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Is mania always "fun?"


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I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in my early twenties - I'm 31 now - but, when I hear about other people's experiences of mania, I wonder if the diagnosis fits. Specifically, I find mania, if that is what it is, to be intensely unpleasant, whereas it seems like many people find it enjoyable and want the feeling to persist. For the first week/s, I suppose that I do enjoy it. I write prolifically, about more and more complex and lofty and probably ultimately incoherent things and find myself thinking that other people are stupid for not understanding what I write. I can't sleep and I don't want to sleep because I think that perhaps I will miss out on having some sort of "brilliant revelation" if I am unconscious. I interrupt people and know that I'm doing it and feel like a jerk but I can't stop. I also find myself doing things like running 10+ miles or so in the middle of the night - not very safe - particularly when my mania is in cahoots with my eating disorder. I guess some of that is typical, although I do not find myself spending excessively or feeling hypersexual or doing anything really reckless.

The phase ends relatively quickly, though, and then it becomes a total nightmare. I ultimately lose my ability to write because my thoughts are racing so fast that I cannot make my brain communicate with my hands. The thoughts then become so incoherent that they just become a deafening buzz, and I start fantasizing about boring holes in my skull (and the like) to make it stop. I sometimes hallucinate. I can barely communicate. I stammer and have a hard time retrieving words. My inability to sleep is not fun anymore. I wish my brain would turn off so I could sleep forever. And then I become suicidal. And scary suicidal because, when I'm depressed, I am so despondent and exhausted that I don't have the energy to carry out a plan; when I am manic, I do. And I am impulsive and care less about the effect it would have on people. And that's when I check myself into the hospital and beg someone to make it stop.

So, my question: Does anyone else experience mania as unpleasant, at least after a while? It seems like, for most people, suicidality is associated with depression and mania makes them feel invincible. I am particularly concerned because I am feeling some early symptoms and I'm maxed out on Seroquel XR and Lamictal already and have no clue what my pdoc can whack it with now and I'm really, really scared. I am writing this now because I am worrying about losing my ability to communicate. This is not "fun." It is awful.

Edited by waitingforgodot
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Although I don't have an answer to your problem, I have a similar experience with mania. My brain just won't stop zooming, I become highly irritable, and my sleep cycle goes completely out of whack (not to mention I have no form of routine or system at all, I just do whatever I want whenever I want). You're not alone.

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So, my question: Does anyone else experience mania as unpleasant, at least after a while? It seems like, for most people, suicidality is associated with depression and mania makes them feel invincible. I am particularly concerned because I am feeling some early symptoms and I'm maxed out on Seroquel XR and Lamictal already and have no clue what my pdoc can whack it with now and I'm really, really scared. I am writing this now because I am worrying about losing my ability to communicate. This is not "fun." It is awful.

I like hypo, but when mania starts and I start losing sleep, I hate it because I know I may be getting the hallucinations back.  Once I realize I am manic, it is hard to calm myself down because my mind is racing so much.  Eventually I crash, and have to live through that hell.  And that is no "fun."

 

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At the beginning I feel wonderful, amazing, excited about everything etc.

However as time goes on that changes and I become incredibly irritable, anxious, distressed and angry.

I cannot slow my thoughts down. I cannot sit. I cannot talk to people but shout instead. I am impulsive and demanding and argumentative.

Basically I feel dreadful.

So yes, mania is certainly not fun for me

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I've had manias that stayed euphoric and never went sour, but other times I get to a similar point where it's not fun anymore... I can't function and I'm begging for anyone to make it stop. I have major sensory overload and irritability. I can't read. I'm hostile to people I care about. So on and so on.

Mania can really get nasty.

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My hypomania is always irritable,dysphoric, anxious, etc.  Along those lines.  I don't get euphoric hypo/mania.  I don't connect with any stories of mania or hypomania feeling good, or wanting it, or whatever.  Mine are all shit.  But then, I get mixed features in my depressive episodes a lot of the time too.  Hence the BP-NOS Dx I was given ahahahahaha.

In your situation, if it were me, I'd still be contacting my pdoc, there are way more anti-manic medication options out there that the pdoc could be trying with you if your current selection/routine is no longer sufficient.  Perhaps some medication that you only take when you notice signs of a manic episode, just taking it to come down, and then you go off it and back to your regular medication routine.  That's what I do -- with Seroquel, actually.  Although I'm going to chat with my pdoc about upping my max possible dose of the Seroquel since the last couple times I had a manic episode I needed to use my max full daily dose every day I was medicating the episode and yet it still felt... not quite enough, or maybe "just barely enough" is more accurate.  Yeah.

I know it's really scary right now and I'm sorry to hear that you're in this place.  I hope some solution can be worked out for your soon.  If you do need to head for the hospital again, it'll be okay, and maybe your pdoc and you can come up with some new med ideas for your manic episodes based off of what seems to work for you when in-patient.  That's literally how my pdoc and I figured out how to treat my manic episodes.

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It eventually gets out of hand and too much for me too.

Even if I start out as highly euphoric. It turns into psychosis, and anxiety, and running my mouth off to those I care the most about, spending that hurts our financial stability, I get frustrated that no one can keep up or see how things "really are", so then I get irritable, and I have nearly had affairs that would have ruined my marriage, and I take on waaaay too much that of course will all be dropped the minute I crash. Speaking of the crash....it occurs 99% of the time and not to mention the crushing guilt that follows. 

So IME, mania is not always fun (even if it starts out as hypomania and that seems a little fun...things can change fast and turn into a living hell).

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I haven't found mania fun. I feel so speeded up inside, for one. And the overspending /hypersex parts, that may sound fun, are actually driven, and risky. The consequences catch up to me and are truly not fun. At the time, a part of me knows I'm out of control, but I'm losing the struggle to make things right. There may be enjoyable moments, but the bad outweighs the good. 

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  • 11 months later...

Hello, I am new to this forum. I have been reading posts on here for a few weeks

i was recently diagnosed with BP2 after years of being treated for MDD. At one point I was on aderall, but it sent me into a manic episode. For me, it was an incredible experience - I was super productive, running marathons, fixing up my house. I didn't know it was a manic episode until looking back on it. But as people on here have said, the crash is horrific. Severe depression, thoughts of suicide, complete lack of energy. I managed to carry on working, but I don't know how.

for me, as good as the hyper episode was, I would never want that crash again. I am now raising up my lamictal dose, and still struggling with severe depression months later. Hoping the lamictal stabilizes things

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It isn't always fun. Mostly when I get breakthrough like you're getting now, it's unpleasant. 

Have you been in touch with your pdoc? Maybe they'll use temporary additional meds to bring you back down.

A lot of people use Zyprexa that way because it kicks in very fast and works very well (for many). Also benzos. 

They may put you on lithium or depakote. There's a lot they can do anyway.

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for me, the beginnings are sometimes 'fun' - i am energetic, outgoing, wanting to do ALL the things...then it gets weird and uncomfortable. i can't stop my mind from racing, i get irritable that people can't 'keep up', i get delusional. i'd rather forego the 'fun' beginning stages to avoid mania alltogether. 

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For me, mania is always really enjoyable, with intense euphoria and high energy. It's the aftermath that's not so pretty. That said, I now often get mixed episodes, often the alternating type, which are roller coaster rides from hell. And when you get depression and mania simultaneously, it's most unpleasant. My meds work really well on the manic (and psychotic) side of the equation, though, so I mostly just struggle with depression these days.

Edited by Flash
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