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This post is going to hopefully better explain what Mania is.

Mania is the exceptional high period that people with bipolar 1 experience.  My primary has even compared it to being on cocaine. So like, imagine being on cocaine for several weeks or months. That should be a sufficient start.

Here are some of the symptoms I personally have found in past manic episodes:

Talking.  

Sounds harmless, right?  When I say talking I mean non. stop. talking. 100 mph talking and I don’t really let anyone else get a word in.  In my manic mindset, I feel like other people are talking too slow. My brain is processing information at lightening speed, so I might think you’re boring. But don’t worry I’m way more annoying that you are boring.

Addendum- talking excessively and with no filter to strangers.

Unusually elevated mood/ Optimism

This is probably the only “upside” of mania and it’s the reason why people with bipolar disorder would choose mania over depression any day. You feel on top of the world …until you reach the decline portion of the roller coaster.

Compulsive thoughts.

There is an ongoing stream of thoughts going on in my mind at all times in mania.  This is why it’s hard for bipolar people in manic episodes to sleep.  Why sleep when you can just THINK all night long?!?!!!  Then, in the morning, somehow you wake up feeling completely refreshed and ready to take on the day.  Granted, you got 3 hours of sleep and you could’ve accomplished so much more in those 3 wasted hours.

Lack of filter.

I’m literally speaking my thoughts as I’m thinking them.

Social cues.

So I think this one is kind of interesting. I can tell when people are irritated with how much I’m talking or how obnoxious I’m being.  I just don’t really care.  I can see you looking at me like “woah please stop talking”… but I can’t! This goes back to my brain being unable to shut off.

Productivity.

I’m sure some of you remember the book I told you I was writing a few years back.  I wrote 31 chapters and quit.  My mind thinks I can take on these ridiculous projects and ultimately I don’t finish any of them.  So if you’re still waiting for my book, I’m sorry, it will probably definitely never get finished.

Charisma.

In the early stages of mania, I find it so much easier to talk to people.  The words I want to say just flow and make sense.  I don’t know what else to say about this one except that in my depressed state I can struggle in conversation.

Decreased hunger.

My weight fluctuates a lot. When I’m in a manic episode, my weight is at its lowest.  It has to do with both medication and the whole fight vs. flight phenomenon having a constant presence in my system.  It’s kind of difficult because this is usually when I’ve received the most praise for my appearance.  I know it’s coming from a good place.

Easily distracted.

The reason why I start to do poorly in classes I would normally do well in.

Angry/ Irrational.

My family and close friends see this side the most.  One time I ran over a mile home from a shopping center when out to lunch with my parents because they wouldn’t let me fly to Chicago the next day.  I think that explains it best.

Denial.

I don’t think anything is wrong with me. I’ve always acted like this guys!

Paranoia

I am constantly feeling like people are talking about or looking at me negatively.

Pictures.

I love pictures. In my normal state I still love pictures.  But in a manic state I love them way more than I think humanly possible. Too much saturation in my editing is also a factor. I’ve taken pictures with people I just met 30 minutes before.

Being gullible.

So in my second episode back in 2013 I decided I was going to become a YouTube sensation…this was really confusing to everyone who had just witnessed me in a depression a few weeks earlier.  Some people actually seemed to like the videos, but a lot of people who knew me well were concerned and embarrassed.

Most people didn’t know what was going on as I didn’t even know I was bipolar back then.  A group of boys told me that this guy had been making fun of my Youtube videos.  Furious, I called the guy and left a hateful voicemail saying he didn’t know me blah blah blah. Well, as it turns out, this kid never said anything about my videos and I was just both angry and gullible.

Doing embarrassing things in general. 

I really don’t get embarrassed anymore. Anything embarrassing that can be done I believe I’ve already done in a manic episode. I’ve almost let all these memories go. Once you’re out of the mania, looking back at your wake is the hardest part.

 

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These episodes all occured when I didn’t know for sure that I was bipolar. I was on different medications throughout, but none of them were right for me. I’ve found a medication since that works and is currently a preventative so I don’t become completely manic again.

I’ve been free of mania since Fall 2014, and I hope to stay that way.  I don’t want to take this episode-less stage for granted. The human mind is crazy. I prefer when mine is slowed to a pace where I can enjoy life and keep my relationships strong.

I really don’t want pity from this post! That’s not the point! The goal is to help create understanding on what bipolar disorder even is, as I’m convinced most people just don’t know because they haven’t been given the chance.

Thanks for reading!

XO- Laura

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