Author Archives: David Garnett



  1. Looking at this Bipolar Index list to check symptoms.
  2. I become conscious of generally heightened emotions.
  3. Buying new sorts of food and clothes and other items.
  4. I create new domestic routines and move my furniture.
  5. I start behaving rather more sociably than normal.
  6. Typing faster than usual but still quite accurately.
  7. My diary is fuller than usual and I make lists of jobs.
  8. My song and story writing becomes more creative.
  9. I take on new jobs and seek new business ventures.
  10. My neuroses diminish so my behaviour diversifies.
  11. Friends casually mention that I seem to be rather high.
  12. Constantly getting up at six o’clock in the morning.
  13. Typing extremely fast but with occasional mistakes.
  14. My hands tremble slightly more than they usually do.
  15. There are not enough hours in the day to do my jobs.
  16. My mouth is rather dry and I sweat more than usual.
  17. I start talking too much and rather faster than usual.
  18. I am more suggestible and more eager to please others.
  19. I work enthusiastically at least fifteen hours every day.
  20. Personal hygiene and household jobs are neglected.
  21. Friends express slight concern about my state of mind.
  22. My autopilot car driving is rather slower than usual.
  23. I start staying in bed for up to twenty hours each day.
  24. Time seems short and seems to pass very quickly.
  25. Time appears to pass rather more slowly than usual.
  26. I become very eager to be more friendly than usual.
  27. I become slightly impatient with my everyday tasks.
  28. I forget where I’ve parked my car at the supermarket.
  29. I have some difficulty in adjusting my digital watch.
  30. My vision seems clearer and colours appear brighter.



  1. Friends express real concerns about my state of mind.
  2. I start talking far too much and much faster than usual.
  3. My home becomes very untidy and I can’t do any jobs.
  4. My autopilot driving becomes much faster than usual.
  5. I lose my appetite and sometimes feel sick when eating.
  6. I am unable to create new ideas or invent new systems.
  7. I have some difficulty in resolving everyday problems.
  8. Time really drags and I become bored and aimless.
  9. I become indecisive and start to worry over choices.
  10. I become unable to cope with normal everyday tasks.
  11. Friends suggest I take my tablets or go to the doctor.
  12. Unusual impulses to drink alcohol or smoke cigars.
  13. I start making unusual numbers of simple mistakes.
  14. I work obsessively at least eighteen hours every day.
  15. I become irrationally irritated over everyday tasks.
  16. My hands start shaking far more than they usually do.
  17. I have an increased sex drive and mild sex fantasies.
  18. I have a tendency to shuffle slightly whenever I walk.
  19. My facial colour becomes abnormally pale and waxy.
  20. I start to constantly check in my mirror for symptoms.



  1. Friends are alarmed by my dangerous symptoms.
  2. Sleeping patterns disrupted so my bed is in disarray.
  3. In private I start to swear constantly over nothing.
  4. I suffer intense compulsions to finish all my jobs.
  5. Television plays and films seem unusually lifelike.
  6. Changes in my body odour and toilet functions.
  7. Greatly increased sex drive and vivid sex fantasies.
  8. Strong desires to start silly superficial love affairs.
  9. I become completely apathetic and abnormally lazy.
  10. Sounds seem far louder and odours seem stronger.
  11. Friends insist upon accompanying me to the doctor.
  12. My conversations all become obsessive monologues.
  13. I constantly forget any appointments I have made.
  14. I have difficulty in working out times and dates.
  15. I cannot remember my home telephone number.
  16. I am unable to wind my hairdryer cord as usual.
  17. Friends tell me I am walking with a peculiar gait.
  18. My short term memory becomes very poor indeed.
  19. Routine household tasks seem almost impossible.
  20. I swear frequently for no reason – even in public.
  21. The doctor significantly increases my medication.
  22. I forget how to read the date on my wrist watch.
  23. I have difficulty with spelling and very easy maths.
  24. I type at excessive speed but with numerous errors.
  25. I start to drink alcohol and smoke cigars.
  26. I have strong urges to start buying pornography.
  27. I am unable to follow the plot of even a simple film.
  28. I get panic attacks and abnormal feelings of fear.
  29. Angry frustration and rage over everyday problems.
  30. Constant obsessive introverted morbid thoughts.


DEADLY SIGNS             Black Zone

  1. Friends suggest that I should be hospitalised.
  2. I am extremely clumsy. Always dropping things.
  3. My hands shake so much that I can hardly write.
  4. I keep forgetting the names of people I know well.
  5. I get totally lost when driving on familiar routes.
  6. I become disorientated. Cannot tell left from right.
  7. An exaggerated reaction to any startle responses.
  8. I become completely unable to tune my guitar.
  9. I forget my own address and my way home.
  10. My eyes glitter and stare abnormally.
  11. Friends insist that I must be hospitalised at once.
  12. Unreasoning fury over everyday situations.
  13. The television seems to speak to me personally.
  14. I am unable to operate my computer.
  15. I am unable to drive my car.
  16. I become sexually overactive or impotent.
  17. I become dizzy and unable to walk properly.
  18. I start to have suicidal thoughts.
  19. I set up suicide scenarios.
  20. I attempt suicide.

Download as pdf

I Nearly Died

By Ian A. Hutchinson

I was born on Wednesday 26 April 1944 and I have miraculously survived to enjoy my seventieth birthday today.

I say “miraculously” because on twelve occasions I have come very close to an early death at the following ages:

1) 5 years:   childhood illness: I had a serious attack of meningitis which left me with permanently poor vision in my left eye.

2) 11 years: pedestrian accident: I ran out into the road and was knocked down by a car but luckily I suffered no serious injury.

3) 15 years: cycling accident: I smashed into the back of a parked car in a storm and permanently chipped my front tooth.

4) 18 years: climbing incident: whilst free climbing I fell ten feet onto a tiny ledge and I was saved just in time by a friend.

5) 25 years: traffic accident: a car smashed into the back of my van and turned it over but I survived with just scrapped knees.

6) 33 years: mental illness: I attempted suicide by jumping under a car which just managed to serve and I escaped unharmed.

7) 37 years: mental illness: I attempted suicide by overdose: I was found and pumped out but I was in a coma for two weeks.

8) 40 years: driving accident: I crashed my Peugeot head-on into a car at high speed on a narrow blind bend but I was unhurt.

9) 45 years: driving accident: I turned my Metro end over end: it was a write-off but miraculously I was completely unhurt.

10) 50 years: Guillaine-Barre: this syndrome can be fatal but I made a full recovery with only occasional minor recurrences.

11) 55 years: mental illness: I attempted suicide by hanging but then I changed my mind after standing on a stool for two hours.

12) 56 years: home accident: I fell off a ladder and I only just managed to avoid smashing my head open but I did break my hip.

In the 22 years between the ages of 33 and 55 I suffered six psychotic episodes and I spent a total of 36 weeks in mental hospital. During this extended mid-life crisis I joined a dating agency and in the 8 years between the ages of 38 and 46 I met at least 100 ladies and I slept with more than 30 of them. This may seem callous but it was great fun and helped me to survive my psychosis.

When I was 37 I lost my wife, my son, my home, my car and my job but although I still miss my family I now live happily and uneventfully on my own in a nice little bungalow in a quiet Shropshire village and I very much enjoy my job as the Parish Clerk. My psychotic illness has now been in remission for 15 years and I now require no medication or any kind of psychiatric support.

You can see that apart from illnesses most of my near-death experiences were either self-inflicted or due to my own carelessness. So what have I learned? Clearly for me cars have been very dangerous but I have had no accidents in my car for the last 25 years. My psychosis is even more deadly because statistically it still has a 33.33% chance of prematurely terminating my life by suicide.

Luckily for me both my Guillaine-Barre syndrome and my psychotic illness have been in remission for the past fifteen years and so for me the whole of the 21st Century has been a time of comparatively good health and contentment. So today as I look back on my life I suddenly have an immense feeling of liberation – the freedom to enjoy each day as it comes regardless of past or future.

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