Coping With Mania

This post could just as easily be titled “Celebrating Mania”, “Exploiting Mania”, “Yay, Mania”, or “Gimme Mania” for some of us, especially someone like me who tends to hang out at the other end of the pole.  I’m DYING to feel good.  Then when I DO feel good, I get a bit panicked.  Am I manic?  Am I blowing my life?  Am I alienating people?  Am I having too many brilliant ideas?  Am I solving too many of the world’s problems?

I suppose the responsible Bipolar filly or fellow would try to do something to bring themselves down from mania, if they can identify it.  That is not necessarily me.  I just want to feel good so bad.  I want to use that manic time to exercise a whole lot, and get some weight off.  I want to use the time to get some projects done.  I guess I consider it my golden time.  Again, I have a hard time identifying if I’m manic, or feeling good.  It’s hard for me to know the difference.

I guess what I’m getting at is I’d like to know HOW you can tell the difference!  HOW do you know you’re manic?  There’s got to be the ability to feel good and be productive.  Where’s the difference?  Sleeping vs. not sleeping?  Because I never go without sleep, that’s not my measure.  I need to be able to tell, so that I can allow myself to feel good.  I’d love to hear from others who struggle with this.  I’m willing to bet it’s not just me.  Peach out and Happy Saturday!!!!!

16 thoughts on “Coping With Mania

  1. I tend to panic when I feel mania coming on. It’s probably because with my particular brain a “feel good” mania of a few hours or days is following by a mixed episode where everything and every body pisses me off to an extreme degree. As a result I don’t like mania and try to avoid it.

    • I DEFINITELY get the Mean Reds – where everything and everyone pisses me off – I’ve got to journal this and see if it comes after feeling good. So many people, you included, have such a better insight into the cycles of moods. Thank you!

  2. With bipolar 2, we have hypomania instead, which some would say is even more ideal (’cause it tends to not descend into spending crazy or sleeping around or risk-taking). For me, I realize it’s hit when I feel like I’m about to burst forth with warmth and isn’t that glorious… at the peak, at least. November was my last period of pure hypomania; I’m dealing with a rather nasty mixed episode right now, so the whee joy is buried under anxiety attacks. ¬¬ I’m trying to use the bit of high to try and make myself write more though… as long as I don’t risk triggering worse anxiety crap.

  3. When I was younger, I thought mania was fun. Now I know better. The fun lasts for a little while but turns to binge drinking, ridiculous spending, promiscuity, and danger. And then there’s the crash and cute little mixed episodes. I hate mania now and start to freak out if it starts to come around. I will do almost anything to prevent it from happening!

  4. Is it wrong that I get super excited when i feel that mania coming on? I never feel more focused or productive as the days when I am manic. I, too, spend so much time feeling depressive that the mania is a welcome break.

  5. I still struggle with telling the difference. I guess the way to help it is “Is there a reason I’m feeling good?” If not, I’m probably starting to be manic. Also, I’ve noticed that I get paranoid that people are going to figure me out. That exclusively happens when I’m manic, so it’s a pretty good sign.

  6. Good question/prompt/discussion.
    I have to agree with Fernandes: paranoia is key to my identification of hypomanias. I don’t think I get manic, I’ve got the Bipolar II label right now.
    Extreme giddiness, with a super sensitive irritability-trigger. The slightest wrong touch, teensiest wrong comment, and I am livid. So much energy, and thoughts that race faster than I can keep up with. Usually, if I CANNOT sit and journal by hand, but I have to express my thoughts quickly so I turn to blogging or typing… usually that means I’m spinning into mania.
    But like others have said, I am usually down. 😦 I actually took 3 anti-depressants this winter and nothing else, because I CANNOT get manic in the winter. So when I feel it coming on, I want to keep it. And I get paranoid about revealing it. “It’s mine! Slow down your speech, Sarah. Don’t let your eyes bug out and dart around. Try to act calm. RUN AROUND IN THE WOODS AND TALK TO YOURSELF THERE, nobody can hear!!! Don’t let them take it. They’ll try to take it!” I get a little nuts. And when I talk to myself a lot, that’s a sign. I don’t mean in the normal sense, I have back-and-forth conversations, aloud, where I only speak my lines but I hear someone (usually someone I know) respond to me in my head. We always argue/debate.

    That was a lot, sorry.
    It can be so hard to tell, and so frustrating when I’m not sure if I just feel okay, just feel happy, just feel normal. I can only tell once it gets extreme.

  7. My days of being psychotic are enough for me usually to take enough medicine to avoid the manic side altogether. The other day, I was startled to realize I felt good. Like really felt good, as I haven’t in a long time. But it didn’t last very long. So perhaps if your high lasts a long time for no reason, and especially if it escalates, it’s time to be careful. But we ought to be able to feel good once in a while, for crying out loud.

  8. I recently had this conversation with my pdoc. I couldn’t tell if I was feeling good or manic. The good thing for me, when manic, is that I start a million projects but never finish any of them. He decided it was best to adjust my meds to get me balanced again. I didn’t like this idea and told him so. I felt too good to want to stop it. In the end I agreed with him and came down off that crazy cloud. Now I’m down more than I should be (or at least want to be.) It’s just a never ending cycle that I’m pretty sick of.

  9. I’m Bipolar Type 2, and my mania, or mini-mania is usually a few days of not sleeping, or sleeping very little, while getting a LOT done. Mind you what I get done usually is of no importance to anything, but I may write, or finish old projects, then start 100 new ones. I can also tell I’m manic because I want to talk constantly, and in general I don’t speak a lot. I’m pretty quiet, shy, and reserved. Mania brings out my blabbermouth. Personally, I don’t shy away from my mania, I’ve just learned to use it to my advantage, or try to. I mean, even if all I do is watch stuff off my DVR and clear it off, at least I *did* something, ya know? The thing is, I’m not sure mania feels “good” to me. It might at first, but then it gets to being a complete energy suck for me because my body doesn’t work at that level 90% of the time. When I come down off a manic phase I crash out for nearly an entire day – as in I sleep 12+ hours. Sometimes I come out the other side feeling refreshed – like my body has cycled through ALL THE FEELINGS, then others I’m just drained and in limbo or in a down phase.

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