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Bipolar and Homeless

Share Your Story: What Led to Your Bipolar Diagnosis?

By cleetis massey

Updated March 03, 2010

What symptoms did you have before you were diagnosed?

Well, I first thought of killing myself at the age of 6 years old and almost got away with it but got caught by my brother in the middle of it. At the age of 14 the police had me put in a hospital for 30 days for what they called "acting out." Doctor said there was nothing wrong with me.

There is a long span in the time I was 14 to when I was diagnosed. Before I was diagnosed, I was moved around a lot, state to state, family and friends. At 24 I had racked up 7 felony convictions in two states and 10 years in prisons. I still cannot keep a job because of depression and anger.

What events led to your being diagnosed bipolar?

I was going to kill everyone at this fishing camp I lived at and worked at and set fire to the place. The police had me put in the hospital again. That's when I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1. I could not get the meds I needed, I was homeless for years living in a tent in the woods.

I have been in and out of hospitals 3 times since 2000 and put on all kinds of meds, and for anyone taking meds for bipolar, stay on your meds! I have had to start and stop 3 times now and the withdrawals are really bad for you and your loved one. I shake so bad now I can't even hold a cup of water sometimes, and I have a feeling it's from the withdrawal. I do not take meds anymore and see my doctor like I am supposed to because of my situation, and it is truly sad. I have had no friends now for over 3 years and never go around anyone except the lady that lets me live here on her back porch and my dogs.

Lessons Learned

  • well looking back to my childhood, I always though my mother was the problem,it seems everything was all right when we were separated, but she would always come back and get me from who ever I was living with, until I got out of the hospital when I was 14 and the doctor said my mother had the problem not me. She was in there at the same time I was. She told me she was in there to keep a eye on me. But if I could change things I think I would have not lied to the doctors about a lot of things that they really need to know. I have always had a fear of what would happen to me if I did and am still that way.

What Is Your Current Diagnosis?

My current diagnosis Bipolar 1.

Do You Agree With the Diagnosis? Why or Why Not?

I truly don't know if the diagnosis is right. Sometimes I think so because after researching bipolar disorder I fall in to the depression and the mania. But sometimes I think it goes deeper because of some of the things I do, and the things I think.

Additional Thoughts

I have this loud ringing in my ears that gets louder the harder I think, along with this uncontrollable urge to be away from everyone. There are a lot of other thing that make me think it's more than bipolar disorder, but I would rather not talk about it.

Marcia Purse, About.com Bipolar Disorder, says:

This is such a sad story. There were so many opportunities for this man to receive a proper diagnosis, and perhaps if he had gotten it sooner he would not now be in the terrible situation of having no way to pay for his medications. Cleetis, I urge you to seek out someone at a community clinic, or speak to a minister or pastor at a local church, to help you find a social worker who can assist you with finding more help than you are currently receiving.
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