Tag Archives: manic

30 Day Mental Illness Awareness Challenge – Day 4

Day 4: What are the pros and cons of having a mental illness or your specific illness(es)?

Cons – Well, I have a hard time keeping a job, making friends, enjoying life — my depression and anxiety really inhibit me to do a lot of things.  It isn’t fun at all.  With anxiety, I really hate going out.  I am scared of meeting new people.  Then when I do make a friend, I get really overwhelmed if they keep asking me to hang out, so I quite answering their calls or texts – and well, they give up on me, which I don’t blame them for.  I get overwhelmed with jobs too – so I feel sick and can’t go in, or I have panic attakcs during them, or I just stop going, or I quit.  When I get depressed – nothing makes me happy.  I can sleep for days.  I can not shower for days.  I am not interested in anything.  My mania with my bipolar even stinks — spend lots of money, get agitated and frustrated.  Nothing good from that. Basically — it just sucks.  So nothing good about the mental illness there.

Pros –  Hmm that is a hard one to even think about.  With bipolar, there is mania.  Most people like that.  They say they are productive and all that jazz.  For me, I hate my mania – nothing good comes out of it.  So I cant even list that as a pro.  I think I am more empathetic though.  I see the world differently than most people.  I feel pain.  I know what it is like to hurt.  I guess I don’t want to say I understand things better, and yet I also do want to say that.  When someone is hurting or down, I feel like I really do understand them.  I do feel like I see the world completely differently than someone without mental illness – I feel like I have a better perspective.  I know that sounds bad and mean and wrong and as if I am better than them — but I feel like I just have a better understanding — or a different understanding I guess.

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You are Still Able

Bipolar can make you unstable,

             but you are still able.

Never give up, Never give in.

               You will find your peace again.

-G.E. Laine

I Hate Mania

Risky behaviors. $$$$$  Frustration.  HAPPY!!!! Anger.  Noooo ZzzzZzzZzz’s.  A million thoughts going through your head!

Mania Mania Mania.

When you are bipolar, you are up you are down.  When you are up, you are manic.  I’ll be honest, with my bipolar – I am depressed 97% of the time.  I really haven’t had any major manic episodes – maybe 3 real manic episodes ever.  The rest have been hypomania.  I have been in severe depressive episodes the majority of the time.

When I have gone into a manic episode though – mine is not a happy or good mania.  It isn’t really a productive mania either.  I kind of got the short straw when it came to mania.  I do want to do a lot of things, but I want to do so many things, I start them all and go from one thing to another and so none of them get done.

So why is my mania not a good mania?  Well – I don’t really get happy so much.  I get irritated, I get agitated.  People seem to bother me a lot more.  When I am depressed, people bother me, but I don’t seem to have the energy to deal with them.  I will yell or get mad, but I tend to just cry when I get frustrated.  When I am manic – I have the energy to yell back and argue back and carry on with it.  I don’t get physical and never have but I have those thoughts, my anger consumes me.

I also spend a lot of money.  Way too much money.  I have no idea what I am doing – I don’t think about the consequences of it at all.  I am on disability because of my mental illness.  I have no money whatsoever to be spending.  When I am manic though, I am not even thinking about that.  I just feel the need to buy something to keep my mind distracted, to keep my mind busy.  Everything seems interesting to me.  My mind sees something and I have a million thoughts on how I could use it and why I need it.  Or I do things that I have no way of returning.  I feel like I can save the world.  I donate money to charities and give money to people.  Not like $1 or even $10.  I donate $100’s, and one time — a heck of a lot more than that.  Yes, my credit card was not happy with me.  I am glad it went to a good cause, but my bank account suffered – as did my refrigerator, pantry, and stomach and other bills.

I tend to do other reckless things too.  Speeding, not horribly bad, but normally I am a very safe driver, so speeding is just crazy to me.  Usually it is at night, cause I normally am only out at night after a NAMI meeting.  But I feel like I am flying, ruling the world (of course when I am manic I have these crazy delusions).  I tend to catch myself when I am doing this, and as I said, I never speed horribly, but the fact that it happens in the first place is something that definitely sets me apart from when I am not manic.

My lack of sleep is ridiculous.  I can stay up all night, all day, all night.  Or I may sleep, but only for an hour or two.  I don’t know how I do it.  I can pace my apartment, which is not big, so I don’t know how I don’t get bored? Seriously?  Or I will start all these projects, which I referred to earlier – but never finish any of them.  I will be inspired to paint pictures, draw zentangles, or draw abstract pictures.  I will stay up watching Netflix movies galore.  Everything just seems entertaining to me though. Or boring, everything can also seem boring – my mind will find it entertaining, and then suddenly switch to something else that is more entertaining.

The racing thoughts – they can drive you mad!  These tend to happen in mania or not, but they are a hundred times worse when I am manic.  From one thing to another.  I cant figure out what to do, where to go, who I want to talk to or see.

On that note, who I want to talk to or see —- I am suddenly social!?!  I have horrible social anxiety – what is going on?  I can talk to people, I can see people, I want to see people!  Mania does some crazy things to my brain.  Well, I guess this might be a good part of my mania – socialization is a good thing.

So, my mania — overall, it isn’t a good mania.  I hate my mania.  People always say they miss their manias.  They like their mania.  I don’t like mine.  I am so used to being depressed, severely depressed, that I don’t even know how to handle mania.  I prefer depression.  Even when I am not severely depressed, I have the low grade depression.  I think everyone would prefer to just be stable over all – feel happy, experience the sad when appropriate, but be stable.  That is what I hope for many times anyway.  I know it is not what I have been given though, but I know that I will manage what I do have.  I am going to battle these manic episodes and I am going to battle my depressive episodes.  I am not going to give in though.

Sleep! Not too much, Not too little, Just right!

Too much sleep, too little sleep.  Too manic, too depressed.

Sleep plays an incredibly important role in keeping my mind balanced.  I remember when I set off on my trip to Malaysia for a month back in March, my psychiatrist specifically told me I needed to watch my sleep.  “Make sure you bring your Ambien!  If you don’t sleep well, you are going to go into a deep depression or a huge manic episode.”  Before that, we had talked about trying to regulate my sleep for months.  Even after I got home, we were talking about regulating my sleep.

I have noticed, when I get enough sleep, my mood is much more stable.

When I get too much sleep, I am really depressed and want to sleep all the time.

When I don’t get enough sleep, I go into manic mode.

When I am in manic mode, I have to force myself to sleep, and when I do, my mood slowly begins to regulate.

When I am depressed, I have to force myself to get up and not be in bed all day, and my mood regulates more.

Now of course, many people with sleep problems need medication to help them overcome their issues.  But there are other ways to help regulate your sleep –

Creating a regular sleep habit:

  • Taking a shower every night and brushing your teeth at the same time
  • Turning off all electronics (not watching TV, being on the computer, or looking at your smart phone) for 1-2 hours before bed.  The light emitted from these keeps you up.
  • Only use your bedroom for sleep (or sex)
  • Keep the same sleep-wake schedule (i.e. wake at 8am everyday, sleep at 11pm everyday)
  • Don’t nap during the day, if you have to – keep it short (no longer than 30 minutes), and not close to your bedtime
  • Exercise regularly but do not do it too close to bedtime.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine completely – but especially at night if you do use them at bedtime