Sarah O’Rourke, 39, was sitting with her GP when she said she had to go home to unplug all the wires in her house because she believes someone was taking pictures of her – she had become convinced she was going to be a victim of revenge porn
Image: Sarah O’Rourke)
Sarah O’Rourke, 39, was sitting with her GP when she said she had to go home to unplug all the wires in her house because she believes someone was taking pictures of her.
In the months leading up to the appointment, the then 36-year-old had been increasingly having delusional thoughts, Manchester Evening News reports.
The mum-of-two was convinced she was going to be a victim of revenge porn and believed someone had set up cameras in her house.
Sarah, from Wythenshawe, would take apart all of her electrical devices because she was terrified someone was going to upload an indecent video of her to Netflix.
On another occasion, Sarah phoned her dad and told him to go into her loft as she was convinced she could hear people talking.
Sarah also phoned the police on several occasions as she thought she could hear people whispering at the side of her house.
She said: “I knew they thought I was crazy.”
Sarah was referred to a psychiatrist and social worker and was eventually diagnosed with bipolar disorder three years ago.
She has since set up a blog called “Sarah O’Rourke Bipolar and Me” and aims to challenge some of the stigma surrounding the condition.
Sarah said: “I always felt different but this became more apparent when I was around eight-years-old.
“I found building relationships difficult because I could see and feel that people were different to me.
“But as I got a little older I excused this by acknowledging my parents had separated and this may have something to do with why I felt the way I did.
“I was overwhelmed with sadness and loneliness and thinking about it now it is really unfortunate to feel those things at that age and it upsets me that I felt that way.”
Sarah recalls her teenage years consisted of smoking and drinking and at the age of 16, claims she was sexually exploited.
She attended college and worked various jobs, eventually landing her dream job as a special needs teaching assistant.
But her manic episodes and depression continued to spiral out of control, meaning she had to leave her job to focus on her health.
She said: “I had been doing things that in my normal mindset I wouldn’t do. I’d take big risks and date men that I knew I shouldn’t.
“One day I was really upset and the next day you couldn’t shut me up. I was all over the place.”
Following her bipolar diagnosis, Sarah was taken off antidepressants and prescribed antipsychotic medication for the first time.
She said: “Now I have ups and downs but they are not as bad as they were. When I talk about the depression I had before I was suicidal.
“I still can’t really plan anything because I don’t know how I am going to feel when I wake up.”
Sarah says her diagnosis has inspired her to channel all the negative things that happened to her and begin a new chapter.
She said: “The blog is something I can do at my own pace but is informative and can help other people.
“The lack of understanding about bipolar even with my own friends and family has been terrible.
Sarah hopes to be able to use the blog to show people what it’s like to live with bipolar day-to-day and raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of the condition.
She said: “I do wish I had been diagnosed sooner. I went to see the GP purely by chance.”
She added: “I am putting my story out there to make people think about the way they are. It might even make some people seek help for their own behaviour.”