Welcome to the first ever Therapy Thursday. It’s where I’m going to talk about mental health issues. I have personal knowledge, but we all have our own experience. Things that I talk about on here you may have more personal experience with, and I would love to talk with you about that. First, though, I’m going to be taking things from my experience, realizing that it’s not the only way a disorder(s) can work. I’d love comments on these to gain even more intimate knowledge of what I choose to talk about.
That all said, this week’s topic will be on mania. Mostly spurred on because my own mother really doesn’t even have a grasp on what mania is or can be.
When people refer to mania, they are usually referring to Bipolar Disorder. There are other Disorders that have mania included, but they are mostly related to BD. I, myself, have Schizoaffective Disorder, Bipolar type. Many people don’t realize that this disorder is placed on the mood disorder scale and not the schizophrenic scale. There will always be people who have more schizophrenic tendencies than others, though. Mine is, however, more of a mood disorder unless I have a psychotic break, and mania is most definitely part of what I deal with.
I’ve been on medication for awhile now, but I vividly remember a few manic episodes I’ve had while off meds. The first being when I was 15 years old. Now, while it was happening I didn’t realize what was going on, but I’ve since then recognized it for what it was. Another I had when I was a senior in high school. And yet another after college. Those are the ones that stick out the most.
To understand mania, you have to forget the thoughts that all bipolar is are “mood swings.” While in concept, it can be “mood swings,” they are much more intense and have much more to them than just a feeling. Mania varies from person to person, but it has symptoms such has elevated mood (euphoric), racing thoughts, engaging in risk-taking behaviors such as promiscuity, driving fast, or spending all of your money/money that you don’t have, and a decreased need for sleep. There could also be irritability, increased self-esteem, and starting multiple things which most times won’t get finished before another idea pops into your head.
There is also a lesser form of full-blown mania known as hypo-mania in which the prominent symptoms are experienced to a lesser degree. I, being on medication sometimes experience the symptoms of hypo-mania still. People with bipolar disorder who experience deep depression and hypomania are most times diagnosed with Bipolar II, and people who have ever had an episode of full-blown mania are diagnosed as Bipolar I. With the bipolar part of a Schizoaffective Disorder usually have the mania’s of Bipolar I.
With my own mania’s, there have been differences every time. When I was 15 no one knew what was going on, but I was irritable, I couldn’t “think straight” because I felt like everything was on my mind, I would lie in bed without sleeping practically all night, and I decided to take on different endeavors every night. As I got older, sexual promiscuity was definitely part of the mix, true euphoria, as well as some peculiar behaviors.
That said, this may have just been a “well, duh” post or an eye-opening one. The most important thing to take away from this is that while I’ve sat here and listed what mania actually is, I haven’t said that everyone’s mania is the same. Those symptoms are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to certain people too. Mental illness is such a complexity of symptoms that while you can “label” something, not one person will be exactly the same.
So, thus concludes my first Therapy Thursday. I know it was a big factual mess, but I’m hoping that as time goes on I’ll be able to write a bit more cohesively. If you have any thoughts, or questions, please feel free to comment!