One of the reasons of stigma on mental illness is lack of knowledge about it. It’s either because we have limited information, resources, and access on anything mental health or we have false and inaccurate information about it or maybe both.
So, to lessen the stigma, there are various organizations, groups, and individuals who are dedicated to inform and spread awareness on mental health and its issues. Each advocate has something that pushed and keep them do all that they do. Some are survivors, sufferers, family or friend of someone who struggle with mental illness or someone who just have a heart with the advocacy.
Few years ago, I didn’t know what was bipolar. The only idea I had was when my friends use the term as a synonym for moody. And at that time, I didn’t care to learn.
Until, I was diagnosed with it.
Every part of it was new, weird, and well, scary for me at first. But eventually, I learned to live with the illness.
So, what is Bipolar Disorder?
It’s a mental illness marked by extreme shifts in mood, energy, thinking and behavior—from the highs or extremely elevated mood called mania to the episodes of lows or depression. The cycles can last for days, weeks or months.
There are actually types of bipolar disorder: Bipolar I, Bipolar II, Cyclothymia and Other specified and unspecified bipolar and related disorders.
While possible causes are genetics, biological traits, hormonal issues, or environmental factors.
Bipolar Disorder has no cure, but it is manageable with right medications and therapy.
What does a manic episode feel like?
According to online resources, a manic episode might include:
- Feelings of euphoria
- Extremely energetic
- Over confidence
- Talking so rapidly
- Unable to concentrate
- Recklessness and impulsiveness
- Flight of ideas
- Sometimes extreme irritability or anger
But, as someone who’s been dealing with manic episodes for years, I’d say that manic is actually “fun”.
For tech-savvy: It’s like having not just four, but eight cores, or maybe more. You can do all at once, while also have a lot running on the background. Forget about heating up, or crashing. You can do everything without ever needing to stop because you have a battery that would last for days and even weeks. And you are confident that it would.
Seriously, it feels like you are at the highest point you could ever be. It’s like you can be anyone or anything you want. It’s like you can do and achieve anything or everything as long as you want it. And no one, not even yourself, can stop you.
Manic state gives you the energy and motivation to start big things.
Mania can make you do the things you never thought you could do. It gives you the courage and confidence you never had. It can take you places you never thought you could reach.
Also, it comes with heightened creativity like writing thousand of words or finishing great artworks or composing a song in just a night.
It’s a different kind of multitasking too. It is doing two or three or four things at once, while also having a traffic of thousand thoughts or ideas.
It is watching videos on Youtube, with another window open for searching on Google, and holding a smartphone to check your social media notifications, eating dinner while thinking of doing other things or wanting to be the next great poet of this generation. Or it is laying down in bed, and getting up because you thought about rearranging stuffs in your room or trying out outfits, or drinking milk, or dancing or practicing acting because suddenly you want to be an actor or literally just to do weird things.
Mania is not sleeping or staying awake until dawn for days without being tired.
And it could also be dangerous.
It is spending money you’ve worked so hard to earn, you saved for long, or money you do not own, for things you don’t and won’t need or for people you do not even know.
It is taking risky decisions and actions. Also, because of too much high emotions, it can make you think and do things you’ll regret afterwards.
Manic is not fun at all. It’s part of something more serious- a disorder.
So, how could someone call all of these as just being moody? Would you?
These are not misinformation at all. I’ve experienced them many times, and people I know have gone through the same thing. If you think any of these shouldn’t be here, just let me know below. But I’ll say that manic episodes manifest themselves in different ways and to different degrees in different people.