Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Psychosis Simulator: Hellblade - Senua's Sacrifice

In this blog post I want to look at the multi-platform game Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice and how well it captures the feeling of psychosis which mostly many of us bipolar people have experienced.


Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is a first person game that is a first of its kind in how it unwraps how we endure psychosis.  The developer of the game is Ninja Theory and the game itself has accumulated dozens of awards.  During the development of this game they worked closely together with people who had experienced or were experiencing psychosis and the end product is fantastic. 

The game is set somewhere during the Viking era in a bizarre world and you are a young woman journeying towards saving your dearest love from the clutches of Viking hell.  While you journey you can constantly hear inner voices just as you do in real life psychosis and you have to distinguish symbols which have meaning in them.  The symbols are representative of how when we see "signs" that mean nothing in reality but in psychosis have meaning for us and in the game they similarly unlock your progression in the story..

The game really captures the dark and light moments of psychosis where you see scary images and hear a booming dark voice during dark times and when you experience lighter ecstatic times.  The contrast between emotional states is very accurately represented, so much so that I would not recommend you to play this game if you are recovering from or experiencing psychosis currently because "Yes! It's that realistic". Moreover, at some points of the game you have to sword-fight these possessed Viking men which I assume are a figment of her imagination but these parts are a welcome addition to the continuation of the game.  Here's a video I captured while fighting some of these Vikings.

The game has great meaning for us bipolar people because it is an opportunity to demonstrate to people who are unaware of what psychosis actually is, to step into our shoes for a moment and witness it for themselves.  Indeed it is set in a historic-fantasy setting but this aspect doesn't subtract from its value as a simulation of someone enduring psychosis.  As I mentioned previously the small studio Ninja Theory has picked up many awards for their efforts to show this emotional-state and I can certainly say they have rightfully earned them.     

    

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Back to the Blog! Nice to see you!

So I've decided to return to writing articles on my blog again as usual about the condition I am afflicted with AKA Bipolar disorder.  It's been just over 7 years since I wrote my last blog post after which I had major writers block and subsequently worked primarily as a translator.   During this time I have not been going to a psychotherapist but I am still piously taking my medications and having routine blood test checks every 6 months to a year.  I've had two more psychotic episodes but I've recovered thankfully and now I am stable but wishing to write more about what I have learned and experienced.

Bipolar disorder is not something that has a cure but rather it is something that can be controlled.  Some bipolar people can continue their lives as normal with a healthy living style (eating fish and fruit and doing exercise).  Other bipolar people are continually struggling with this affliction and have difficulty dealing with extreme highs and most importantly the lows.  I've found that taking medication most certainly helps regulate these moods but it doesn't outright nullify them.

The most important factor here is that as a bipolar person we must accept that we will have this
condition for as long as we live and that we must face the unfortunate things that it brings to our lives and deal with them in the least harmful way possible. It's true that all human beings feel lows and highs but many people fail to understand the depths of how bipolar people feel these emotions.  One small trigger can send a bipolar person crashing down into a slump in their armchair or raise their awareness levels rocket high awakening them for days on end. Yet the key is to keep track of one's emotion levels and be aware of whether you are in danger of becoming psychotic.  In other words monitor yourself as best you can.

In conclusion I am ashamed I couldn't keep committed to this blog but as you all know people are unpredictable sometimes especially bipolar people.  I just hope my previous articles were useful for you albeit from a younger and less refined version of myself.  Hope to see you once more in the posts to come but take care for now.  Good to be back!     

Friday, 26 August 2011

Bipolar 1 and Bipolar 2


Being bipolar for 5 years now I have come to realise that there are varying degrees in people's moods and that one can be bipolar 1 or 2. Subjects of bipolar 1 generally have higher peaks in mania and lower drops in depression than bipolar 2 subjects do. Therefore when bipolar 1 subjects suffer from psychosis their psychology reaches a level that is close to god (or whatever you call it) and their depression drops to a low abyss.


I am bipolar 1 and if I don't take my medications I could become Schizophrenic. So the motto continues: Always take your medications even if it damages you physically or someone unqualified tries to persuade you otherwise. Stay strong.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Star Wars and Bipolar Disorder

Isn't it funny how the bipolar phenomenon resembles the dilemma of the Jedi and the Sith described in the Star Wars saga. The reason I mention this is because of the characteristics.

Jedi are very wary of the dark side and sometimes the Sith must also be wary of light side as described in Sean Williams book "Star Wars: The Force Unleashed." People similarly can switch from the dark side to the light side and vice versa although this always has to be triggered by a moment.

The Sith are commonly described to be driven by anger or hate and Yoda puts it along the lines of "Fear is the path to destruction. Fear leads to anger, anger leads hate, hate leads to suffering." So therefore everything we feel is sometimes due to the fears we have and that makes us Sith in some respects.

There is a sense that Jedis are trying to control their extremes by using the force in a fair manner and the Sith use the force to destroy things around them. We are at war with ourselves and others when we are in psychosis and balanced when we take our medication.


(Edited) The Star Wars Saga is very much resemblant to our every day lives and perhaps why we love it so much. Did you know Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) was also bipolar. 

(My deepest condolences to the Fisher family and friends.)

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Bipolar Work and Stress (Restarting Life)


One of the most important things for a bipolar person is to control stress while earning money. It took me about a year to enter a job again and start taking my own responsibility and together with this there was a significant amount of stress.

When we are bipolar it is very important to control your stress levels because stress for us is higher than in most individuals. After suffering from psychosis or a nervous-breakdown or whatever you want to call it, we have to eventually face up to our responsibilities.

What I have seen in myself and my other bipolar friends is that we need a job and while working we need to take breaks once in a while and not work too much.

We have to create limits for ourselves as to what we can and can't do. The theory goes that bipolar people can be successful and after two years of medication I feel that things really do seem to be getting better.

In my article Mental Handicap = a gateway to paradise I found that taking medication was a handicap. But I realized after psychosis and later hospitalization that taking medication does actually make you better. Without our medication as Kay Redfield Jamison describes in her book Touched with Fire we will perish by the age of 35 if we don't take the medication prescribed to us.

So if you are bipolar in order live a healthy life: work (but don't work too hard), take your medication and keep up your own responsibilities. Basically look after your mental (i.e take holidays) and physical health as best you can. Bipolar people are mostly overachievers and therefore it is important to balance your own moods when necessary.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Shyness

After major breakdowns during psychosis most of us experience difficulty in adapting to normal everyday routines. Although the ultimate goal is to "get a job" and continue with life, its not as easy as it seems because we have to take baby steps during our path. Making friends, remaking friends and making new friends takes time. In this article I will summarise some of the points necessary to overcome shyness based on articles Ive read over the internet and from my recent experiences.

One thing I reccomend is to take a trip if possible so that you force yourself into a situation that you are not comfortable with. At the beggining it might be best to visit a good friend or relative so that you can get things into perspective. The task itself may seem daunting but believe me when you get going everything seems much more simple that it appears.

If you've been on a trip or you just dont want to go on a trip, then I suggest you begin with small tasks such as going shopping or taking a small walk around your local area. You can leave the house for a small while but as long as you've left the house each day, then you will feel much better believe me.

Still not convinced! Then maybe you can try checking what other people are doing on the internet through social media websites such as facebook and friendfeed. Play a game, read a magazine or cook your favorite dish.

No matter what always take your medication even if someone says otherwise. The medication is also a gradual stabiliser in your emotions and it can help shape you in to a better person than you used to be. Start a new tommorow every day and dont despair at how terrible your life is or has been. Everyday you will get stronger and the medication will become a part of your routine life.

I myself am not a very social person either but Iam working towards it by learning to be by myself and by challenging myself by talking to others.

Bipolar people all go through tough times and shyness comes together with the devasting affects of psychosis. It takes time to defeat shyness but it is beatable.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Détente


After publishing my last post last year I rediscovered that stopping medication after you've started already is not a good idea. Stopping medication for me meant being sectioned in one of Turkey's best psychiatric wards. Nothing in comparison to the cushy chaired single bedroom wards that have sprung up in recent times in the U.K especially.

The Erenköy Psychiatric ward was a fairly large facility with two main buildings seperating the females from the males and composed mainly of people who were off their rocker. Bedrooms were shared and men shared rooms generally with people they liked. Although at the beginning times were tough of course because the building for men as I could see it was seperated by a bottom floor and top floor. While I was trapped on the bottom floor with people of all types of descriptions, I genuinely feared for my life because these people were either sexually frustrated or totally off the wall. I later realised that the calmer people were taken to the top floor two days later so the top floor was like going to heaven.


In general then I can say that my trip to the psychiatric ward was not pleasant and I wouldn't want to repeat it. This is the second time Ive entered psychosis and it meant losing my job together with my ambition. The wars are over now but I still have to deal with depression and balancing myself once again.


Going into psychosis is not pleasant so in order not to repeat another episode those of you taking your medication please continue so for your own sake. Mood stabilisers not only keep us sane but they help bring balance to ups and downs that we encounter. I was wrong.