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10 Lies My Mania Tells Me

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Manic episodes are like a high I don’t want to come down from at the time. Realistically, I know that how I feel when I’m manic isn’t the right or healthy way to feel. But when mania takes over, any healthy or realistic thought goes out the window. Mania lies to me and tries to make me do things that are foolish and sometimes dangerous. I’ve learned what these lies are, and have learned to look out for them when I’m manic so I can stop them before they start. There are 10 lies mania tells me to try and get me into trouble.

• What is Bipolar disorder?

1. “You don’t need your medication.”

Mania tries to get me to believe my medication isn’t working, or that I have no need to take it because I’m doing fine on my own. This is one of the most dangerous lies, because if my bipolar disorder were to go untreated, I would be unstable and unable to care for myself properly.

2. “Don’t slow down.”

Whether it’s my speech or my actions, I’m always in fast-forward when I’m manic. Mania tells me this is the best way to be and that I will get more done or get more words in if I don’t slow down. Not only can this annoy others, but it can run me down pretty quickly.

3. “Your doctor doesn’t really know anything.”

Another dangerous lie. When I’m manic, I start to believe that my doctor just wants to medicate me into a vegetative state and that he really doesn’t care about my true well-being. In reality, I would be in bad shape without my doctor and the help he has provided me.

4. “You need to drive faster.”

I hear this lie when I’m in the car, sitting in city traffic, or on a country road alone. This is a self-destructive lie, and ties in with the next one.

5. “You can’t get hurt.”

Mania wants me to think I am impervious to injury, like a car accident, and illness, like my bipolar disorder. Because of this lie, I have acted impulsively and not taken proper precautions when I was starting to get sick.

6. “You should be angry.”

I overreact when I’m manic, and mania tells me that’s OK. I say hurtful things and act in malicious ways and that is not me. Mania tries to ruin my relationships and alienate my loved ones, but I’ve learned not to let it.

7. “What you’re seeing is real.”

There has been one instance in my life when I hallucinated while manic. Mania messed with my mind so much that I believed something was there that really wasn’t. Now I know that I if I see something odd while manic, I need to stop and question it.

8. “You can accomplish anything and everything.”

Mania tells me it is possible to complete my five-year plan in just one day. It tells me I can do my monthly cleaning list in just a few hours. This is just another way that mania makes me think unrealistically, and leaves me disappointed when I don’t succeed.

9. “You don’t need sleep.”

When I’m experiencing a manic episode, sleep is the last thing on my mind. I want to go, go, go and do, do, do, and I believe that sleep will interfere and slow me down. I need rest, especially when I’m manic, because if I become sleep-deprived I will make dumb or risky decisions because I can’t think clearly.

10. “Safe sex is boring.”

Impulsivity is what I struggle with most when it comes to mania. This means I will engage in sexual relationships in unsafe ways because I think if I don’t I’m not fun or I am boring. This isn’t true in the slightest, because unsafe sex doesn’t make me fun, it makes me foolish. There are so many negative consequences to unsafe sex I don’t see when I’m manic, including how I will feel the next day.

Mania is not my friend. She is the mean girl at school who pretends to be my friend and then goes into the bathroom and talks behind my back. Mania is a liar, and doesn’t care about me or my well-being. It’s taken me a few manic episodes to pick up on these lies and put them to bed, but I’ve done it. It’s so important not to listen to the lies if I want to stay on track with my mental health, and if I want to have good relationships and realistic thoughts. My mental health is what is most important, not the risky, foolish, and dangerous fun that mania wants me to have.

Originally published: May 15, 2016
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