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Identifying the early signs of mania

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I've only been diagnosed a couple of years and have never had a full blown, in patient level episode but I feel something building that isn't far off what got me diagnosed.


I can shut down emotionally, I can block out pain, block out tiredness, the will power to get things done that my psychiatrist says civilians shouldn't. I was a high school dropout, I had no ambition and at 17 my mother died and I was left with a poor education and because of my reliance on her direction and advice as a parent, not having my own path to follow.


8 years later I had a triple major undergrad and 3 post grad qualifications (including masters in finance) while working full time and competing in 2 different sports. I never flinched, I never acknowledged an ounce of self pity and then, just as I was graduating for the last time - I broke, my energy levels went out of control and my usual laser sharp concentration was a complete mess, 2 1/2 years later I'm stable and established with the psych.


Something is happening though, I was at my girlfriends parents house last night, she had her daughter at 17 while already a high school dropout herself and did it entirely alone, she put her self through college and is earning 115k/yr as the manager in my department.


I see what she did, while competing in show jumping, while raising her daughter on her own, while maintaining a social life, being an absolute savage working her way up from working in a coffee shop to a senior position by 30 and I just feel like I have SO MUCH MORE capacity


I don't know what this is, I love my life, I love her and who she is but..is it envy, competitiveness, inferiority, self esteem?


At times this goal orientated behavior threatens to take control and I have the track record of achieving whatever I set my mind to but I don't want it to be to my detriment, not like before.


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Only you know the answer deep down, but I think I know what you are saying.  I sometimes have that feeling - like stability has/will caused me to lose my "edge," and I feel envious of other people I see who maybe still have that edge.  For me its pretty easy to back off of them, distance myself, remind myself that I have chosen a different lifestyle and I never know what others have going on besides what it looks like on the surface.  But, when its a significant other?  That's hard.  IDK. 


I was going to post here about "hypomania addiction," but didn't have the words.  Like it's hard to give up the productivity and creativity.  I just have to remind myself that I also got into fights (I'm a fairly small woman!) and debt and got speeding tickets, etc.  It's not worth it.


I hope you figure it out. 

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