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Can you describe your mixed states?

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I'm pretty sure I had a mixed state during my 20s that went on for months.

I was drinking heavily, partying most nights, hyper-sexual, no sleep but also aggressive. I got in fights, got arrested for kicking a cop car. I would walk the streets at night with endless energy, feeling like electricity was coursing through me. I could not sit still. felt wildly suicidal and tried to kill myself a couple of times. I felt so angry and so much rage. I was acting extremely arrogant but hated myself at the same time.

Please can you tell me about your mixed states...? Sound anything like this?

I've only had one to that degree, though I've had shorter less intense ones here and there since, with crying and angry outbursts.

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My most recent manic episode had "mixed features" apparently, but I'm not sure that means I was having a mixed episode or mixed state. In any case, my symptoms went something like this:

- Intense irritability, especially in relation to...

- Hypersensitivity to sensory input (i.e. my fiancee would say something, it would sound very loud and overwhelming to me, and I would become angry at her)

- Paranoia (at my doctors, at my fiancee, at random people... anyone could become my enemy)

- Aggressive driving (i.e. chasing someone through a red light because I thought they cut me off)

- Occasional periods of suicidal ideation and planning

- Derealization (felt like I was in a parallel universe)

- Anxiety (I was just looking through my blog, and it seems I was "freaking out" a lot)

- Periods of very uncomfortable, craw-out-of-my-skin energy

- Difficulty with auditory processing (I couldn't understand people when they talked to me 1/2 of the time)

- Something I've been thinking of as a "head radio" - song lyrics and random phrases that would loudly and forcefully come into my head... they weren't my thoughts, but I wasn't properly "hearing" them either. No clue what this was as it's never happened to me before or since.

- Periods of euphoria and typical manic symptoms (overspending, distractibility, sleeping 4 restless hours a night at most, talking too much, etc.)

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Trigger Warning




Sounds like a mixed state to me. I've only had one mixed episode, but it was parceled out into four or five distinct sections that were all basically the same. First I would alternate between mania and depression. So one day I'd be manic, and the next I'd be depressed, or sometimes both at the same time. Sometimes it was less than a day, and sometimes it was more, but it was most often one mood a day. 

The manias would be pretty classic 'good' manias: lots of energy; feeling on top of the world; hypersexual; requiring little sleep; euphoric, basically a bit like being on ecstasy without the druggy side effects. The depressions were also pretty typical. What was different was having both mania and depression at the same time: lots of energy; sleeping little; very agitated; very restless; but also low and in the dumps. I'd also get racing thoughts, something I oddly did not get during the purely manic phases. I just didn't know what to do with myself, but I knew I needed to do something. A lot of people describe a (simultaneous) mixed state as wanting to claw your way out of your own skin, and I think that's a very good description. 

After a week or two of that, I'd get stuck in being both manic and depressed at the same time (or in extremely rapid alternation, to where I'd feel like a ping pong ball being whacked back and forth). The highs and lows became more extreme. It was exhausting being so up and so down like that. It was like I went completely haywire. It came with a feeling of being out of control, like driving a car into oncoming traffic at high speed. It's rather difficult to describe, unfortunately.

I would also get these outbursts of extreme rage, unlike anything I've ever experienced before. One time I nearly did something very, very bad that would have landed me in jail. My hearing would also become extremely heightened and I'd become very sensitive to sound and light. I had my blinds drawn the entire 5 or 6 months that it lasted, and every little noise drove me bonkers. It was like I could hear EVERYTHING. 

I was already drinking very heavily before the episode started, but I needed even more, to the point where I was drinking a little over 40 drinks a day to self-medicate. I'd become suicidal as well, and came very close to doing the deed in a variety of ways (jumping off a bridge, slitting my throat, steering my bike into oncoming traffic, blowing my brains out, swallowing a bunch of pills). 

Anyway, after 3-5 days of that came the crash. That manifested as a weepy, soul-crushing depression and it lasted for at least a few days. I'd get suicidal then, too, but more often it was more just wanting to be dead (my energy levels plummeted at that point, making actually acting on it less likely). Then, all of a sudden, the depression would become much milder. That would last a week or two, and I'd think I was out of the woods, but then the whole cycle would just repeat again.

I journaled the tail end of this on another site as it was happening, and I later put the entries in my blog here. If you want to see it, it's called 'mixed episode.' 

Edited by Flash
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I sort of went through a rapid cycling before but the emotions quickly merge over time. Mixed states cause me to feel the height of opposite emotions at the same exact time. I often idealise suicide but find it really funny. I actively push people's buttons to upset them and become aggressive and doing so makes me maniacally happy inside. But I feel strong guilt about doing these things too. I get tearfully grateful when the same people I go after do something nice for me to help me out. I can be driven by anger and resentment but act constantly apologetic for being so. I can tell people I love them, then I yell and tell them I hate within a short space of time. There's a constant presence of irritable energy I can feel coursing through my body and I want to claw at my skin and pull it off. The body wasn't made of this kind of thing and I was just going to be rent apart by it all. Got much worse when the psychosis was also a problem on top of the rest I mentioned. Oh boy was that a nightmare.

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It's a bit like ...I am a murderous mad man filled with maniacal laughter who wants to commit suicide. Motivation levels are extremely high and psychosis is present. I remember the last time I was sectioned for a mixed episode I tried to rip my eyeballs out, thank goodness I was on 15 minute checks or else I'd be blind right now. 
Mixed states are the epitome of insanity in my opinion(especially if there are psychotic features) . Thank god for valprorate...that shit works like miracles  

Edited by StJimmy9151
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13 hours ago, Flash said:

I just didn't know what to do with myself, but I knew I needed to do something.


11 hours ago, saintalto said:

There's a constant presence of irritable energy I can feel coursing through my body

^^ So, so true - I can relate so much.


7 hours ago, crtclms said:

I'm not going to say what kind of episode that was, but all that behavior could also fall under the rubric of mania. Not all manias are enjoyable.

This is interesting. 

What is the difference between a non-enjoyable mania, and a mixed mania, I wonder?

I never get enjoyable manias. 

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It's a good question. Speaking technically, the DSM simply states that for a mixed episode, the symptoms have to meet those for both mania and depression, at the same time, for at least a week.

Personally, I like to think of mine as dysphoric (hypo)mania and agitated depression all rolled into one.

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  • 3 weeks later...

mixed is what I am prone to.

For me I have extreme irritability, throw things, hit my head against the wall. Feel suicidal, but also feel like choking people. Severe anxiety, thoughts are sped up and won't slow down, I lash out at people, drive fast, can't sleep, pace. It's super scary - white kunckling until I can get the right dose of meds to kick in.

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