Having this mental chaos in my head can be brutal at times… and hard for others to understand. For a couple days, I wasn’t feeling “right” and my sleep was drastically affected. I felt like mania was on its way. Fortunately for me… it was not… or perhaps it was for a moment. I work very hard on staying in the present moment and bask in the warmth of knowing my children are all safe and healthy…and fall more in love with my man daily. He has been an inspiration for me. Because I couldn’t sleep for a couple days, we have decided to revamp my schedule to see if that will offer more control for me.
What I hate most about this disorder is that you can go symptom free for months, and even years… then all of a sudden it hits you and it hits hard. It is very important to know what your “triggers” are and be able to fight through them and win. Sometimes it feels like an uphill battle. What frustrates me the most is the lack of control I have over my mind…but I can (with practice) have control over my emotions and learn to work with my mind.
I have been working in my workbook and learning how to effectively cope with symptoms of mania should they arise. The workbook is “Overcoming Bipolar Disorder“. Not only is it informative but it gives clear examples and worksheets to make you think deeper about bipolar disorder and how to come up with solutions when symptoms arise. It teaches you to recognize your personal triggers and how to respond to them.
Triggers for Mania:
1. Drugs of abuse- Alcohol, Cocaine, Hallucinogens, Caffeine, Withdrawal from sedatives or alcohol, Change in nicotine use.
2. Neurological conditions- Dementia, Head trauma, Delirium, Stroke, Multiple sclerosis.
3. Prescribed Medications– Antidepressants, Decongestants, Inhalers for asthma, Stimulants, Levodopa for Parkinsons, Corticosteroids, Anabolic steroids, Disulfiram.
4. Other medical or physical conditions– Certain hormonal imbalances (like Cushings disease), Infections, Sleep loss, Menstrual cycle, Seasonal cycle.
Even “good” things in our lives can bring on a manic episode… getting married, turning 40, going on vacation, moving in with the person of your dreams…the “good” things can be just as responsible as anything else for triggering a manic episode.
How to handle Mania:
Personally I handle mania in various ways. When I am hypo-manic, (A mild, nonpsychotic form of mania, characterized by increased levels of energy, physical activity, and talkativeness.) I tend to read or have the increased need to “create” something whether it be writing poetry or starting a new crocheting project. I will also tend to workout more often. But I must watch it closely to watch for signs of full blown mania. I have been fortunate and have never been hospitalized because of my manic moments, although I certainly can recall several times I should have been.
Personally I handle mania with the help of those I love. They generally can tell that something is “off” before I begin to realize it. Then I start to create an action plan. First thing…try to get my sleep pattern in control, which usually involves a call to the doctor. In my most severe manic state, even prescribed sleeping medicine could not offer me sleep. Sometimes a change in my meds is called for, or an increased dose is needed. Also, close attention is needed to watch for symptoms of psychosis. Aside from what I can do from a medical standpoint, I take action on my end. I do some spring cleaning, workout, read self help books if my mind can slow down enough, meditate, go to the library and checkout books (instead of buying 5-10 at the bookstore… saves a lot of money), work on crochet projects, make candles, get outside into nature…like hiking or simply walking around the park. I also utilize it to be very “self aware”. I pay close attention to every sound I hear, every smell, every sensation because I tend to be overly sensitive when I am in the throes of mania. Then I prepare for the fall from euphoria. Inevitably, the depression falls right behind the mania. This is something that is not controlled… it does not mean that you are not “happy” with your life or that your feelings have changed for those you love… it is simply a part of the vicious cycle of bipolar disorder.
ALWAYS reach out for help if you feel you are spinning out of control… it is the best thing you can do for yourself. Nobody wants to walk through the hell of mania and find that they have spent money they didn’t have, ruined true friendships, or destroyed relationships with the man/woman they love. The euphoria (devil in disguise), is not worth the heartache and destruction left in its wake. ♥
- Being Bipolar (blackboxwarnings.wordpress.com)