While depression is often the worst part of bipolar disorder
for the sufferer, the mania is often the most damaging to his relationships.
One twitter follower described the mania she experiences as feeling unhinged
with overwhelming thoughts and ideas. The racing thoughts often lead to
grandiose and unrealistic beliefs.
The National Institute of Mental Health describes mania as
long period of feeling "high," or an overly happy or outgoing mood
irritable mood, agitation, feeling "jumpy" or "wired."
very fast, jumping from one idea to another, having racing thoughts
goal-directed activities, such as taking on new projects
an unrealistic belief in one's abilities
impulsively and taking part in a lot of pleasurable,
high-risk behaviors, such as spending sprees, impulsive sex, and impulsive
Acquaintances might view the manic person as talkative, extremely
happy, and fun to be around. The people closest to the person with mania
however deal with the consequences of the person’s irritability and reckless
I recently spoke to a mom whose son is currently having a
manic episode. She is frustrated because her son won’t listen to her. Because
mania leads to unrealistic beliefs and racing thoughts, you can’t rationalize
with someone in a manic state because they are irrational. Using the broken
record technique may be helpful. Speak in short sentences and say them repeatedly
until your loved one comprehends what you are communicating.
Dealing with someone who is manic takes incredible patience
and love. You may need to postpone any serious discussions until the person comes
down from the high. When your loved one is in a healthy place, ask her how she
wants you to respond to her when they are manic. Ask her what helps and what
Labels: Bipolar Disorder, Mental Health