Tuesday, February 06, 2007
(9:37 AM) | Claire:
Taking a Psychotic BreakHi folks. I'm sorry to say that I've hit a new low. A couple days ago, I experienced a psychotic break while I was in my metalsmithing class. I should have know it was coming; the signs were there. The lines, " . . . living in a den of thieves - and it's contagious. . . " from "Us" by Regina Spektor started on an endless loop in my head, each time faster and more urgent than before. Then I got the news that the American Enterprise Institute is offering scientists and economists $10,000 each to dispute the findings of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Familiar foods started to take on entirely different tastes. It felt more and more distanced from reality. I thought that going to my metalsmithing class would be soothing and therapeutic, so I brushed my symptoms aside and headed to the art center. In class, I was struck by a sudden hunger and a strange new curiosity. I decided to sample some nickel silver, as in, eat it. I soon lost track of my band ring project and sat, semi-comatose, munching on a sheet of 20-gauge silver. No one took notice of me. After grazing on various metals, I thought, "I'm a gargoyle," and accordingly perched on a work table and gave a foreboding look to all classmates who passed by me. Needless to say, an ambulance was called and I was taken to the only psychiatric facility that accepted my crappy HMO insurance.
My insurance decided to certify one day in the hospital due to gross impairment. During my short stay, I learned that I am encopretic and respond well to intramuscular injections of Haldol. In group therapy I talked about the pressure I feel as the Tuesday Hater at the Weblog and how it's only intensified now that Scott McLemee will be linking to me. Though my fellow group members were unfamiliar with the Weblog, and academic blogging in general, they were nonetheless supportive. They told me to take the pressure off of myself - to trust that the Weblog is nurturing and understanding of the challenges that I face; any hatred I put forth will be received with open arms. Ten group members can't be wrong. I trust that you will treat my humble effort with the respect and love it deserves.
I hate that I now walk with a shuffle and can't stop sticking my tongue out.
I hate that my initial psych evaluation lasted for 15 minutes.
I hate that, despite my assertion that I was a gargoyle, my taste for metal shards, and my spells of encopresis, I was approved for only one day in the hospital.
I hate that the only treatments my insurance will pay for are Haldol and ECT.
I hate that the psychiatrist thought that the Weblog was one of my delusions.
I hate that blog war PTSD is not a recognized mental health diagnosis and is not treated by VA hospitals.
I hate that I started thrashing and screaming, "Do you know who I am? I'm the Tuesday Hater!" when I realized I was being committed to the hospital.
Post-script: My HMO later refused to pay for my hospital stay due to the hospital's providing of an incorrect diagnostic code on the claim form. I'm now accepting donations to help pay my balance.
[Editor's note: When I visited Claire in the hospital, I found a roll of toilet paper on her chest, on which she had scrawled this post. She was in restraints at the time, so I can only assume that she used a pen in her mouth -- how she unrolled and rerolled the toilet paper remains unclear at this time. In any case, she is out now, which should provide ample fodder for Tuesday Love.]