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When you interact with manicky people...


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Does being around a hyper or manic-seeming person influence your bipolar symptoms? I have noticed that I pick up on manicky behavior pretty quick nowadays and it makes me uneasy. I start to feel manicky and have to make the effort to slow myself down, take breaths, relax, and walk away from the conversation if it gets to be too much. I am wondering if anyone else is affected this way.

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I don't know that I pick up on the behaviours, though I could see how it would happen, and it doesn't bother me unline (obviously, or I wouldn't be here) but I can't stand being around unstable bipolar people in real life. I tried a meet up and it wasn't for me. A bit different then what you're talking about though.

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I don't know that I pick up on the behaviours, though I could see how it would happen, and it doesn't bother me unline (obviously, or I wouldn't be here) but I can't stand being around unstable bipolar people in real life. I tried a meet up and it wasn't for me. A bit different then what you're talking about though.

I'm glad you said that. I feel the same way, but didn't want to offend anyone I have trouble being around unstable people for very long. Fortunately, the people I know are pretty stable most of the time.

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When I was in high school (when I was off meds) I became friends with a bipolar girl (who also was off meds because of her mother). When she became manic I started to feel better...happier and more energized. I think I kind of fed off of her energy. We would stay up most of the night, had an intense sexual relationship, partied. I had been depressed before I met her. I tend to sort of feed off of other peoples moods a little bit I guess. I notice that my husbands depression causes me to feel much lower.

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I think it is pretty normal for anyone to respond to the mood of another. People are more apt to be happy around happy people, stressed around stressed people, etc. If we don't like the mood, we often minimize contact. I don't like to be around angry people, so whoever it is, I'm not so apt to spend time with you then. I don't think that makes me unique. I also don't think this is a particular bipolar trait.

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Hang on...

I know that stress is a factor in mood swings, but how could being around a manic person bring on an episode of mania, as it's clinically defined e.g with a range of debilitating symptoms that last for a period of time? I can understand being around a manic person being unpleasant, or even making someone feel anxious. Mania in someone else can bring on an emotional reaction in a person, but that's not clinical mania, that's emotion. Mania is chemical change in the brain that we can't really deliberately trigger off in other people, unless we put them under a certain amount of fairly prolonged stress. It would be impossible to 'catch' a full blown manic episode from a small social interaction, since mania is a biological thing, not a learned social behaviour, surely?

The best you could hope for is for a suggestible part of your nature to mimic the mania for a little while after meeting a manic person. I'm unconvinced that being in the company of a manic person can make someone else manic. I hang out with manic people every week and my bipolar symptoms have never been activated by it.

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In plain English, mania is contagious......it's good that you see that. Sometimes it's positive, sometimes, especially for us? Its negative.

But yes, being around manics and hypomanics induces mania.......I always thought that was natural , a given. Congrats that you start to see things around you as feeding into this fucking disease........er styles

Might want to write out a list of people , places and things that trigger you , so you ain't caught unawares by life bullshit into an episode, no?

Best wishes,

peace

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Like some of the other posters said, sometimes it feels like I catch someone's revved up mood. I don't like to feel that way, so it makes me apprehensive. I'm curious about why it happens. I'm not trying to blame other people for causing cycling, just wondering whether other bipolar people feel that interacting with someone who behaves in a manic or hyper or expansive way might be a trigger. Maybe I'm using the word "manicky" incorrectly. When I feel manicky, I feel as if I'm starting to get revved up: faster speech, more impulsive, filter gets turned off, irritibility gets cranked up, anxiety gets cranked up.

ETA: I don't believe that bipolar disorder is entirely biological. I believe psychology plays a role, that whole biopsychosocial thing. Chemicals rule us, but so do thoughts, emotions, and the things that trigger them.

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I think my emotions are changeable and I find myself matching the emotions of those around me.

But I also think emotions are fleeting, and my mood episodes are more long lasting.

Like my recent descent into crapville. I had moments of good in there, but the overall MOOD was down down down. When with my kids, I could and did have moments positive emotions, but that emotion wouldn't last and I'd be right back to ruminating and self-hating - ei, the mood stuff was still there, despite the positive emotions.

Then there's the issue that my father is bipolar. We do not cycle at the same rate. His mood may effect me temporarily when I'm with him, but my mood episodes do not shift to match his just from being around him.

And, many of us are married to non-MI - wouldn't it be neat if their stability was "catching" and I could chill the fark out just by hanging with my husband or kids?

Yeah, sorry, I don't buy that mood episodes are catching. I have a hard time thinking of anything in my life, beyond prolonged stress, and sleep disruptions, that have "caused" a mood episode in one direction or the other. For me, they still seem to come out of the blue (although that may be that I'm still new to being dx and just haven't gotten a handle on how I tick yet).

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I don't find mood episodes to be catching in the slightest and I work with mood disordered and other psychiatric folks all day, so it's probably pretty fortunate.

What I can find is that I fleetingly, more or less empathetically, can feel a state that someone else is feeling for a short period of time. It actually used to be a lot worse but I had to develop coping skills around this issue so that I CAN stay stable and balanced regardless of what is going on around me. When there is a great deal of personal stress in my life, sometimes meds and prns are a part of that.

I do feel stability, in the sense that when my life, family life, and whatnot are stable, I CAN feel better, but my seperate, distinct mood episodes, such as organic depression, tend to be utterly seperate from all of that kind of stuff.

Not sure if the above post made any sense, but eh.

Anna

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Manic isn't catchy from my experience. My husband sure as heck doesn't get manic from being around me. In fact he just said he couldn't stand me when I'm like this.

Also, from being around other manic people while in the hospital I don't find myself getting manic just from being around them. Just doesn't rub off on me I guess.

ETA: What my husband said was out of anger and I have skipped some meds and am worse today than I have been. SO that explains why he said that. Still kind of hurt but oh well. I deserved it. Sorry off topic.

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when i'm on my way to depressed i will avoid depressed people and it truly sucks, i know it. because i don't want to be avoided that way by others either. but i can't handle the pull emotionally to "join" that person in negativity/hopelessness/apathy, and i end up feeling my own sense of those things amplified.

when i'm already depressed (if i can handle people at all), i welcome the company of depressed people almost exclusively. because they don't want or expect anything from me if they know i feel the same. we can just be miserable together.

when i was on an upswing in the fall i couldn't handle anybody who wanted to be "serious" about anything. life was too short to worry over small things! and i could make any problem seem like a small one, just so i didn't have to think about anything bad.

so i don't think you can "catch" an episode, but maybe enhance or detract from what you're already going through depending on who you're with.

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I don't find mood episodes to be catching in the slightest and I work with mood disordered and other psychiatric folks all day, so it's probably pretty fortunate.

What I can find is that I fleetingly, more or less empathetically, can feel a state that someone else is feeling for a short period of time. It actually used to be a lot worse but I had to develop coping skills around this issue so that I CAN stay stable and balanced regardless of what is going on around me. When there is a great deal of personal stress in my life, sometimes meds and prns are a part of that.

I do feel stability, in the sense that when my life, family life, and whatnot are stable, I CAN feel better, but my seperate, distinct mood episodes, such as organic depression, tend to be utterly seperate from all of that kind of stuff.

Not sure if the above post made any sense, but eh.

Anna

Makes a lot of sense to me, so forgive me for weighing in once more. I worked in mental health and was able to keep my patients' stuff separate from my own. The stress from work aggravated my symptoms, but not the work itself. (Loved it.) I feel like I can "know where the patient ends and I begin" or however that goes when you're talking about professional boundaries. (I probably screwed that phrase up totally. My brain is mush today.) My original post was inspired by interactions with people I've met socially when I was feeling stable one minute and wired by the end of the interaction/conversation. I guess I need to figure out personal boundaries. Pdoc suggested social anxiety. Thanks to all who weighed in.

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Okay, I totally have an experience similar.

I have two bipolar friends. One with psychotic features, the other without. With one of my friends, our mania and depression seemed to be synched. When we first started hanging out, we agreed to each other we were feeling manic and both went into a full blown manic state that eventually ended up resulting in paranoia that broke our friendship. Its still broken because I went into the hospital and he didn't get help and isn't on medication and is either manic or depressed and still not speaking to me. We alll know he'll come around.

Anyway, at first, we enjoyed being manic together. It was like taking illegal drugs or something. We created our own little life inside the house, staying up all night and sleeping during the day. It was as if reality didn't even exist and we didn't need to live on the outside world unless it was of course to go out partying with friends. We did some really wild shit in that house. We stopped talking to everyone, yet talked to everyone else to try and hide our mania. It was all fun and games until denial got us both and that turned into paranoia. I'll never forget the look in his eyes.

My other friend...our rage and mixed states became synched. We totally fed off of our delusions and paranoia and anger. Wanting to beat people up, kill people, etc...

In the hospital, they talked a lot about triggers. Living with bipolar is like living with heart disease. It requires a lifestyle change. BAH HUMBUG. REALLY. It is a lot of work.

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I have two bipolar friends. One with psychotic features, the other without. With one of my friends, our mania and depression seemed to be synched. When we first started hanging out, we agreed to each other we were feeling manic and both went into a full blown manic state that eventually ended up resulting in paranoia that broke our friendship. Its still broken because I went into the hospital and he didn't get help and isn't on medication and is either manic or depressed and still not speaking to me. We alll know he'll come around.

Anyway, at first, we enjoyed being manic together. It was like taking illegal drugs or something. We created our own little life inside the house, staying up all night and sleeping during the day. It was as if reality didn't even exist and we didn't need to live on the outside world unless it was of course to go out partying with friends. We did some really wild shit in that house. We stopped talking to everyone, yet talked to everyone else to try and hide our mania. It was all fun and games until denial got us both and that turned into paranoia. I'll never forget the look in his eyes.

My other friend...our rage and mixed states became synched. We totally fed off of our delusions and paranoia and anger. Wanting to beat people up, kill people, etc...

In the hospital, they talked a lot about triggers. Living with bipolar is like living with heart disease. It requires a lifestyle change. BAH HUMBUG. REALLY. It is a lot of work.

Hello Littleladybug. How are you? LOL

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I am used to being around a lot of manic people, because that was the main thrust of my father's research, and he ran a big outpatient clinic at Pitt, and as kids, we were always running in and out (of the waiting room, of course not the office). Also, kind of as a result, we have a lot of mentally ill friends, most of them bipolar. I really do not find their moods affect me at all.

But I don't like being around really manic people, and I seem to attract them, especially women. It seems the hangout for heavily made-up, flamboyantly/provocatively dressed, chattering bipolar women is in front of the beer cooler at my Safeway.

Men who are really manic scare me, but I do not think that is unwise. Sorry, guys, it isn't personal. I have had violent impulses when having an episode, too. So I don't mean anything by that except that you are a lot bigger and stronger than I am.

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