Manic Episodes

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Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 4/19/2007 10:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Manic episodes confuse me.  I've done a lot of reading of Depression and Bipolar, and I was just wondering how you would describe a manic episode.  Do you know you're in one when you are?Bipolar and depression run in my family and i have periods of severe depression, and then periods of being normal, atleast i think its normal.  I wonder which of the disorders i really have.   When i'm not in a depressive state i feel like i can accomplish anything and take on the world.  Well because i got through depression, its a fair assessment no?  At those times i usually put a lot of things on my plate because i believe i can do them. For example, I took physics, discrete math, chemistry and english in one semester in my gr. 12 yr. and took on a lot of extra shifts at work.  all that itself is suicidal.  it is so hard to do all that and manage to get 90s in all the classes.   Thinking u are invincible, can accomplish anything..etc  is a symptom of a manic episode.. But how does a person know if thats a manic episode or just your natural determined personality.  I don't know how to decipher between normal and a manic episode.  My mind races all the time.  i suffer from insomnia or sleeping too much all the time.   I dunno.  Does someone have any clarity?

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 4/24/2007 4:37 PM (GMT -6)   
What a super question.  Sounds like normal determination to me.  I have that kind of personality.  I've always taken on more responsibility than was necessary, and things always worked out.
Perhaps ask yourself if you actually finish these chores successfully or do you quit at things?  Do you meet your goals?  Do you change your mind often?
To me, mania involves irrational behavior and goals that are far beyond your normal capability.  They end in a disaster of some sort.  Ask someone you trust to honestly tell you if you were being "crazy" or simply highly self-motivated and over-achieving.  Also, is there a trail of chaos behind you?
I am not bipolar, but read all the posts here in an attempt to help my ailing husband.  That doesn't make me manic- just eager to learn!  Anyone sincerly dedicated to a cause could come across as mildly manic.  But that is the personality required to handle difficult tasks.  Realize that dedication can be life-long and doesn't flip-flop foolishly. 
Best wishes. APG

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1491
   Posted 5/1/2007 1:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Good question! I had a hard time understanding this myself. I can only speak from experience but for me manic episodes involve lack of sleep, racing thoughts - this is when your thoughts bounce from one topic to the other and back around like your brain is on fast forward and random shuffle. Its hard to hold a normal conversation because your lack of ability to focus. Although on single things I can focus fine its just if someone interupts me or tries to talk to me. Generally I talk rapidly, interupt a lot and don't notice until later I might go.. hmm I really interupted that person alot.. that was sort of rude. I clean alot also, but my cleaning is weird like I'm doing the dishes and notice the counter is dirty so I start washing the counter and drop some water on the floor so then I'm down on my hands and knees cleaning the floor then I go to the washroom and notice the sink needs washing so im there, then something else draws my attention and I start cleaning the fridge.. etc.. lol you get the idea. But one thing I never realized till I read a book on bipolar is that mania also brings irritability. I always thought being irritable was part of depression but suprise .. its not. As for decifering between normal and mania, the only thing i can do to distinguish the two is how much my 'normal' level of functioning is impared. Am I sleeping so little im exaughsted physically, am i so irritable I am making other people around me upset? am I staying up to 3am cleaning my house running the vacuum etc... those sorts of things to me mean im not just normal energetic but im manic cause they are not things I 'normally' do. Also helps to have someone close to you point out when they think your manic because often they will notice first. I know with me I'm always the last to notice.

Hope that helps
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