People often ask what’s wrong when they think someone looks depressed, but you don’t get asked what’s wrong when you’re manic, and even if they did, what are you supposed to say?
No. I’m not fine. I feel on top of the world and highly energetic. I feel like I could do anything and am ready to try anything. My self esteem is through the roof and I feel untouchable. This isn’t good.
This is of course providing that you even know what the fuck is going on, because one wonderful (see: really shitty) side effect of being manic is that you don’t have a clue. Your entire world is absolutely amazing, and everything you do is easily justifiable. No matter what it is.
The people that want to help you encourage it, because you look like you are doing well.
And it makes it incredibly hard to not fuck up your life when you’re being encouraged to do it.
That’s not to say that I think for a single second that anyone is actively encouraging destructive habits, but you have to understand what mania can look like to see why it’s encouraged, and why that’s not a good thing.
I have bipolar type 1, which means that I’ve had documented full out manic episodes, and they sure do get interesting.
Up until I was on medication, I had never been in a “normal” calm state since my bipolar reared it’s ugly head when I was 15, I didn’t get on meds until 26. In that time I cycled between depression, mania and mixed state (a dangerous combination of both), but I’ve never not been in one of those states. I never had a moment of down time, or just a regular day. So I’d go from depressed to manic straight away, and nobody knew.
When manic, I suddenly have a ton of energy. I’m on top of the world and able to do anything. I try pretty much any new things I want to, I go out and talk to and meet new people…
…and move to different states, be reckless and dangerous sexually, make sometimes life altering decisions on a whim, become far more volatile and believe I’m nearly invincible.
Those are the things that people don’t necessarily see. Those are the things that people don’t realize they are actively encouraging.
The best thing you can do, if you know someone who is bipolar is understand how they cycle. What does depression look like, and even more important, what does their mania look like? These are things that you need to know to be able to effectively help.
Have a beautiful day sunshines. ^.^