
reply to post by UxoriousMagnus
 


Uh...
I'm not a psychiatrist, but I am going to venture a guess that bipolar disorder isn't the only thing going on here. Sounds more like dementia or some disassociative disorder. Bipolar is real. I know many people who suffer from it from all walks of life. I hope everything is addressed and everyone will be all right.
Wow.
edit on 22-1-2014 by the owlbear because: (no reason given)


Thanks for the input...the family doesn't quite know how to proceed as we all disagree on what is going on. I just feel the medical establishment is trying to put a "name" to it but I am not convinced they are correct.



posted on Jan, 22 2014 @ 05:43 PM
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reply to post by UxoriousMagnus
 


The name doesn't matter as much as the treatment.
I have my own issues. Different doctors have called it by different names. Where they differed was the treatment. If he was prescribed a heavy anti-psychotic (it isn't as bad as the name implies, just a term that is used to classify drugs not the condition of the person who needs them), they are from what I have seen and briefly experienced, very disorienting for those who do not require them. However, I know people who take them on a daily basis and it allows them to live some semblance of a normal life.
I think it is to be applauded that you are not simply giving up because so many people do because it is a hard thing to understand that someone that we love has an ailment that can't be seen, but it is real and no less life altering than a major disease. Sending compassion your way.



posted on Jan, 22 2014 @ 05:53 PM
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reply to post by the owlbear
 


he does seem disoriented when on the "full" amount that they prescribe but seems better once he starts cutting his pills in half or even into 1/4's. I am just waiting for the next episode once he decides to get off of his medication completely.

The one thing the doctors did say was that bi-polar tends to hit when people are in there 60's which is exactly how old he was when this first happened...



posted on Jan, 22 2014 @ 06:08 PM
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reply to post by UxoriousMagnus
 


Bipolar disorder (from my strangely widespread experience as I find intelligence is inextricably linked with "quirks" for lack of a more scientific term and I surround myself with people who are intelligent) usually starts to manifest itself around puberty to young adulthood, say, early 20's...but as my SO points out to me, the definition of bipolar disorder varies greatly.

I have heard of clinical depression and/or anxiety being diagnosed during that stage of life. Situations, change in brain chemistry, etc.
Just curious, what was he taking if you don't mind my asking...



posted on Jan, 22 2014 @ 06:29 PM
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My dad was never that interesting. I'm kind of glad. I'll give you a star and flag for support.



posted on Jan, 22 2014 @ 06:31 PM
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rickymouse
My dad was never that interesting. I'm kind of glad. I'll give you a star and flag for support.


LOL....Thanks Ricky....he has always been at least that......interesting.

Thanks for the support as this is my first post....was nervous about putting something so personal out there.



posted on Jan, 22 2014 @ 06:34 PM
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the owlbear
reply to post by UxoriousMagnus
 


Bipolar disorder (from my strangely widespread experience as I find intelligence is inextricably linked with "quirks" for lack of a more scientific term and I surround myself with people who are intelligent) usually starts to manifest itself around puberty to young adulthood, say, early 20's...but as my SO points out to me, the definition of bipolar disorder varies greatly.

I have heard of clinical depression and/or anxiety being diagnosed during that stage of life. Situations, change in brain chemistry, etc.
Just curious, what was he taking if you don't mind my asking...


first they tried lithium and that did not work out well at all....then they put him on Depakote (SP) and this is what he is still on.....seems to keep him grounded for lack of a better term



posted on Jan, 22 2014 @ 06:59 PM
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Dear Uxorious - you have nothing to be ashamed of. Speaking out about what feels shameful is what frees and empowers us. Everyone has issues. Your poor Dad. He sounds paranoid but I have no clue. There are all sorts of mental health terms and issues and many times one goes hand in hand with another.

It's good to talk to others to know that others deal with similar things and feel just as lost and embarrassed as you may. Just remember that your Dad isn't operating with all mental capacities and so when you get glimpses of your real Dad that is lost in there - that's who you love and all you can do is just love him.

Unfortunately not all mental health drugs are completely understood and if you get a lousy doctor they might not really know what they are doing. I would suggest finding out as much as you possibly can about his meds, interactions, side effects and that way you will feel more in control. I'm not saying he isn't being treated adequately but it gives you peace of mind that he is being cared for medically in the best way. Find out about programs, places that help and that way you can have a say in his treatment/drugs/case.

My Dad has the start of dementia, he is a huge man and very strong - and the mind games he plays. We also suspect he has some form of schizophrenia but he refuses to seek any kind of help. He would be homeless if he could and it has taken all us grown kids and his doctors to ensure he is safe and healthy. It is like chasing a three year old hiding in a grown man's body all over town and trying to keep one step ahead of him. It is exhausting and so overwhelming at times but if you keep the love at the focus of all you do it makes it more bearable and one can have a good laugh at times.

It doesn't sound spiritual to me. I suspect he is just jumbling up everything in his mind and that it is medical. But you can always pray for God to bind all evil and to pour His protection over your Dad.

All the best!



posted on Jan, 22 2014 @ 07:12 PM
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reply to post by UxoriousMagnus
 


So people with mental illness are clowns to you, huh? Even your own father?



posted on Jan, 22 2014 @ 07:15 PM
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UxoriousMagnus
reply to post by the owlbear
 


he does seem disoriented when on the "full" amount that they prescribe but seems better once he starts cutting his pills in half or even into 1/4's. I am just waiting for the next episode once he decides to get off of his medication completely.

The one thing the doctors did say was that bi-polar tends to hit when people are in there 60's which is exactly how old he was when this first happened...


BS. It presents when it presents. There is no age-range for bipolar disorder.



posted on Jan, 22 2014 @ 07:20 PM
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Restricted
reply to post by UxoriousMagnus
 


So people with mental illness are clowns to you, huh? Even your own father?


he was dressed like a clown....no I don't think he or anyone else is a clown

sorry you were confused about that....



posted on Jan, 22 2014 @ 07:21 PM
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reply to post by UxoriousMagnus
 


Yeah...that stuff is pretty harsh from what I have been told. Never had it personally, but can attest that it can really mess with one's head. Hopefully everyone can get the dosage figured out. That is the hard part. Too much and the patient feels like a zombie, too little and, well, you know...



posted on Jan, 22 2014 @ 07:27 PM
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ccseagull
Dear Uxorious - you have nothing to be ashamed of. Speaking out about what feels shameful is what frees and empowers us. Everyone has issues. Your poor Dad. He sounds paranoid but I have no clue. There are all sorts of mental health terms and issues and many times one goes hand in hand with another.

It's good to talk to others to know that others deal with similar things and feel just as lost and embarrassed as you may. Just remember that your Dad isn't operating with all mental capacities and so when you get glimpses of your real Dad that is lost in there - that's who you love and all you can do is just love him.

Unfortunately not all mental health drugs are completely understood and if you get a lousy doctor they might not really know what they are doing. I would suggest finding out as much as you possibly can about his meds, interactions, side effects and that way you will feel more in control. I'm not saying he isn't being treated adequately but it gives you peace of mind that he is being cared for medically in the best way. Find out about programs, places that help and that way you can have a say in his treatment/drugs/case.

My Dad has the start of dementia, he is a huge man and very strong - and the mind games he plays. We also suspect he has some form of schizophrenia but he refuses to seek any kind of help. He would be homeless if he could and it has taken all us grown kids and his doctors to ensure he is safe and healthy. It is like chasing a three year old hiding in a grown man's body all over town and trying to keep one step ahead of him. It is exhausting and so overwhelming at times but if you keep the love at the focus of all you do it makes it more bearable and one can have a good laugh at times.

It doesn't sound spiritual to me. I suspect he is just jumbling up everything in his mind and that it is medical. But you can always pray for God to bind all evil and to pour His protection over your Dad.

All the best!


wow! thank you for the input. He is paranoid when off his meds and starting to have an episode. He makes everyone talk quiet because he doesn't want the neighbors to know, he thinks helicopters are coming to get him but on the flip side.... he gets very lovey and patriotic on a grande scale. We did get some "after hospital" care this time but once he starts feeling better and getting on lower dosages.....then he wants no help and thinks he is just fine again.

then it all starts over again at the beginning.



posted on Jan, 22 2014 @ 07:29 PM
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Restricted

UxoriousMagnus
reply to post by the owlbear
 


he does seem disoriented when on the "full" amount that they prescribe but seems better once he starts cutting his pills in half or even into 1/4's. I am just waiting for the next episode once he decides to get off of his medication completely.

The one thing the doctors did say was that bi-polar tends to hit when people are in there 60's which is exactly how old he was when this first happened...


BS. It presents when it presents. There is no age-range for bipolar disorder.


just telling you what his doctor said...

but thanks for letting me know it is "BS"



posted on Jan, 22 2014 @ 07:32 PM
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reply to post by UxoriousMagnus
 


Bipolar with psychotic features. The Depakote is for mania.

Bipolar actually manifests quite young.



posted on Jan, 22 2014 @ 07:40 PM
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Restricted
reply to post by UxoriousMagnus
 


Bipolar with psychotic features. The Depakote is for mania.

Bipolar actually manifests quite young.


so....his being a little "off" his whole life was probably this just waiting to manifest?

or are you saying he probably has had episodes his whole life and people just didn't know what it was?

and yes...bipolar with psychotic features is exactly what they called it.



posted on Jan, 22 2014 @ 07:46 PM
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reply to post by UxoriousMagnus
 


He's probably been that way his whole life. Mental illness is often misdiagnosed early on. It's usually something simple at first. You don't get an accurate diagnosis until all the symptoms have fully manifested.



posted on Jan, 22 2014 @ 07:50 PM
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Restricted
reply to post by UxoriousMagnus
 


He's probably been that way his whole life. Mental illness is often misdiagnosed early on. It's usually something simple at first. You don't get an accurate diagnosis until all the symptoms have fully manifested.


gotcha....well thanks for the info....

whenever my kids get out of line....I always tell them that "it" skips a generation.....and whenever I do something less than awesome....the kids tell me that obviously it doesn't skip a generation.

I hope it does neither .....



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