Monday, October 7, 2013


Well last time I spoke on Depression. This time I am going to speak on Manics or Mania of Bipolar Disorder, specifically my own.

What Are the Signs of Mania With Bipolar Disorder?

The signs of mania with bipolar disorder include:
  • Disconnected and racing thoughts
  • Grandiose notions
  • Inappropriate elation
  • Inappropriate irritability
  • Inappropriate social behavior
  • Increased sexual desire
  • Increased talking speed and/or volume
  • Markedly increased energy
  • Poor judgment
  • Severe insomnia
(Taken from WebMD)

What Is Bipolar II Disorder?

While mania is the main characteristic of bipolar I disorder, bipolar II has milder periods of elation known as hypomania. It also has episodes of mild or major depression. According to the DSM-IV, a manual published by the American Psychiatric Association, the difference between mania and hypomania is "the degree of severity."

What Are Signs of Hypomania With Bipolar II Disorder?

Signs of hypomania with bipolar II disorder include:
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Extreme focus on projects at work or at home
  • Exuberant and elated mood
  • Increased confidence
  • Increased creativity and productivity
  • Increased energy and libido
  • Reckless behaviors
  • Risk-taking behaviors
(Taken from WebMD)

When I was first diagnosed I sounded more like the top one when on a manic including poor judgement even though I would have never admitted that at the time. Now after years of working on myself and trying to balance myself, most of my symptoms sound more like the second list though I still feel I also have some from the first. I would say I am somewhere in between.

The thing is I -love- my manics. I have all this energy, great ideas, and I just feel overall better. I accomplish more in a few days of a manic then I do in weeks otherwise. This is often the case and why it is hard for some with bipolar to get help or stick with it once they do.

Sadly though it does have its drawbacks. Most often I get -too- many ideas. So many that I can't possible start and finish them all..or any of them to be honest. I have lost count how many times I have started ten or more projects while on a manic..that were never finished. 

I also get highly irritable especially if I am doing a project and am interrupted. I literally want things my way. Some of you may laugh and say all women want their way. That may be so. Not all women though go into a melt down and throw a tantrum like a two year old when they don't get it. I can and feel justified in doing so at the time. I understand that life isn't all about me, except when I don't.

In the past I have made poor decisions choosing to spend time with the wrong people, going to the wrong places, doing the wrong things, and honestly putting myself in really bad situations where I could have gotten hurt or worse. I didn't care at the time, I just wanted to go go go, do do do. 

I remember in my late teens and 20's that I would go days off of little to no sleep and I don't mean 6 hours a day or 4 hours a day..I mean 2- 4 hours in a 72 hour period. I drank regularly, I partied, I even blacked out on occasion with no memory of the night before. I had my fair share of sex even using it to make myself feel better, almost like a drug. Now don't get me wrong I didn't sleep with anyone and everyone which is actually not unusual for someone bipolar. Most of my sex was with my boyfriend with a exception or two. I can still count on my hands how many people I have had sex with. I am proud of that fact since from all I have read about people with this illness having multiple sex partners is common.

I honestly at that time just figured I was a typical young person and didn't think much of it. I also though didn't see how my actions affected others around me, how worried everyone was.I didn't see the danger I put myself in or how things could have gone really wrong. My Psychologist said he believed I was a subconscious suicide, that I wouldn't go out of my way to take my own life but I didn't care if I died either which is why I put myself into situations where it could possibly happen. I thought that the world would be better off without me but I didn't want to leave my love ones feeling guilty. Dying by what would seem a accident would relieve them of any guilt that one would associate with suicide. To be honest that made sense to me.

I put this in the manic section because unlike conscious suicides I was more likely to do the dangerous crazy stuff while on a manic hence more likely to put myself in the situation to die during a manic then when I was during a depressant phase. Depressed I thought I deserved to die but didn't have the drive to do anything about it. I felt I deserved to have to suffer rather than make my family suffer if I were to kill  myself and leave them with that guilt. In a manic I just didn't care if died, I didn't really think about it but I did feel I wasn't important and nobody cared so if I did die nobody would miss me. Heck I figured the world would be better off without me most of the time. Even during Manics where I felt like I could do or be anything, that I was capable of anything. At the back of my mind I always had the nagging thought that it would never be good enough to those I wanted it to be, no matter how great I was, no matter what I might accomplish.

Now days I am not nearly as bad. My destructive behavior is limited. I rarely drink and now only when social in a controlled environment and only when in a good mood with no alternative reason. From time to time I still get those nagging feelings of low self worth but I have an amazing family who is quick to let me know just how much I am worth to them and though my mind wants to argue, for the most part it loses. I still have episodes from time to time but they are far less than they use to be. I don't party anymore, I don't use sex as a fix, and I as I said above I rarely drink. 

I am more aware when I go into a manic and try to find a way to dial it down. I understand having a high manic means a bigger drop when it comes and vice verse, and I try to keep myself as balanced as possible. Its not always possible but keeping myself in check is important, not just for my own sanity but for those around me.

Now I know some of you knew all this stuff about me, but some of you didn't. I said right from the get go that this was going to be a honest look at me and being bipolar and I meant that. Yes some of it is embarrassing but if I can help one person come forward and talk, to get the help they need, to help them see they actually need help and don't have to go it alone, it will be worth it.

I am not perfect, not even in the same vicinity of perfect. And that is Okay!

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