I have been hospitalized several times for going psychotic. During one episode, the psychiatrist who released me from the hospital said, “The doctor who admitted you to the Emergency Room has no sense of humor but he found you highly amusing. You should request a copy of your admittance report to see what he wrote.” Here it is.
Chief Complaint: “I’m crazy.”
History of Present Illness: Patient is psychotic and thinks she is God. She has some good jokes to tell me about this. I think she is basically bipolar, in a manic phase now. She says that Pink, a pop star, is sitting on her lap, but we cannot see her.
The record indicates yesterday the patient was swimming naked, with Pink, in the pool at the base of Bridal Veil Falls.
The patient is somewhat disheveled but quite cooperative. She is in good spirits and showed me her new tattoos. She has one tattoo on her upper back shoulder area that says “Pink and Marina forever.” On her right foot, there is the name, “Pink” and then one on her left arm circling the arm with the words, “What goes around comes around.”
Identifying Data: This is a 47-year-old divorced white female who was brought to the emergency department by police after she was caught shoplifting approximately $3000 worth to DVDs. When the police arrived, the patient introduced herself as God and explained that she should not have to pay for anything because she is God. The patient stated that she and I would have to agree to disagree about her status as deity.
When the light turns green you go
When the light turns red you stop
But what do you do when the light turns blue with orange and lavender spots?
This poem by Shel Silverstein nails it. This is how it feels to go psychotic. It is like looking at one of those 3-D pictures. At first, you see only dots and then suddenly everything shifts as the picture comes into view. When you suffer a psychotic break, reality shifts completely.
I have gone psychotic more than ten times in the past 13 years. In contrast to some other people who have gone psychotic, I’m not scary in the least. I just give away a lot of money and make people laugh.
There are a lot of misconceptions about people who go psychotic. As in normal life, some can be dangerous; most are not. In writing this blog, I hope to dispel some of the fallacies and perhaps entertain at the same time. These episodes have been devastating for me and my family, but in finding the humor, I can laugh, and not die.
On the night before my first psychotic break, I put all of my crystals in the car and drove to Salt Lake City. I was driving around aimlessly for more than an hour, not sure where I should go. I was tired and so I decided to stay in hotel for the night. There were several hotels in the area but I decided to stay at the Crystal Inn because I love crystals.
In addition to the crystals, I had several Kleenex boxes covered with stars, moons, and suns. These represented creation.
I arranged my crystals and Kleenex boxes on the desk in my hotel room. I lay in bed the entire night, unable to sleep. At 10:48 am, I stood up and looked in the full length mirror. I raised my arms as if I was hanging on a cross and then I thought, “I am Jesus Christ!”
I checked out of my room and drove in the car to pick up Sadie, my daughter. I told her that I was Jesus Christ and she half believed me. We spent the day together.
That night, I drove with Sadie to Salt Lake to find my friend, Liz. My gas tank was on empty but I told Sadie that if I could create the Earth, I could create gas for the car. When my dad picked my car up from the impound lot a few days later, there was not a drop of gas in it.
When I was in the neighborhood where Liz lived, I got very confused. I asked Sadie to drive the car for me. She was only 11 years old but she did what I asked of her. We eventually found my friend’s home.
I told Liz that I was Jesus Christ but she didn’t believe me. I asked , “If President Hinckley, prophet of the Mormon Church, tells you I am Jesus Christ, would you believe me.” She said, “Yes.”
I got into my car and drove to the Gateway, a building of condominiums where I knew President Hinckley lived. I buzzed several condominiums until someone said, “Do you know what time it is?” When I realized it was around midnight, I left and parked my car on Salt Lake Temple Square.
I had a purple cast on my right foot because I had broken my ankle a month earlier. I rested that foot on my car seat and started imagining that I was healing the world. Two cops drove up to ask why I was parked on Temple Square. I told them, “I am Jesus Christ and this is my driveway.” They asked what my birthdate was. Since it was past Midnight, I said, “I was born yesterday.” They thought I was pretty funny and so they called another cop to ask me the same questions.
Soon after that, an ambulance arrived to take me to the Mental Ward at the University of Utah Hospital.
I sat in the Emergency Room for a little while. When they took me to a private room, I sat on the bed and I began a fight with Lucifer. It was a psychic battle where we were trying to write each other out of history. Ultimately, Lucifer was a better writer and I felt as though I was disappearing into nothingness.
I told the nurse sitting next to me that this was harder than I anticipated and that I had forgotten my lines. I thought our conversation was scripted. She just nodded.
When I was nearly nothing, I remembered my daughter, Sadie. I screamed out her name and Lucifer departed, vanquished by my love for my daughter and my refusal to let her live in a world governed by Lucifer. She shouted in terror as she left my body.
After the fight was over, a nurse named Heather gave me a shot of Haldol and I was taken upstairs to the mental ward. An intern processed me and made the mistake of asking me what I liked to do. I shouted, “I like to f&*#.” Not happy with this answer, he asked me what else I like to do. I shouted, “I like to say the word F&*#.” After that, the Haldol kicked in and I settled down.
A couple of days later I became aware of my surroundings. I was in the lock down unit of the mental ward. I found a phone book by the telephone and began leaving messages at offices in the Mormon Church office building, saying, “I’m Jesus Christ. Please have President Hinckley come and release me from the mental ward at the University of Utah.”
I stopped making telephone calls when a woman answered and asked to speak to the nurse.
A few days later, I was released from the hospital. I was not in good shape and I started having panic attacks. My parents flew me up to Alaska where they lived so that they could take care of me. I left my daughter at my cousin’s home when I went to Alaska.
Luckily, whenever I suffered from a break, there was always someone there to take care of Sadie.