Many of us can experience manic episodes, whether or not we’ve been formally diagnosed with mania or bipolar depression. The cycles of addiction can be very similar to those of mania and bipolar depression, anyone can experience them, and they are often related. Being able to recognize manic episodes is important for moving through them as well as for working to prevent them.
Sometimes when we are manic, we might feel like we’re on top of the world. We can feel like we’re flying high, like the world is all of a sudden a different place where we can’t be harmed. We might feel like we can do no wrong. All of these feelings can cause us to take fewer precautions with our wellbeing, to take more chances with our safety, to make decisions we might not otherwise make.
A common sign of a manic episode is reckless behavior. We might spend money more easily and recklessly than we usually do. We might stop paying bills or taking care of other responsibilities. We might engage in risky sex with multiple partners. We might binge on sex, drugs, food or any other addictive substance or behavior. We might drive faster, less carefully, more dangerously, or under the influence. We might show less concern for our wellbeing and that of the people around us.
When we are in the midst of a manic episode, we might feel heightened levels of euphoria. We might feel happier than normal. We might feel like everything is perfect and have a hard time remembering what we felt so stressed and depressed about. We might focus more on fun and the thrill of the high. Many of us stop sleeping because we don’t feel the need for sleep or because we’re too focused on other things. We stop taking care of ourselves. Self-care, along with getting proper rest and nutrition, often go out the window.
A manic episode often precedes a crash, a breakdown or major depressive episode. That kind of manic recklessness can’t be sustained, and our minds and bodies shut down. The excitement we feel when we are manic is usually not based in reality but in our imbalanced perspective, resulting from our inner turmoil. As we come down from our manic episode, we often feel extreme levels of panic and anxiety. Our nervous systems might be out of balance from the drugs we’ve been using, from our lack of sleep and nutrition, from all the harmful things we’ve been doing to ourselves, from the emotional weight of self-destruction.
Becoming more familiar with manic episodes can help us to recognize them at their onset. It can also help us to learn balance, to practice self-care and to find alignment in order to prevent future episodes.
We have years of experience helping people with their recovery. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information.