I haven’t been able to share more details with you on my mental health recently (not mental illness, although the first being in bad shape can lead to the other!). I wanted to give you all this update, possibly more to come later, as you all watch out for the site and for me.
Over my life, I have managed what I have called hypomanic states that can include (short) bursts of high productivity, creativity, the need to do extensive walking or running to control one’s thoughts, and diminished sleep. This past week, starting ~March 13th and provoked primarily from stresses at my scientific work, was the first time I had a full on manic episode that built over 3-4 days, including the release of an unusual amount of ideas in raw/vocal and short/tweeted form from usually dormant accounts. Over March 17th-20th, for reasons I won’t share here although they don’t involve self hurt/harm or trying to hurt/harm others, I was confined to a psychiatric ward in San Mateo for 72 hours of evaluation. I received both individual and group therapy, and have started to get better but am not yet well. Today, I was released from that facility and have my best friend watching out for me as I get resettled in my San Bruno home. I have an on-going treatment plan including on-going outpatient group/individual therapy and medications that I will be managing.
Most of the above is considered my protected health information, but I am openly sharing it because the discussion of mental health is very poor in the United States and possibly across the world. I’m not interested in hiding what I just went through, but learning more about it and making sure it doesn’t happen again to me and by proxy to others struggling with the borderline of hypomanic and manic states.
Over the coming weeks I will mostly be recuperating, and helping GMPuzzles a bit will be part of my recovery. This business is not profitable yet, but I view it as a big contribution back towards mental health given the numerous other authors and puzzle solvers who find comfort in the logic we put into the world each day. A community of both authors and solvers who may be on the autism spectrum or have dealt with depression, suicidal thoughts, or other challenging things, but been appropriately cautious to share them externally. I’m hopeful that in the coming weeks the visibility of my mental break will help us update how we all try to communicate together, by talking to people rather than talking at people, at least until we understand where they may be coming from.
I will probably be moving all of this discussion forward in other channels like my LinkedIn and not in our puzzle feed so you do not need to engage further if you do not want to.
Thanks for all your thoughts and support through the years but particularly these last few days,
Thomas (aka Dr. Sudoku)
Edited to add: Also see these videos: video 1 and video 2 for a little more commentary about where my head is at.
Edited again to add: Here is a self-contained video analyzing the week of the breakdown, some aspects of how I track my mental health, and more.