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!


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