What is Bipolar Mania and What is the ‘Real’ You?

 

Bipolar Mania: What is the difference between the ‘real’ person and the ‘manic’ person?

There is a simple test you can do to differentiate between manic behavior and ‘average’ behavior.

– Is the manic behavior sudden and completely out of character? For example, when I got very hypomanic for three months in 1987- years before I was diagnosed, everyone said, “What is Julie doing? What is wrong with her? I’m so shocked at her behavior!”

– Is the manic behavior dangerous and the person who is manic can’t see it at all- even when you show them evidence?

– Is the person spending huge amounts of money on trivial things? I know someone who paid tens of thousands of dollars on paintings because she was sure the artist would be famous one day. Lucky artist- unlucky person with mania when she comes out of the episode and sees the bill.

– And finally, does the behavior end when the manic mood swing ends? If so, this is almost always mania and not the ‘real’ person.

There are ¬†many ways for family members- and the person with bipolar disorder to see the mania once it’s over- the trick to managing this illness is to use this information to prevent mania in the future. This is why I created the Health Cards. I don’t ever want another summer of destructive hypomania.¬† You can read my hypomania Health Card in the sample cards. It’s an interesting card as anyone with mania who reads it says- I had no idea there were other people like me!

Julie

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