Bipolar disorder: Rod's story 

Rod talks about being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, the treatments offered to him and how he copes with the condition.

Learn more about bipolar disorder

Transcript of Bipolar disorder: Rod's story

I was beginning to lose all my self-confidence.

I began to feel that I was worthless and I'd never achieved anything in life.

And, um, I couldn't sleep.

I then ended up having a total nervous breakdown.

I was in a meeting

and, um... I just couldn't follow what everyone else was saying.

And so they realised there was a problem

and I was sent to the joint services psychiatric hospital.

I started displaying the symptoms of mania.

Didn't know it at the time,

but I was becoming increasingly irritable

and having feelings of great control over events, and power.

I mean, I used to believe that I could, when I was driving along,

that I could change traffic lights to green as I approached.

That I could make them turn green.

And I had several psychotic episodes.

But the one that really sort of had a major effect on me

was when I believed that I was the archangel Gabriel.

I'd read about other people who'd suffered from manic depression

and they have quite often said

that they were so concerned about the fact that they were going mad.

I've never, ever believed that I was mad.

And this is the reason why the diagnosis of manic depression

normally takes so long to be recognised.

Because when you are manic, why would you go to the doctor's

when you feel absolutely wonderful and you're flying?

I was seen by a naval psychiatrist...

..who said...

"You've been dismissed...

..your marriage is breaking up..."

Because it was by this stage. It was really on the rocks, you know.

"..and yet you are so happy."

That was, um... him actually trying to suggest the diagnosis to me

of manic depression, I think.

I take my medication. I take Quetiapine, which is an antipsychotic.

Just a very small dosage. 25mg.

And I take it religiously

and have no further desire to, um, go through manic depression... again.

But, um...

that's how Sally likes me to be: boring and normal.

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