Puerto Vallarta—Hypomania

Puerto Vallarta—Hypomania and Second Major Depression

At the end of my internship year at San Francisco General Hospital, in July of 1975, I flew off to Puerto Vallarta. The next morning I met a Canadian businesswoman and we spent the week together. We did not need two rooms.

The last day I flew off to St. Louis to visit my parents. There was an all-night layover at Sky Port in Phoenix. I rented a car for one day and headed out into the Sonoran desert at sunset. I spent the night miles east from Scottsdale and viewed the stars al night. I was back at the airport for the 6am flight to St Louis to visit my parents in St. Louis.

I greeted my parents and dumped my luggage. That same evening I set out for my friend’s bar, Blueberry Hill, in University City just outside St. Louis. I was lucky. Crazy M., the owner’s sister, was there.

So, she invited me back to her place. She told me she had not had sex in over a year. We smoke some really good marijuana and begin to know each other. She was not on BCP and I was not one to carry a condom in my wallet. We threw caution to the wind and made love several times over the night. This was a bit dicey as this was just as Roe versus Way had been judged by the Supreme Court. I used the abort technique. I pulled out just before coming. I returned to my parents that afternoon and flew back to San Francisco. I cannot remember when I last slept.

I was met at SFO by my girlfriend of six months, Maria, a lovely Hispanic lady I had met during my rotation at the VA Hospital rotation. She was the ward clerk. She drove me to her apartment on Geneva Avenue in South? More love making and I had not slept since leaving Mexico. A few weeks after returning to San Francisco, I received a phone call from Mary. She had just returned from Albuquerque to visit her old “artsy commune”. She had only stayed two days. We were cool.

A Second Major Depression

My second big D happened in my third year of internal medicine

Residency at the University of California at San Francisco

(UCSF) in 1976. Around September of 1976 during cardiology rotation at Moffitt Hospital, I started feeling the same symptoms I had in my first episode. I called Dr. McClure in St. Louis, and he sent me prescriptions of the same old medicines that didn’t work back in ’73.

Then one day in cardiology clinic, I had a meltdown while trying to decide whether to admit a patient from the clinic to CCU. I’d been having trouble making simple decisions for weeks. I went to my chief resident and said, without explanation, I had to leave. Then I called my McClure in St. Louis and asked him if I could fly there and get “zapped” as an outpatient. No problem, sure, he said.

I was on an eastbound United flight to St. Louis. I received seven treatments as an outpatient and again rapidly improved.  I was sent back to San Francisco without medication as no new drugs yet existed. (The bounteous new meds didn’t become available until Prozac premiered around 1990.) I went to an ER rotation (rather lightweight duty) at Moffitt Hospital, the main hospital up on Parnassus, after returning to San Francisco a little over two weeks later.


Written by paul