What’s the worst part of Bipolar Mania? The answer, the aftermath. Some of the things you said or did, may have ruffled someone’s feathers. You may have done things that may embarrass you later, or you may even incur your own self-hate for falling into some of your vices.
For those that don’t know what Bipolar Mania is, we’ll do our best to explain. A manic episode is a mood state that usually lasts about one week where an elevated, expansive or irritable mood exists. The description most described is a feeling of euphoria and being able to do or accomplish anything. It’s a feeling of extreme optimism. Also, the manic person is usually engaged in a goal oriented activity beyond their normal activities.
Euphoria is not the only mood that occurs during a manic episode as Irritable moods can also take form. This can happen if the manic individual isn’t getting their way. Their interests will be spread over multiple projects at the same time without much thought put into them, while finishing none of them. They can do these things on little sleep as well.
Symptoms of a Manic Episode
In order for a manic episode to be diagnosed, three (3) or more of the following symptoms must be present:
- Inflated self-esteem or grandiosity
- Decreased need for sleep (e.g., one feels rested after only 3 hours of sleep)
- More talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking
- Flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts are racing
- Attention is easily drawn to unimportant or irrelevant items
- Increase in goal-directed activity (either socially, at work or school; or sexually) or psychomotor agitation
- Excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for painful consequences (e.g., gambling, buying sprees, sexual indiscretions, or poor business investments)
Now that we have the explanation and symptoms out of the way, let’s get back to the aftermath. For those that don’t battle Bipolar/Hear about people battling Bipolar or for those that don’t battle Bipolar/Have a loved one battling Bipolar, you most likely do not hear or see the aftermath, and that’s unfortunate. It’s in the aftermath that you get to see the guilt, frustration, anger, sadness, embarrassment, anxiety, and despair that Bipolar Warriors go through. A lot of the time when none of these things are seen, people lack empathy and judge someone without knowing the whole story. This is how stigma is created, and that’s why mental health awareness is so important.
Here’s a post from a forum member at Psychcentral.com discussing the aftermath of their most recent manic episode.
I’m taking a lot of risks and have difficulties controlling my behavior. Then, in between, I have my depressed days lately.
I feel embarrassed lately, because of recent manic behavior. I reflect on that wish that I could have done things over again. This is especially bad when I’m meeting new people: friends or otherwise. That’s not to mention that when my mood is super low, I also hate the way I come off as unapproachable and shut everyone out.
I want to be able to put my best foot forward with others, but I mess everything up when I’m rapidly cycling or manic. I don’t want to be that person. I long for healthy bonds. I sabotage myself, yet feel in the moment that I don’t have control over my behavior. One thing that bothers me deeply: I keep saying I’m going to make positive changes, but why can’t I take my own advice (or the advice of my therapist) and apply it?
Should I explain myself to others when I come back down to Earth? Am I being too hard on myself? I wonder these things. I do a great job beating myself up. No wonder the mania turns right into depression.
Basically, I’m wondering, how do you cope with the aftermath of mania? How do you overcome the guilt and frustration you have when you look back on the things you’ve said and done? I’m so tired of this and feel like crap about myself.
These feelings aren’t isolated incidents, and the below drawing by Janine Dillera tells this story of a thousand words in one lovely drawing. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Mania Aftermath by Janine Dillera
If you or a loved one you know is showing signs of a Mental Health Disorder, whether it be Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar, Scizophrenia, Addiction, Body Dysmorphia etc., or maybe you just need someone to talk to, please do get the help you need. If you feel like you need to talk to someone right now, you can talk to one of the many fantastic therapists at Better Help by CLICKING HERE.
This post was created with the help of Grammarly.