This morning the cat and I shared a moment. It confirmed, we both suffer various psychotic symptoms. Both of us thankful for our medications. *skip to the bottom if you’re impatient.
*I suppose this is another “don’t talk about it” dirty symptom.
So before I get to our experience. I figured I’d explain a bit about bipolar disorder delusions and hallucinations. They are very different, delusions being irrational, illogical, and just a bit of false grandeur. Hallucinations can be many things, hearing, seeing, smelling, and generally sensing things with something triggering the response. Usually experienced during manic episodes.
My grandiose delusions are usually related to when I’m suffering mania or it is fast approaching. In a recent setback, I believed that I was approached by an Angel and he told me I’m having a child. I began seeing things, but I’ll get to that a bit further. This required, some help with medication. It’s what my husband refers to my mental reset. It also causes me to sleep for 16 to 24 hours or if that doesn’t work the good old hospital visit. It’s funny to look back on the experiences, but I mean biblically it’s happened before right? In all seriousness, it was a grandiose delusion. I have visions and find connections, I feel completely in sync with the earth’s energy, which can also be perceived as a delusional or maybe I’m just extremely in tune with nature. I can sometimes spend hours which feels like minutes staring into the woods. Keep in mind this is me medicated.
There are so many other things other than grandiose and persecutory delusions there are a great list of common hallucinations. They include olfactory (smell), auditory (hearing), gustatory (taste), tactile (feeling touched, creepy crawlers), somatic (feeling in your body) and last but not least, visual (seeing things). These aren’t always all associated with Bipolar disorder, but remember, I’m the kitchen sink, PTSD, ADHD, GAD are sometime the culprit. Now put it all in a pot and stir it, actually shake it.
My primary culprits are auditory, olfactory, visual, and somatic. These are the ones I still experiences even on medication. The delusions are generally contained very well with medication. My kids and husband believe I have this superpower to smell, the ability smell anything and pinpoint precisely the source. The hallucination is when I am convinced I smell smoke most often, sometimes it’s Jasmine. Other strong smells include, rust or blood. One that almost always gets me is some old heirloom roses that were behind my grandmother’s house as a child. I remember as a kid always stopping to smell the roses, literally. I only started smelling them after my father passed away. Roses today have lost the smell, these roses had such a strong, unique, unmistakable smell. Sometimes they smell as if they are right under my nose. Some would say this is spiritual and loved ones reaching out to let me know they are present, others hallucinations.
The auditory, are usually like whispers, but only at night. I recognize it as my mind decompressing, I’m simply hearing myself. But it’s interesting to know I sometime talk to myself in a completely sane manner. Sometime the pets and like other stories we have conversations, they have their voices too. Visually, it usually shadows…also reassured it medication adjustments by doctors. The somatic is usually gut feelings. They can be very unnerving. I could go on and on to the sense of being touched sometimes to waking at night and seeing someone.
So many of you may have skipped down here to me and the black cat. This morning in bed, the cat and I heard something downstairs. We currently live in a three story townhouse. So hearing something downstairs was a bit unnerving. So the dog, the cat and I walked downstairs to the sound in the main living area. Instantly, the cat completely puffed up her fur and arched her back and the dog stood in front of me and slightly growled. This happened once before when my mom visited and she witnessed a similar event.
I am pretty sure I heard the cat say, “holy shit” and the black dog growled just trying to be brave and quickly ran to the couch. The cat and I stood for a few moments basically, she held her puffed, arched back hissing. I just closed my eyes and use my senses. Was it a smell, was it the sound, was it delusional. I kept my eyes shut and remembered the smell of the roses and suddenly it was all gone. Whatever cause the disturbance, was sent away by thinking of the most comforting thing, the smell of those heirloom roses. Some would say my guardian angels came to my side. The room smelled of roses. The cat calmed and purred on my leg. I opened my eyes to nothingness.
Just a peaceful feeling.