My name is Xanthe Wyse. I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder (type 1 with full mania and depression), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder. Childhood presentation of PTSD which includes shutting down intense emotions (which tend to come out in mania).
Here I was in a bipolar mania episode – calm yet hyperaroused. I had been triggered with PTSD from the sound of hammers (I would have a panic attack with re-experiencing). I decided to smash a symbolic object that I had created years before. Music helped drown out the sound. After this, I was no longer triggered by hammers. I know the reasons why which I won’t go into here other than it’s from trauma. I didn’t feel the emotion of anger, yet I was able to express it. It was essentially a re-enactment of a traumatic experience without the rage. Taking control in a way that didn’t harm others (like I was traumatised).
I did a lot of whacky things in mania but they were forms of processing. But it was too fast and too extreme and too stressful so I am on meds now. Still processing in creative ways but at a slower pace.
I think I may have been listening to the Wonder Woman movie theme song. I forgot the safety googles until after I started using the hammer, harder than I have ever hit before. I was able to express the anger I could not feel, other than a hyperarousal.
After going back on meds, I started to paint to cope with the extremes in mood.