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.     

*Screenshots and Video were taken via my gameplay on the Xbox One

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!