Sleep Depravation

I have been to the mental hospital many times, but this time was for not sleeping.  I remember the first night with no sleep. No big deal. Lots of people have a sleepless night once in a while.  I new I was having a mania but was not that worried.   When given the choice I would take mania any day over depression and I don't know many Bi Polars that don't feel this way. So the morning came and my wife came home from work.  She is a nurse who works nights.  It was on the tip of my tongue to tell her I had not slept, but it slipped my mind.  So the day went on.  I felt okay, tired, but not tired enough to sleep.  Second night I will sleep I told myself.  My wife went to work at 7:00pm.  I put the kids to bed at 9:00pm and I laid down at 10:00.  I could not get to sleep so at 12 midnight I got up and turned on the TV.  I had way to much energy to watch TV so I cleaned the house all night.  When my wife got home at 7:00am she noticed the house had been cleaned.  She also noticed I was on a mania.  She asked me if I took my medication. I hate when people ask me that.  I had. I was really tired and my head hurt around the eye balls.   When she woke up that evening my mania was really bad.  I was having racing thoughts, I could not stay still, my speech was fast and erratic.  I was really irritable.  I felt like fighting with anyone.  This is when my wife noticed the circles under my eyes and asked how I slept.  I told her truthfully that I had not slept in two days.   I am talking not at all, not for 5 minuets. She told me in her kind and nurse like way that we should call my doctor.  He wanted to see me that night.  His office just happened to be at the mental hospital.  We drove there to see him.  I was getting more irritable by the minuet.  I was really tired but still had so much energy I could not sleep.  I could not quiet my thoughts.  At this point I had gone for 60 hours without sleep.  My doctor talked to me and suggested that I be admitted to the hospital where, he promised, they would help me sleep.  Now don't get me wrong mania can be fun but I was getting tired of it. I was exhausted, I could not stop my racing thoughts.  It was as if 20 people were all talking at once in my head and they wouldn't shut up.  I succumbed to being admitted.  My wife walked me back and said good buy as they closed the door to the ward.  Night time came and I was still awake.  They gave me Cloral Hydrate.  It is a very strong sleeping medication.  I lay in my bed all night awake counting how many times they come to the door to check you with a flashlight.  That would be every 15 minuets for 8 hours.  In the morning I saw the doctor and told him I had not slept.  He was astonished.  I was so irritable I was picking a fight with anyone.  They put me in isolation.  Two people, a doctor and a nurse stayed in the room to observe.  After a while I asked how long they were going to stand there and stare at me.  I heard a voice on the speaker in the ceiling that said, "Who are you talking to?"  I looked and the people were gone. The door to the room had not opened.  I realized that I was seeing things.  I also heard things.  The voices would not stop.  They were keeping me awake.  My eyes hurt and felt like they were going to bleed.  I had a splitting headache,  I paced nervously back and forth in the tiny room.  I did not know what was real and what was a hallucination.  I heard over and over again, "Who are you talking too?"  I honestly thought something in my brain had changed and I would never sleep again.  I believed it. That night in my room  I was at my wits end.  I went to the nurses station and told them if they did not do something to get me to sleep then I guarantee no one else on the ward will sleep either.  They gave me one more dose of Cloral Hydrate and said to try to sleep again and if I was not asleep in 30 minuets they would call the doctor and give me a shot of Haladol. Haladol puts you to sleep in about 30 seconds.  Why they didn't give it to me before I don't know. Without the shot I went back to my room.  I watched the clock. It was midnight, hour 108 without sleep.  I put my head down on the pillow and the next thing I new I woke up.  I actually woke up.  I looked at the clock.  It was 4:00am.  I had been asleep.  I went to the nurses station and told them that I had been asleep.  They were glad to hear it and told me to go back to sleep.  I could not.  I was still manic.  The next night I slept for 8 hours, and every other night of my stay I slept.  For me it had been one very long unending day, 108 hours long.  I never want to go through that again.

Hour108 Hour108
41-45, M
5 Responses Mar 10, 2009

I'm gonna hang on by my fingertips till they find a cure for Bi Polar and when they do, I'll be the first in line.

I don't know you but I have you a lot of respect because you have been through hell fighting with your disorder and I wish I had a .0000001% of your endurance to fight my insignificant missteps in life.

You really don't get a lot of sympathy from the staff. They are very jaded. I would get told that somehow my actions put me here. Pardon the **** out of me for having an incurable mental illness. Know what I mean?

I do a lot of creative writing about mental institutions. My stories revolve around teenagers in these situations. Is it true that ALL the staff are this impersonal and uncaring and cold? I live in something of a childish dreamland and I just like to hope that there is some good in the world. <br />
Your recounts are amazing. Thanks for sharing.

Keep writing. You are doing well at expressing yourself. Good work!