Surpassing all mental health expectations, Cameron Foster of Nashville, Tennessee, became the first patient on record to be diagnosed as not merely bipolar, but tripolar.
"It’s an honor," said 42-year-old Foster of his newfound claim to psychiatric fame. "For a long time, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to manage anything beyond basic, run-of-the-mill depression. To think of how far I’ve come – nailing not only two poles, but three. It’s a little surreal, to be honest."
According to Foster, in his mid-thirties, through a great deal of partying and drug use, he began achieving brief periods of mania, which increasingly began peppering his overarching depression. "Two poles really worked for me for a while," he said. "But at a certain point, I started craving more."
As he explained it, Foster’s depressive episodes, marked by existential angst and checked-out listlessness, while darkly enjoyable for stretches, invariably ended up feeling "lame". And although he found his hyper-exuberant manic periods “a blast," they also left him exhausted. "There was no balance," he said.
As he entered his 40s, Foster began experimenting with a number of different mood states, seeking one suitable to become his third pole. Through a great deal of trial and error, he finally hit upon the emotional state that perfectly complemented his other two poles. "Super loose was the ticket," said Foster. "Think heroin high, minus the powder. That was the missing piece – like the missing leg of three-legged stool."
Far from minimizing the difficulties of living with mental illness, Foster was quick to clarify that, like other mood disorders, the super loose state presents its own unique set of challenges. “I'm always saying, ‘Yeah, man,'" he said. "And I tend to nod off a lot." In addition, Foster says that the super loose condition has, on more than one occasion, caused him to blow off critical work and family obligations. "What’re you gonna do?" he said. "It is what it is. Super loose is super loose – deal with it."
And Foster may not be done making psychiatric history; he says that he is not ruling out adding still a fourth pole, yet to be determined. "Rico suave, Zen, and blow me are a few possibilities I’m playing around with," he said. "But for now, I'm really digging super loose. So no rush."