Mania comes in two forms euphoric and dysphoric. In euphoric mania, you have an intense feeling of optimism, creativity, power, and boundless energy. Life seems full or irresistible possibilities limited only by your imagination. Almost as common, but much less pleasant, is dysphoric mania.
In addition to being high, you also feel irritable, agitated, wired, impatient, on edge, frustrated, depressed, paranoid, or some combination of these. Sometimes the experiences of euphoria and dysphoria are intermixed. You start out feeling overjoyed and energized, but your mood quickly turn ugly when you run into obstacles.
Monitor your sleep patterns carefully. If you suddenly feel little or no need for sleep, this is the most reliable signal of the impending onset of a manic episode. And the return of normal sleeping is a good sign that a manic episode is coming under control. Keeping your sleep patterns regular is important because sleep deprivation can actually trigger a new episode.
A string of sleepless nights is always a very bad sign , however much you enjoy feeling tireless and may welcome the increased productivity. Consult a psychiatrist immediately to head off the development of a full blow mania episode, or at least to reduce its intensity and duration.
Manic speech is hard to miss and hard to fol ow. Your flow of words is literally torrential, pouring out of you like water gushing from a fire hydrant. Carrying on a normal give and take conversation is usually impossible and your friends complain they can’t get a word in edgewise.
You are scattered, destructible, and not at all focused on the task at hand. Your conversation is plagued by frequent detours that can be triggered by random background sounds, a picture on the wall, a nurse walking by, a newspaper headline, or whatever else might conceivably capture your almost nonexistent attention span.
You are driven to accumulate a dazzling array of short term pleasure and excitements with little regard for their possibly dangerous long term implications. Your spending is profligate. Your credit cards become dangerous enablers of your need to buy everything in sight. Five, or even six, figure debts can be accumulated in a remarkably short time. You engage in gambling, drug taking, risky ir unusual sexual experiences, or reckless driving in a way that would meet your own stern disapproval were you not captured by the manic state.
At the outset of a manic episode you feel, and may actually be, temporarily more productive and creative than usual. The combination of burning self confidence and ultra high energy can have a temporary payoff in getting things done whether it is finally clearing your desk, cleaning the house, calling neglected friends, writing your memories, or breaking sales records. People with a history of mania sometimes in for the advantages of these moment and forget the heavy price.
Mania brews a dangerous combination of poor impulse control, poor judgement, irritability, and grandiosity. Even if you are ordinarily a very law-abiding person with the highest moral values, you may engage in crimes, sins, or indiscretions that are completely at odds with your usual character.
Murders, embezzlement, rape, spouse abuse, and adultery have all been committed by extremely nice and virtuous people when they were in a manic state. Juries are completely unsympathetic to argument that the crime was caused by mania and generally assume that the person probably knew right from wrong at the moment the crime was committed.
You will probably be help both legally and fiscally responsible for all actions taken during a manic episode even though you could not control your impulses because of the impact of the illness.