What You Need to Know If You Think Bipolar Mania Is Fun

A lot of people think the mania part of bipolar disorder is fun for people — that it’s simply a really high mood and feeling great, but that isn’t the case. For me, I’ve had a few manic episodes in my life but most of mine are hypomania, which is a less severe form of mania but still life-altering.

Mania and hypomania aren’t fun; it isn’t just feeling “high” and getting a lot done. It can be destructive, scary and confusing. For me, it’s talking so fast that people don’t understand what I’m trying to say, which is incredibly frustrating. It’s behaving in a reckless way that can be dangerous for myself; it can be risky and it can hurt those I love. It’s making detailed and complicated plans for my life that won’t make sense when I’m stable. It’s feeling as though the world is going too slow, and not understanding why it won’t keep up with me. It’s feeling irritable and uncomfortable in my own skin. It’s losing touch with what is actually going on around me, and not being myself at all. At times it can be terrifying hallucinations — both visual and tactile, in my case — and thinking paranoid things which aren’t true. It’s far from fun and exciting. Yes, it can feel as though you’re on top of the world for a short period of time, but most of the other symptoms don’t even allow me to enjoy that part of it.

Possibly the worst thing about hypomania is crashing down to the deep, severe and horrendous depression after it, because it can only last so long, and inevitably what goes up must indeed come down. It can leave you feeling so low and guilty about your actions, which were completely out of character, and it leaves the possible devastation you have caused during your hypomanic episode. It can be hard to come back from, but we mental health warriors do just this. We come back from it, we try to learn from it, we help our support systems learn from it and we hope we will be able to deal with it better the next time.

Photo by Tanja Heffner on Unsplash

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Bipolar Disorder

woman sitting on grass under tree reading book during spring

Self-Care Tips to Practice If You Experience ‘Spring Mania’

Spring symbolizes a new beginning. Flowers are in full bloom, the trees are bright green, the grass is covered in morning dew, and the sun is so beautiful and radiant. You wake up and smile because everything feels new. You may have cleaned your apartment or finally replaced the dull and limp flowers in your [...]
close up portrait of woman with short hair resting on hands

Why I Choose to Say ‘I Am Bipolar’

One of the major discussions in the mental health community is how to refer to your diagnosis. Some people say you should always say you have the condition; not that you are the diagnosis. The common rationale for that is that your illness shouldn’t define you. It isn’t who you are. People point out that [...]

How This Real-Life Example Illustrates a Hypomanic Spiral

“Aren’t you happy when you’re hypomanic?” I hear this often and of course the answer is, “no.” Sure, it feels good having that burst of energy that will last for who knows how long. However, and it’s a biggie: I have learned through experience that the roller coaster must come down, hard and fast without [...]
Woman's face flipping detailed hair

What My Mixed Bipolar Episodes Are Like

Mixed episodes can occur when someone struggling with bipolar disorder is both manic and depressed simultaneously. Words are easy to use when defining what a mixed episode is, but words are hard to find when describing what a mixed episode feels like. I don’t stay up until 4 a.m. writing the night away, nor do [...]