Bipolar Bob’s BLOGs

About Bipolar Bob

It was about 13 years ago (spring 1994) now that I was finally diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder (much like Bipolar Disorder) after years of serious problems. Psychiatrists consider this the least disruptive level of schizophrenia and mine is under control due to my twice daily medication and extensive therapy. Although my mood swings have not been extreme enough under medication to send me back to the psych hospital again, I am in constant fear that it will happen. The medication has left my concentration levels very low, and to a degree constantly and slightly sedated. I don’t have the Thorazine shuffles, but I’m not often walking with my head held high. This has kept me from working any typical job. I have tried working for myself, family and friends from time to time but nothing has worked out till now. Now I work for my friend C a few hours each week.

So Bob grew up in L.A. And had a pretty calm and fulfilled childhood. Always good grades in school, active in sports like baseball but mainly competitive swimming through senior year at high school. I also took occasional trips for water and snow skiing. I was really a good kid and didn’t have too much trouble growing up.

After high school I went to a U.C. In Southern California for two years, not very successful there, but I did have a whole lot of fun. After two years of terrible grades I transferred to a California State University back in L.A. Back to living with Mom and Dad, that was a bit rough after being out on my own for two years. I saw that this school was not the place for me either and next I attended an electronics tech trade school. Again my parents step up and foot most all of the tuition for this school too. My parents may have missed some of the finer points of raising 3 children in the 1960’s, but all in all they did a great overall job in my eyes. And that is said looking back with hindsight of 1990’s child rearing and protection standards, which we all know have changed dramatically in those 30 years.

I worked as an electronics engineer for over eight years. Boy I thought I was slicker than snake snot in those years. I was getting paid well and got 4 and 5 figure yearly bonuses. I designed a reverb, drum machines, and an electronic piano. Health coverage and fully paid trips to Taiwan to oversee vendors and production problems too. I thought I was on the road to make millions of dollars, but that was one of my first delusions. I was cyclothymic for most of those eight years with about a two year mood cycle. It looks like it was linked to the design/production schedule I was on. Elevated mood when I was working 60 and 80 hour weeks during the drawing and design phases, and then down in mood and energy when the production line needed reports, instructions and support during start up. I sought mental health professionals twice for depression and stress in those years, but never brought up the fact that 3 months ago I was working 80 hours a week and loving every minute of it. Had I mentioned that, I may have gotten medicated before my first and only psychotic break shortly after leaving this job.

As a result of being psychotic I had some legal difficulties (off limits topic) and once that was cleared up I had an appointment to see my first psychiatrist. That morning, I bolted, deciding that I had to go on a seven year exodus away from my family. My first stop was an old girl friend in Az. I stayed in town one night and she convinced me to go back home and talk to the shrink. As I was driving home I realized I had no hat and was therefore terrified of driving into the desert. Of all the paranoia and delusions I have had with this illness this was by far the worst fear I have ever had. Well, the police came and took me to the free psych clinic (three separate times in 6 hours) then to Maricopa County Mental Hospital. ( to be continued ).

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