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Is it possible to achieve a manic state that is also functional?


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This is a long shot, but I figure I can't be the only one who has ever had this thought. Is there a way to induce a state that includes the productivity/happiness of mania - without all the extra bullshit? 😅

Mania is better than any drug, the euphoria is incomparable. Every time I skip a few days of sleep, feel an increase in energy, or anything that might be the beginning of an episode, I think - ''Please let this be the onset of the best feeling in the world. I can't do this shit anymore''. I feel so guilty admitting to that, because I know that being manic and being functional are generally not compatible. I also don't ever want to end up in hospital again, because that never fails to be a de-humanizing experience.

I have not had any symptoms of mania since my last hospital admission, three whole years ago. It was the first and only manic episode that I've ever had, and it lasted for about three months. I feel like I could have avoided hospital completely if I had experienced mania without the accompanying psychosis. If I could just achieve that level of elation without:

  • rapid speech
  • word-salad
  • delusional beliefs
  • dangerously impulsive acts (e.g. jumping out of a car on the highway because the sky looked beautiful and I wanted a loser look)

I look back on those ugly symptoms and I could never cope with them now. I go to college full-time, I work, and I have so much to lose if I lost the ability to communicate with others and behave safely. On the other hand - my life just feels so damn gray and stagnant; I miss feeling invincible. 

Edited by braindeadbedhead
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I have done lots of experiments with that, and frankly I am really pissed off that there is no research being done to parse that out. I have had very, very productive manias where I accomplished amazing things before the psychosis set in. I dont just wake up speaking gobbledygook one day. Mania builds, gradually. You can learn to recognize it. So all Im asking is to go to Level 5 or 7, finish what I started last time i had a Big Idea, and then go to the ER, get a nice little shot of Abilify and sleep for 20 hours and awaken refreshed. Is that so much to ask?

Apparently it is, because nobody seems to be giving it much attention. Nevertheless, I have done it. It takes planning and a support person or two. And at least lukewarm approval from your pdoc. You have to have a way in to mania, periodic safety checks, an exit plan, and then a backup exit plan. And a way to get to sleep immediately.

There is a wonderful you on the way to mania, but there are other things behind Door No. 3 as well. Shadow people. Paranoias. Ive had several psychotic breaks. Been hospitalized, been arrested, been robbed, gone on walkabout, been unable to shut up. Been unable to stop buying stuff, been unable to eat, been unable to stop eating, been unable to stop screaming for four days, gone galloping through the woods in the dark trying to rescue ponies, then became a pony, only to realize I had to kill my pony self if I ever wanted to get back to my kids. Horrible things. Mania cannot be trusted. If you dont have a strong stick to jam into your own spokes, dont try to trigger it. And never go alone. You need supervision. My son says only superheroes need supervision. Remember that next time you feel 10 feet tall and bulletproof. You need supervision. Or at least a witness who will vouch for you in court.

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While you can certainly ACCOMPLISH what you're describing with the correct medications and the correct timing, that doesn't necessarily mean it's good for you or will always be reproduceable. Due to changes in receptor sensitivity and subsequent up- or down-regulation in the genes that code for those receptors, with increasing frequency of these manic "trips" it would become harder and harder to induce that manic state without pushing yourself too far into mania where you experience "the bullshit" and similarly harder and harder to pull yourself out. What you're describing is a dangerous game because while one may be able to pull out of it once or twice, you keep doing it and it won't always work the way you'd hoped.

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On 10/14/2020 at 12:19 AM, braindeadbedhead said:

This is a long shot, but I figure I can't be the only one who has ever had this thought. Is there a way to induce a state that includes the productivity/happiness of mania - without all the extra bullshit? 😅

Mania is better than any drug, the euphoria is incomparable. Every time I skip a few days of sleep, feel an increase in energy, or anything that might be the beginning of an episode, I think - ''Please let this be the onset of the best feeling in the world. I can't do this shit anymore''. I feel so guilty admitting to that, because I know that being manic and being functional are generally not compatible. I also don't ever want to end up in hospital again, because that never fails to be a de-humanizing experience.

I have not had any symptoms of mania since my last hospital admission, three whole years ago. It was the first and only manic episode that I've ever had, and it lasted for about three months. I feel like I could have avoided hospital completely if I had experienced mania without the accompanying psychosis. If I could just achieve that level of elation without:

  • rapid speech
  • word-salad
  • delusional beliefs
  • dangerously impulsive acts (e.g. jumping out of a car on the highway because the sky looked beautiful and I wanted a loser look)

I look back on those ugly symptoms and I could never cope with them now. I go to college full-time, I work, and I have so much to lose if I lost the ability to communicate with others and behave safely. On the other hand - my life just feels so damn gray and stagnant; I miss feeling invincible. 

😂 If only! I absolutely know how you feel, though, because the euphoria is mind-boggling, as well as very habit-forming. For those of us who are fortunate enough to get that, anyway. And I am guilty of having tried to trigger it, without success. After all, especially once you have been mired in depression for a long time, you’ll do almost anything to extricate yourself. And what could possibly be more alluring than that kind of manic euphoria? 

Also, you are right: it is better than any drug. But I would still sometimes seeks out and use (if I could obtain any) when I was fully manic, just the same. And I wasn’t looking for drugs to take the edge off of a ridiculously hyperactive state (I turned to alcohol for that), but I was rather after drugs that would enhance it (often while drinking at the same time). So party drugs like ecstasy, coke, meth, or even acid. Cuckoo, no? (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) 

Alas, the body is not designed to work like that. You will turn into an incomprehensible pile of rubbish. And then you have to deal with what comes after, because it will end. If you are extremely fortunate, you will simply go into remission. I’ve only had this happen once, just recently (directly following mania, that is). More typical is crashing into a brutal, soul-crushing depression, which can be a very dangerous place to be in.

Worst of all is a wild cycle of mixed shit, which is like being trapped on a roller coaster in some twisted-arsed amusement park from Hell, and then repeatedly crashing over and over and over again (being shoved back onto the mofo roller coaster ride again each time in between). This is more dangerous still. Such a state very nearly killed me, and it was only brought to a conclusion by an armada of medical interventions.  

Yet even such a nightmare still managed to deliver something beneficial, just the same. Prior to that, I was always lacking insight. But after wildly flipping from manic to depressed to both simultaneously, etc. so many times over so many months, I finally figured some shit out. So nowadays, I can usually tell when I’m manic with precision. (The very beginning stages I might not notice, however, if it happens to be of the more gradual onset variety.*)

Unfortunately (or perhaps more likely, fortunately), I have yet to have a similar experience when it comes to delusions. So those always catch me completely unawares. Hallucinations are hit and miss. It really depends on the type. And even then, I can’t necessarily tell the difference between what’s real and what’s not (some are hard to test, after all).     

*I’ve had some manias that start full-on in an instant. Ditto with certain nasty depressions. Actually, most all nasty depressions, now that I think about it.

Edited by Goofball
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