How to Get a Grip When You Know You’re Manic

From my Bp Magazine for Bipolar blog:

Julie, MANIC. Circa 1990


Learn to stop bipolar mania from wrecking your life by sticking to a mania prevention plan Mania is very hard to treat in the moment. The treatment window for depression is very high. We tend to be reasonable and are able to see we are sick. Mania, even the mild hypomania some of us have experienced our whole lives can take away our ability to see we are sick in just a few hours. A prevention plan is key. The fist step in managing is accepting that mania is dangerous. I know … what a bummer! Step One: Teach yourself that just because mania feels good, it doesn’t mean it is good. I had to teach myself that the incredible feeling of [ Read More ]

Bipolar Disorder Language is Very Predictable

Bipolar disorder is chaotic in terms of mood swings, but once a person is in a mood swing, the behavior is very predictable.

Depressed people tend to talk and act in the same way. The subject matter may change and the severity of the mood swing can vary greatly, but the way things are said and the tone of what is said stays the same. This is true for all bipolar disorder symptoms.

Think of how people talk with they are anxious. They use the same language.

People who are manic use the same language. It’s not as though everything is completely new each time.

Because of this, you can literally learn the language and behavior of each bipolar disorder symptom [ Read More ]

My Bipolar Disorder DESPITE List

Here is my DESPITE list- a positive way to look at what we CAN do when the mood swings are trying to take away our ability to live our lives.

Today, despite being quite sick, I did the following:

– I was nice to the people I met. – I talked with a friend on the phone instead of NOT answering. – Recorded a video when I was unable to work this morning. – Felt thankful for my therapist who understands how much I struggle with work due to my bipolar and anxiety. – Printed out the sheet music for a singing class I’m taking tonight to make myself get out in public, DESPITE being sick. – Talked nicely to myself. – Set up my next Cannabis and Bipolar Workshop. Reminded myself that it’s ok to only be able to set the date and not be able to market. That will come later when I [ Read More ]

Ask Julie Fast: Julie, What do you think about changes in personal hygiene and skin rubbing and skin picking( disliking taking a shower , etc). when someone is in an episode? 

I pick off my nail polish when anxiety is around! Julie

More quotes from readers on the topic:

I am always rubbing and picking at my skin. Whether just out of the shower or a day later. Always twitching. Meds or just bipolar not sure.

I dislike mornings period but I struggle showering in the mornings but do it. It’s the only thing that wakes me up.

I feel like it’s a chore. I feel like there is not enough time in the day for it, and that I am on the go in my head and in my world that, this can take a pass, or that I can do it later, and as long as I don’t smell me, then it’s ok.

It’s a conversation I have with myself all day long [ Read More ]

BIPOLAR DISORDER MANIA 101: Do you know the difference between dysphoric and euphoric mania?

shopping cart mania 50

Julie’s cart during a manic shopping spree. She put ALL of it back when she realized she was manic. ARG!


MANIA 101: Here’s the basic info about bipolar disorder mania.

Let’s start at the beginning. There are two levels of mania: hypomania and full blown mania.

People with bipolar disorder II (two) have hypomania only. People with bipolar disorder I (one) have hyomania and the very dangerous and very life disrupting full blown mania. I have bipolar disorder two, but I’m one of the unfortunates- My type of hypomania is right on the verge of full blown mania. If I ever do move into full blown mania, I will then have a [ Read More ]

Partner of a Person with Bipolar Disorder?


Julie, how do I know if my partner really is better? He got out of the hospital last month after a massive manic and psychotic episode, but I feel like he is still sick. Julie, how long does this take and will ‘he’ ever come back? Loretta

Hello Loretta,

Yes, your partner will come back. Bipolar disorder symptoms are not permanent. With the right treatment, he will come back to homeostasis. You then need a management plan, but that is another topic!

Here is the list I use with clients when they ask how can they possibly know when someone is actually better.

Your husband is better when you see the following:

1. He acknowledges the trouble, pain and heartache he (due to his illness) caused when he was sick. “I am so sorry [ Read More ]

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