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ok... maybe a dumb question, can someone describe mania?


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This may be a stupid question but it seems to be described as different experiences all over the place.

I've just realised after doing group therapy that I've got anxiety.

When I was visiting home mum mentioned that I've always had anxiety.

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Criteria for Manic Episode (DSM-IV, p. 332)

A. A distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, lasting at least 1 week (or any duration if hospitalization is necessary).

B. During the period of mood disturbance, three (or more) of the following symptoms have persisted (four if the mood is only irritable) and have been present to a significant degree:

1. inflated self-esteem or grandiosity

2. decreased need for sleep (e.g., feels rested after only 3 hours of sleep)

3. more talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking

4. flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts are racing

5. distractibility (i.e., attention too easily drawn to unimportant or irrelevant external stimuli)

6. increase in goal-directed activity (either socially, at work or school, or sexually) or psychomotor agitation

7. excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for painful consequences (e.g., engaging in unrestrained buying sprees, sexual indiscretions, or foolish business investments)

C. The symptoms do not meet criteria for a Mixed Episode.

D. The mood disturbance is sufficiently severe to cause marked impairment in occupational functioning or in usual social activities or relationships with others, or to necessitate hospitalization to prevent harm to self or others, or there are psychotic features.

E. The symptoms are not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication, or other treatments) or a general medical condition (e.g., hyperthyroidism).

Note: Manic-like episodes that are clearly caused by somatic antidepressant treatment (e.g., medication, electroconvulsive therapy, light therapy) should not count toward a diagnosis of Bipolar I Disorder.

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I have my 'good' manias (look at me, Im Queen of the World and I can do anything!) and my 'bad' manias (well hello there, mr paranoia, mr hallucinations and mr extreme agression, please, do sit down)

Everyone's mileage will vary, but the DSM points above are a good starting point.

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Mine present as "reallllly reallllly good ideas"

For Christmas I made candy gifts for people because of budget constraints. The more I made...the more I made. Pretty soon I have all this chocolate covered this and that and when my hubby gets home I'm dancing along to some music and am just waaaay too happy to see him. I remember thinking to myself "geez, I love doing this stuff, I can open a candy store."

As soon as I was done (9-10pm) I plopped down, not tired at all and began researching what it would cost and take to open and run a candy store.

I was way too energetic. I had plans of moving to Tennessee because that's where the cheapest candy store that was being sold at the time. I looked at websites for warm jackets (I'm in CA and we dont' really need warm jackets like they do in Tenn)

I could NOT stop thinking ...or talking about it. In the back of my mind I remember thinking "whoa, we're going a little too fast and too far with this shit"

Then the next day my hubby made a comment like "you're so creative, you should open a candy store..."

oh fucking bloody hell

I was off and running again, made more candy, got more boxes, shipped more candy, found MORE things I could make etc.

I had a blast doing it and I don't regret it but the little voice in the back of my head was telling me I was in a danger zone and to just slow the hell down.

Then there's irritability. That's when I know I'm having a mixed episode. I get this pressure build up inside that I can't hardly contain.

Less sleep, more energy, great ideas... those are more hypomanic for me. When I could care less about sleep, have way too much energy that I can hardly contain myself and I actually start ACTING on my brilliant ideas (i'm joking here.... some are just not brilliant at all but they sure seem that way to me!) ... then god forbid my husband say a little something to help me out like "did you take your meds?" (I fucking hate that but it's a good sign that he is trying to give me a little heads up that I'm spinning) - if he dares to say anything and I get pissy and fire back at him with mean comments, then I just shot myself into a mixed episode.

The sucky thing is, I'm aware of most of this in the back of my mind - but I don't know what to do about it at the time.

Whew, that's a lot of info.

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The good stuff is feel like a million bucks, hell, who needs sleep, surely not me, hypersexual, flight of ideas.

The bad stuff? Paranoia, obsessive and racing thoughts, self-hatred, anxiety and agitation.

I rarely get the good stuff. When it goes wrong, a mixed state is where it seems to go.

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I remember thinking to myself "geez, I love doing this stuff, I can open a candy store."

You sound like me ;)

If I'd actually gone through with any of my harebrained ideas, I would currently own a cafe/bookstore in a hippy town in the mountains, a 30 person cocktail bar in a tiny, underground venue in the city where everyone had to dress in 1940s gangster gear, running a Christmas decorations shop in a little town on the main road between two of our capital cities, be setting up education centres in Indigenous Australian rural communities in the Northern Territory, writing an advice column for two of the national newspapers, and have a hugely successful business finding cool things on the internet and posting about them on my blog.

though I dont know where Id find the time to post on crazyboards if that was the case!

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This may be a stupid question but it seems to be described as different experiences all over the place.

I've just realised after doing group therapy that I've got anxiety.

When I was visiting home mum mentioned that I've always had anxiety.

This is just such a hard question to address.

It varies for everyone... every brain is unique, every person different. A doctor is the best person to confirm a manic period.

In my case, for example, I become elated, agitated and delusional/paranoid. This is always accompanied by racing thoughts and I am often more easily distracted, more energetic and more irritable. I oscillate between these states, sometimes feeling invincible and sometimes feeling persecuted. It makes it hard to function in everyday life because I tend to avoid other people as much as possible during these periods.

The official length needed to diagnose a manic period is one week, however, after three years I am finally able to recognise my manic symptoms within two or three days from the onset and consequently increase the appropriate meds to make my delusions and mania dissipate. I wouldn't recommend this sort of self-monitoring without a pdoc on board to provide support and advice.

Sarah

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Hypomania is subtle for me. (Thank goodness for small favors, eh, since the depression is anything but subtle...) Here's what it looks like:

-high as a kite euphoria (RARELY)

-rarely, going from my usual introvert self to highly sociable, easily carrying on and enjoying conversations with people I normally find hard to talk to, and enjoying chatting with everyone

-more often, agitation and restlessness

-very high energy for no reason, or when I ought to be really tired (5 hrs sleep + long day chasing my kids + exercise) - feeling like I've just drunk a pot of strong coffee when I haven't had anything since my afternoon half-caf - jumping out of my skin

-making lots of plans and feeling like they're totally doable (mundane stuff that really is possible, just seems impossible when I'm depressed, and in reality is possible but unlikely because I'm busy with other stuff)

-intrusive, repetitive thoughts (especially getting sucked into remembered or imagined arguments, and getting really angry and agitated)

-distraction - even if I'm doing two simple things like cleaning up the kitchen and cooking at the same time, I get totally scatterbrained

-feeling like everything is So. Freakin'. Slow. Feels like it takes FOREVER to get anything done - but then I look at the clock and see it's only been a few minutes. Time feels so slow because I'm so sped up.

-frustration when exercising, because my body just can't go as fast as my energy

-difficulty talking, because my brain goes in paragraphs and digressions and footnotes, but my mouth can only get out so much at a time

-less sleep, though not at extreme levels - 5-6 hrs

I don't have a lot of the classic manic/hypomanic stuff (the grandiosity, wild ideas seeming perfectly reasonable, risk taking, etc), but this is what it's like for me.

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OMG

Awesome, thanks everyone for your experiences, it really helps me.

I get moments but they're all over the place and I never realised they could be manic.

I don't see my doctor for a while but I've started writing down in a journal things that I think may be of importance... The funny thing is when I read them later and can't understand them. lol

So I've been writing in more detail.

Anyway thanks everyone you've been really helpful.

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For me:

"Good" mania

Start to think I'm gorgeous, smart, super unique, better than everyone else

Less sleep needed

More energy

Creative thoughts

Will start doing crafts, scrap booking, painting

Research a "subject" and be obsessed with learning as much as I can, example: knitting, gardening,

Great mood

Socialize

Euphoric - love everyone and idealize everyone I know

Spend too much money on things I don't need (well this isn't necessarily good, but i sure am happy whilst doing it lol)

"Bad" Mania

anxious

Irritable

Bad mood/angry

Hate everyone, everyone is against me, and talking about me

Paranoia

Racing thoughts

paranoid delusions

Bad mania eventually turns into deep suicidal depression

Wow...you have just described me to an absolute tee (except for the paranoid delusions...I don't think I've had those yet)! Everything else is absolutely true of me. It's funny, I've never really sat down and thought carefully about how I am when I'm high...and all that is information I probably wouldn't give to my employer...cos it would probably scare them! ;) Thanks for crystallising the way I feel though. CB has made me feel so much less isolated than I felt before. :)

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I had a three month long bout with mania starting in August. So this is a fresh topic for me. I must add, like another poster, I rarely let my manias go beyond a couple of days, but in this instance, I was 1300 miles from home and my grandmother (who raised me as a child) had just died in the hospital in front of me because my evil relatives couldn't be bothered to stay with me. So it was just me and my dad (also terminally ill)

I stop sleeping at night. If I am lucky, I get three-four hours. I then wake up early and feel highly energized.

I cannot sit still. Literally. It is as though my muscles will spasm if I sit down for more than 30 seconds.

I flutter around the room looking for something to work on. If I can't find something that needs to be done, my mind focuses in on some obscure and labor intensive task like reorganizing my 600 book by alphabetical author, cleaning and organizing the kitchen utensil drawer, cleaning the kitchen cipboard.

I scrub really tiny areas of my kitchen. Like I will spend 30 minutes scrubbing a 4X4 area of tile in my kitchen. It will look absolutely no different when I am finished.

When I worked, I had almost superhuman energy to complete an extraordinary number of tasks in a day.

When working, I had money to gamble excessively to the point where some bills didn't get paid when I was manic because I blew it all gambling.

I can't say I felt extra paranoid when manic = because I always feel paranoid. That's a 24/7 thing. I hardly ever leave my house and I was paranoid 4 times today.

Anyway, hope this helps.

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1. inflated self-esteem or grandiosity

2. decreased need for sleep (e.g., feels rested after only 3 hours of sleep)

3. more talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking

4. flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts are racing

5. distractibility (i.e., attention too easily drawn to unimportant or irrelevant external stimuli)

6. increase in goal-directed activity (either socially, at work or school, or sexually) or psychomotor agitation

7. excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for painful consequences (e.g., engaging in unrestrained buying sprees, sexual indiscretions, or foolish business investments)

When "manic" or "manic-y", I suffer from 1 through 7. Right down the list. The ONLY thing that's different is that I don't feel 'rested' after I've gone a week on 3 hours a night sleep... I just don't feel as worn down as other people would.

For me:

"Good" mania

Start to think I'm gorgeous, smart, super unique, better than everyone else

Less sleep needed

More energy

Creative thoughts

Will start doing crafts, scrap booking, painting

Research a "subject" and be obsessed with learning as much as I can, example: knitting, gardening,

Great mood

Socialize

Euphoric - love everyone and idealize everyone I know

Spend too much money on things I don't need (well this isn't necessarily good, but i sure am happy whilst doing it lol)

"Bad" Mania

anxious

Irritable

Bad mood/angry

Hate everyone, everyone is against me, and talking about me

Paranoia

Racing thoughts

paranoid delusions

Bad mania eventually turns into deep suicidal depression

Lanhua- every time I read one of your posts I notice more and more how similar we seem to be... at least, how similar our illnesses seem to present, I guess would be more accurate... BANG on...

Over the past few years, I have managed to crystallize my experiences with "good" mania and "bad mania" (or mixed state) into two pithy phrases.

"Good Mania" = A fail so epic it just might be win.

"Bad Mania" = A win so epic it just might be fail.

Oh. My. Gosh. If this quip were any shorter, I'd add it to the three other quotations I have tattooed on my body.

I would like to add: for me, the above versions of mania seem to be fairly constant, alternating with pretty severe depression when my meds aren't doing it or when someone dies... but I also occasionally (NOT often) suffer from an extreme manic "burst" as I call it... one that lasts only 1-2 days (usually 2) but I EXPLODE into mania- I do things I don't remember the next day (stupid things, of course), my writing and correspondence doesn't sound like me at all, any SI urges are magnified, I can barely walk or stand due to my lightheaded-ness from extreme panic and paranoia, and I have almost no memory of it all once it's passed.

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