Jump to content
CrazyBoards.org

Why does mania have to be a bad thing?


Recommended Posts

I'm not even Bipolar.  I had a manic episode 5 years ago and no symptoms since then.  I was going through a weird, hard time and I think circumstance just caused the episode.  I did crazy and stupid things but before everything crashed and burned it was so... beautiful.  So my question for Bipolar people is, has anyone out their learned to manage their mania so they can have fun with it without going over the top?  I think that's what I'd try to do if I really had bipolar disorder.  It seems like such a shame to shut off such an energetic, creative side of yourself, you know?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not even Bipolar.  I had a manic episode 5 years ago and no symptoms since then.  I was going through a weird, hard time and I think circumstance just caused the episode.  I did crazy and stupid things but before everything crashed and burned it was so... beautiful.  So my question for Bipolar people is, has anyone out their learned to manage their mania so they can have fun with it without going over the top?  I think that's what I'd try to do if I really had bipolar disorder.  It seems like such a shame to shut off such an energetic, creative side of yourself, you know?

Circumstance does not cause mania in people who are not bipolar. So here's the news: If you have even one mania in your life, and nothing else, you are forevermore Bipolar I. Sorry, but that is how the diagnosis works.

 

And that crash and burn? That's kind of inevitable. There's a reason it's called bipolar "illness."

 

Do you have a psychiatrist (pdoc)? Even if for the time being, you don't need to be medicated, you need psychiatric supervision.

 

Wishing for mania is fucked up. It may feel enjoyable, but it never stays that way. You can become psychotic, switch into dyphoric or  mixed mania, or crash into depression. You may feel more creative, but most people when they actually assess their creativity during mania, and during euthymia (normal mood), discover that no matter how creative they *feel* during mania, they are actually more creative while normal. Even Van Gogh noted that.

 

Mania leads you on, and tells you everything is awesome, and you are the most creative creature on Earth. Until you go out of control.

 

If people could control and channel it, do you think it would be considered a mental illness?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know that's how the diagnosis works, but that doesn't mean it's always true.  Either way, I feel like I wouldn't care if I were bipolar because that's better than being depressed all the time like I am now.  At least I'd get a break from the horrible monotony of never being satisfied with anything and hating waking up in the morning.  I'm kind of in between pdocs right now, I moved to a new area and it's been really hard finding one I like. 

 

What goes up must go down but I sure wouldn't mind going up once in a while...

Edited by wenderz
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know but the way I am now, I never feel enjoyable at all.  So at least I'd least I'd have a break from my depression if I had mania... Blah I know it's stupid and I'm probably just going to make people mad by having that opinion so I'll just stop.  I just thought when I had it it was a beautiful experience for the most part.  I did things I never thought I could do.  I saw a side of myself I never would have known existed.  Even though it all went wrong I still cherish the experience.  It was nice to be on the other end of things for a change, that's all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When you had that manic episode, did you come crashing down at the end of it, and experience the hell of that?  From what I know when a person is manic, they will eventually crash and become severely depressed.  Crashing is one of the worst feelings I have ever had.  It kind of feels like a Mac truck hit me and I can't get out of feeling like that. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know that's how the diagnosis works, but that doesn't mean it's always true.  Either way, I feel like I wouldn't care if I were bipolar because that's better than being depressed all the time like I am now.  At least I'd get a break from the horrible monotony of never being satisfied with anything and hating waking up in the morning.  I'm kind of in between pdocs right now, I moved to a new area and it's been really hard finding one I like. 

 

What goes up must go down but I sure wouldn't mind going up once in a while...

 

 

I totally and completely understand you. I'm bipolar 2, which is more chronic depression and very occasional forays into the lower atmosphere of mania. Life really sucks when you're depressed all the time and everything feels grey; if I had the choice while in a long spell of depression, I probably would take the hypomania, even with the crash. Hypomania is a lot less severe than mania. I think I'd want to stay the hell away from the full monty mania. 

 

But to answer your question: What's wrong with mania? 

 

I think you don't have a really good idea because yours lasted only a week. For your short stint, the biggest downside was the crash. If you were in that state longer, you'd see some real damage to your life: expensive purchases, poor career decisions, sexually risky behavior, relationship destroying behaviors, physically dangerous activities. 

 

There is also the increased risk of a mixed state -- being depressed and manic at the same time which makes you very irritable -- think the hulk. You can rage against everything and everybody until you're just pacing in your room and punching the walls. Or you might start punching people and end up in jail with a criminal record following you the rest of your life. 

 

You're also giving yourself the choice between depression and mania. There is another possibility: that you have stable, well-managed, and appropriate moods that let you navigate through life successfully. 

 

Incidentally, what do you think triggered your mania? Were you taking an meds? SSRI's?

Edited by ovOidampUle
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You may feel more creative, but most people when they actually assess their creativity during mania, and during euthymia (normal mood), discover that no matter how creative they *feel* during mania, they are actually more creative while normal. Even Van Gogh noted that.

 

I've heard different things on that.

 

I took a friend to task for claiming Robin Williams work was strongly influenced by his mania (or maybe it was the cocaine). When I took her to task for that, she said that she had her own periods of increased productivity and just better work when she was manic. I don't know if there is a link between creativity and mania, but I think a lot of people believe there is -- including people who suffer from it. 

 

The link between depression and creativity is, I think, much less justified. That one really drives me up a wall. I think the fellow who wrote 'Listening to Prozac' has a wonderful book-long rant on the subject. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think anecdotally, our membership says they *feel* more creative, but a lot of what they produce is crap. When normal, the ideas are harder to come by, but are better quality. This is just drawn from what I have read on this site, I'm not claiming it is scientific. But Van Gogh did say he did better work when he wasn't experiencing mood swings. Although I admit, I love "The Church at Auvers," which was one of his last works before he killed himself. It's my favorite, I love it more than "Starry Night." I have a poster of it hanging opposite me, ostentatiously framed, no less.

 

Someone on the level of Robin Williams, who was a one of a kind genius, it's hard to say. But where ever the mania got him creatively, it all turned to shit in the end.

 

And this is *completely* off the cuff, but everyone who met him says how kind he was; I don't think people are mean when they are manic, but they have a hard time being empathetic. It could be he drew *from* his mania more than he used the actual energy of it, if you know what I mean.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^such a beautiful painting <3

*Possible TW*

Just the thought of crashing makes me never want to be manic again. The last time i crashed was awful. Dreadful. I literally woke up one morning, after months of not being suicidal, and seriously contemplated killing myself. I cried uncontrollably for a few days and then....nothing. I just felt nothing. The crash, for me, is not worth the mania. Plus, like others have said, mania can be very harmful especially over extended periods of time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was hardly beautiful when one of my friends became psychotic and started making horrible accusations towards her best friend during a manic episode.  

Edited by koa
Link to comment
Share on other sites

To the OP:  When I've been in the pit I have wished for hypo/mania.  You just get so desperate when you're depressed that a manic episode sounds damn good.  But I think all the other posters have made great points about why being manic isn't so good.  I wish there were a way to extract the "good" things about mania, but there isn't.

 

If you're between pdocs, I suggest you make it a priority, for your own well-being, to get a pdoc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just wrote a bunch but  I'm going to give anyone the opportunity to misconstrue what I wrote to be an endorsement of mania, especially in a thread like this, so:

 

<snip>

 

That's a beautiful blue above the church. One of the nice things about being short-sighted is I can take off my glasses and it's just like standing back five feet (but without the painting getting smaller). 

Edited by ovOidampUle
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know that's how the diagnosis works, but that doesn't mean it's always true.  Either way, I feel like I wouldn't care if I were bipolar because that's better than being depressed all the time like I am now.  At least I'd get a break from the horrible monotony of never being satisfied with anything and hating waking up in the morning.  I'm kind of in between pdocs right now, I moved to a new area and it's been really hard finding one I like. 

 

What goes up must go down but I sure wouldn't mind going up once in a while...

I can relate, but I also have a med that is very effective at ending the mania, at least if taken early. I've had almost non-stop depression for almost a year now that doesn't look like it's going away any time soon. And while it moderated some a number of months ago, I'm just really sick of it.

But I had a few breaks, two of mania and one of mixed. I took my med within a day or so of onset and quashed it. Doesn't stop me from from wishing for mania or hypomania, as I'm so damn sick of this depression.

But hypo/mania is a very destructive beast in the end. It may start as happy and productive, but it never ends that way, at least not in my experience. When mania flips to depression, it's like cruising down the freeway at 100MPH and then suddenly shifting into reverse. You're suddenly mired in this soul-crushing depression that's just the lowest of lows. And mixed states are no fun, either.

I've had some long and happy hypomanias, as that's often how my episodes start, but they always turn on me (to full manic --> depressed or mixed). I wish I could bottle that up and use it judiciously when needed, but, alas, it doesn't work that way. But longing for one after being depressed for so long? You betcha. Could really use it right now, in fact.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a nine month mania followed by a two year depression that burned out a part of my brain that has never come back. I like myself fine the way I am now, but there's no question that I am not who I was before that happened.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...