I just finished reading a book “From Psychic to Psychotic and Beyond – A True Story of My Bipolar Disorder,” by Kerry Ann Jacobs. The most frightening aspect of the book, from my point of view, is that I don’t think the author has reached a stable state of mind. The final note of the book is a request to contact her with any psychic experiences you have had because she is working on a 2nd and 3rd book about psychic phenomenon.
I suspect that she is either misdiagnosed or has a dual diagnosis. Some of the experiences she describes sound a lot more like schizophrenia than bipolar, especially the hearing voices part.
The first 70 pages of the book is a long , drawn out, day by day, blow-by-blow ramble of a 2 year period where she claimed to hang out on a daily basis with the spirit bodies of Jude Law, Heath Ledger, Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Princess Di, Michael the Archangel, and so on. She also had a constant companion she called Wes, who she claimed was a husband from a previous life. They had a spirit child together which no one could see. At one point the angels told her that the world had actually ended and that everyone was in a spirit body.
She heard voices that at first were friendly and helped her and then became demons that threatened and abused her, including sexual abuse. They told her that she had died and was living in hell. An interesting metaphor since having an untreated mental illness can indeed feel like living in hell.
While she was suffering through this rather spectacular meltdown she became deeply involved with psychic dabblings such as tarot cards and crystal balls. She was a practicing lawyer and began to offer reading to her clients. Eventually she didn’t need the crystal ball and could see messages written on the carpet or hear them in her head. It comes as no surprise that she fell into a financial crisis because she was losing clients right and left, but kept spending money as if she had a thriving practice. In the portion of the book written from her mother’s point of view she stated that Jacobs was $36,000 in debt at the time of her first trip to the mental hospital.
This went on for years. My question is how the hell did anyone not pick up on the fact that she was as crazy as a bedbug? Her friends and parents were scared and concerned, but I know how difficult it is to convince someone who is mentally ill that there is something wrong and they need help.
She finally reached out for help when the demons threatened to kill her. She called her mother who, being a 50 minute drive away, sent her brother to pick her up. The police also came. By the time they got there the demons had told her that the police and her brother were also demons masquerading as the police and her brother, so they had a hell of a time getting her to the hospital.
Arriving at the hospital, Jacobs is convinced that everyone at the hospital were also demons. She fought and refused to take medication being convinced it was poison. The hospital staff injected her with a sedative that didn’t have much effect.
The next part of the book, after her first hospitalization, she battles with accepting she has an illness, goes of her meds, the voices come back, and of course she bounces back in the hospital 6 months later. The scariest part of this section of the book is that she seems to focus more on what to say or not say to a psychiatrist to get released from the hospital, rather than how to recover and manage her illness. At no point in the book does she come out and state clearly that she had an illness and was not a psychic. The closest she got was to explain that because she was bipolar she was “too sensitive” to be involved in psychic practices.
The next section of the book is page after page of doctors reports from her numerous hospitalizations. They pretty much all said the same thing over and over so it was rather redundant.
The final whammy of the book was what I mentioned earlier. On her “final note” page she gives her email address and asks people to contact her regarding any psychic experiences because she is writing books about it. This part made my blood run cold. This woman is obviously not in recovery or a stable state of mind and gives every indication that she’s heading right back down the rabbit hole.
My heart goes out to this woman and can only imagine how much she suffers. I’m grateful every day that I have a combo of meds to keep me in a stable and happy state of being. This book really rammed it home that things could have gotten a lot worse before they got better…if they got better. I seem to be blessed with enough self-awareness that when things start to go bad, I run screaming to my psychiatrist like my hair is one fire.
The Lone Ranger and Tonto find themselves after a long exhausting horse ride staring up at canyon walls filled with hostile Apache warriors. The Lone Ranger sensing the impending doom turns to Tonto, his faithful Indian scout, and says “What do WE do now Tonto?” Tonto slowly turns towards to the Lone Ranger, thinks of his Indian brothers and says “What do you mean WE, White Man?”
The other night while in the emergency room for 5 hours, that part of my brain that stands aside and observes had quite an inner monologue going on questioning everything that happened or more precisely what was NOT happening. The delirious from pain and fever me and the bordering on hysterical with fear husband had an intense dialogue going on, but it wasn’t making much sense at the time. And doing us both more harm than good.
I remember asking “why did you bring me here to this ER?” His answer was “because this is where we’ve always come here.” Huh? “Who is we? Come to think of it I used to get medical care a lot faster before I married into this “we” family 10 years ago. And what does that have to with the fact that this is NOW, in the present, the premier suckiest, smelliest, ER I’ve ever been too?” The only ER I’ve been to so far that was worse was the one in downtown Kingston, Jamaica, when a friend poked some tree sap in his eye.
I think I said or maybe only thought “I’d be better off going to Parkland hospital.” (The hospital President Kennedy died at) “At least there I’d die fast instead of writhing away in agony for eons.” It’s pretty pathetic when you are in such misery that you hope for malpractice as an escape from this mortal coil. I’m not accusing Parkland Hospital of malpractice, and am pretty much sure that the President was already a goner upon arrival at their ER, but a desperate brain grasps as straws.
I then asked “OK, why exactly does the collective we always come here to this ER?” The answer was something along the lines of our family (in-laws) donated a lot of money or built a wing or some such thing. That’s all well and good, and I applaud their generosity. However, the point was that it wasn’t helping me now in the present. I didn’t see an express lane for hospital supporters anywhere in the room. When I need medical treatment, I want it fast and am not willing to be patient and wait simply because at some point in the distant past a relative made a donation to this particular institution. Unless maybe I’m willing to play the jolly fellow and just die and donate my organs as well?
Finally in total frustration, Mr. Husband asked “well what do you want to do? Go home?” I said I didn’t know. What I really wanted to say was “just shoot me now and get it over with. My God, if I was an animal they would have already posed this as an option.” The truth is that I rarely “don’t know.” I have an opinion on everything including my demise. When I say I don’t know it’s because I am afraid to verbalize what I’m thinking.
After several more eons waiting it came to me that having an Advanced Medical Directive is not enough. Mr. Husband and I both have a notarized version of this document authorizing us to make decisions for the other in case they are unable to do so.
Along with the AMD document it is also important to hammer out when exactly you become incapable of making decisions, and be very specific about it. Mr. Husband tends to play fast and loose with this one and sometimes decides I’m incapacitated the minute I say “oww.” I have decided that my definition of incapable of making decisions comes at the point when I am unconscious, with eyes closed, and do not respond to a stab in the sternum with a roofing nail and not one second before.
I’ve also decided that it is extremely important to decide beforehand, when I’m in my right mind, important details of health care such as what hospital I want to be taken to in an emergency. It will help ease the panic and confusion and lessen the emotional damage between loved ones after an event. Delirium tends to operate on a sliding scale. The other night I was slipping in and out of reality and at one point thought my brother was talking to me. He lives in Mississippi so that was highly unlikely. If you wait until that point to make life altering decisions you run the risk of not being take seriously.
Another thing I’m going to do is make up a cheat sheet and keep in my wallet. For my own use, to remember what I decided when I was “in my right mind.” And to hand it over to Hubman if I feel myself slipping to the dark side.
1) What hospital I want, no wait DEMAND, to go to if need be.
2) Who my primary care Doctor is …according to me.
3) What hospital I do NOT want to go to, in case my first choice is not an option.
4) Meds I’m taking.
4) What I’m allergic to.
5) The fact that I do not want ice applied to any part of my body unless death is the only alternative. (I hate ice packs-while it’s Hubman’s go-to solution for any problem)