I’m afraid I can make bad things happen.

I’ve had these thoughts for years. Perhaps they came along with the intrusive thoughts, which started immediately after giving birth to my oldest. I can’t say for sure. But I can say that these concerns have grown more and more severe over time.

Photo by Uday Mittal on Unsplash

I’ve always been on the cautious side when it comes to superstition. Better safe than sorry. Why walk under a ladder when you can walk around it? What does it hurt to toss a little salt over your shoulder when you knock over the shaker? But walking under a ladder or forgoing the salt would only cause a short-lived ache in my chest.

Recently, I’ve noticed that these fears are more pronounced. Sometimes I even worry that simply thinking of them could cause something bad to happen to someone I love.

I’ve written a lot about how, in Spring 2021, I had my worst manic Bipolar episode to date. You can read about that here, if you’d like. I experienced my deepest levels of psychosis, and I feel like my paranoid delusions haven’t fully left me.

Talking about them feels the worst though. If I verbalize this thing, it’s more likely to come true. But I can’t write about them either. If I write this thing, it’s more likely to happen. And, sometimes, this goes a step farther. Could I be recorded if I do talk about them? And if I am, what would the person or persons do with the recording? If I write about them, will those papers end up in the wrong hands somehow?

Not only is this incredibly distressing, but it makes it hard to talk to friends and family about certain topics. I can’t delve into these fears with my therapist. She knows I feel this way, but we can’t talk about specifics or even vague ideas.

It feels like something I’ll never get over.

I can’t fathom a medication or therapy that can ever help me move past this. Again, better safe than sorry, right? Just because something I’ve talked about hasn’t happened, that doesn’t mean that I haven’t hastened it’s coming, right? There is no evidence that could ever disprove this for me. And there is no reassurance that would make it worth the risk.

Sometimes, this worries me, because I don’t know why my these fears (delusions?) haven’t let up outside of my episodes.

I still worry that my psychiatrist improperly treated me this Spring to push me towards expensive antipsychotics. I stick to my medications because I know my husband would fight back on it and, if the medical industry is as corrupt as I fear, the whole cover up is bigger than I could ever dismantle. These thoughts are so heavily seen as disconnected that anyone who speaks out on a grand scale loses credibility.

Anyways, I’m getting off topic here. The point is that I’m afraid I’ll make bad things happen, this fear is really impacting my life, and I can’t see a way out.

Sometimes I wonder if this might put me more on the schizoaffective spectrum. I know that this diagnosis would include psychosis outside of bipolar episodes. But I don’t hallucinate outside of severe and prolonged mania. Are these delusions? And is it psychosis if you don’t have delusions? At what point is it labeled as anxiety?

Ultimately, my only concern about a new diagnosis would be the stigma that comes along with that label. The public is widely uneducated about bipolar disorder, but schizophrenia and psychosis experience much more prejudice. With my bipolar diagnosis, I can just pretend that I don’t experience psychosis at times. I can avoid verbalizing the fears that many in the United States would label “crazy”.

I’ll be talking with my psychiatrist about this in a week. I don’t see it being particularly treatable. But I’d at least like to have a name for what I’m experiencing.

Sometimes naming the demon makes it easier to fight.

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