My experience the night when my roommate struggled with a suicidal episode.read more
What Joe knows about that night, told by Alan: • Alan tells Joe about the specific experience with the weed, e.g. where they were (underpass). Had a serious coughing fit on the side of the road. He said he had a memory jump during the coughing fit: he was walking around some distance away from Li, then he felt like he jumped to being right next to Li. • He said that he was walking up to the road, he saw a sandal and thought he was hallucinating and he touched the object to see if it moved (it did). • Goes in to the restaurant...(and there Alan stopped) • Alan has an affinity for fear, and Alan agreed with this (freaked out by Joe’s eyes, a book cover with a ghost illustration, etc) • Alan mentions how he has been atheist all his life, but when he was high he felt like he believed in God, something like that he felt like he was in hell, he felt so terrible high. • Then, Joe starts telling Alan about how he (Joe) took Concerta after not taking it for a while, how he felt really depressed. • Joe and Alan try turning off the fluorescent lights, for sake of comfort, turn on one desk light (now it’s pretty dim). Joe brings up how Alan used to say that he was afraid of his (Joe’s) eyes at the summer camp they went to together. Then Alan says that Joe’s eyes are freaking him out again..after looking at Joe a few times, he asks Joe to turn on the lights. • Joe asks if Alan wouldn’t have noticed the eye thing if Joe hadn’t brought it up, and he says that he probably wouldn’t have. --> seems like Joe’s input has a decent amount to do with his “relapse”/panicking. • Joe thinks that Alan had not told somebody about his experience in this much depth before because Alan started out the story by saying that he thought Joe would understand it more than his parents because they have similarly “neurotic” minds. • “Experiencing not controlling” - Joe says this is how he felt during UNC orientation when he was trying to work out the schedule, he was really exhausted and distraught and when he was signing up for classes, people had to walk him through simple steps for registering, he kept thinking the same thing over and over “I feel bad” or “that was hard” (trying to relate to Alan) and Alan says this is exactly how he felt during the high experience, like he wasn’t in control. • Alan felt his heart rate increasing when Joe was talking about not being in control and when he was reliving the experience. Alan said that his heartbeat raising was an indicator that he needed to stop talking about it. • Alan said that he needs to go through it in small doses, not one big explanation, which is what they were doing. (said this when he was really starting to get into the panic attack) • Alan has a “micro-cry” where he seemed overwhelmed. Put his head down, Joe asked if Alan was ok, Alan said something like “I feel like it’s happening again” (he said this a lot). Then he holds out his hand with his head down, Joe takes his hand, tries to console him. Alan stands up and he hugs Joe and says “I don’t want to feel alone.” Didn’t take water that Joe pours. He wasn’t fully there it seems to Joe. • Joe just kept saying throughout the experience, “It’s okay.” Alan always seemed very dubious about Joe saying that he’s (Alan) okay. His sense of boundary was skewed, because he almost just walked into someone’s room. Head was bobbing, reading everything on the wall. • Alan says that he needs fresh air. Asks Joe to call his sister. They walk out into the stairway (open area). He says “I can taste the smoke in my mouth.” Then almost immediately, he says “I’d rather die than feel this way.” Around then, he also comments on how he doesn’t want to be like this forever, has suspicion that he will be. • Hyper paranoia - Joe couldn’t walk too closely too Alan when he’s pacing, asked Joe to knock on all doors in the hall to check if people were smoking weed. • Alan says that he just needs to stop thinking about it because it induces the panic and he ends up in a cycle. Asks Joe a few times to stop talking about it. Around this time, he asks Joe to stop looking at him because it reminds him of when he felt bad in the room and it makes him think about the experience. Alan calls sister, he didn’t want his mom to know. Puts Joe on the phone and he walks to the end of the hall, just looking around. At first Joe’s close to him, then he backs away. • When Alan is walking around outside, Joe’s on the phone with Alan’s sister, trying to figure out what’s going on, also following Alan. Alan says he’ll move ahead a bit so he doesn’t have to hear their conversation (it’s stressing him out). If Joe got too close or talked too loudly, Alan would “scurry away”/abruptly cover his ears. • Joe eventually suggests that he talk to the RA about how Alan is feeling, Alan wants Joe to ask his sister first, so Joe calls after getting approval from the sister and mom but they didn’t seem too excited about it. Then I told Alan to stay where he was and not leave the end of the hall but then he got up from off the floor and poked his head out the door while my back was turned and I thought he was trying to escape and he smiled at me and I think he said he was just getting some air. Then I talked to the RA and he told me to call the police and from then on he was under the RA’s supervision. • About 10 panic attacks over the night, ~1 min each. • During his panic attacks: “I feel like I’m in hell”; “I’m feeling disconnected from my conscience.” Tentative order of settings: room, hall, stairwell, outside, hall.