i think a facet of bipolar disorder that is deeply misunderstood is the manic period. remember, i’m not bipolar type 1 or 2, so my experiences vary from those with more severe forms of the disorder. but i think my experiences, because they are less severe, will help you all understand what it’s really like.

the manic period is not a time of extreme joy or happiness. instead, it’s a time of impulsivity, frenzied behavior, and agitation. my mom started noticing these manic periods before i did. i’d come home thinking i was in a great and energetic mood, but my mom would sense an overall state of agitation rather than happiness. i was wired, but not necessarily in a good way.

i get extremely impulsive when i’m in a manic state. i spend hundreds of dollars, take on countless projects that i never finish, and come up with grandiose plans that i’ll never follow through with. i might decide to learn to play a new instrument, or spend $40 on a traveller’s set of settlers of catan.

both have actually happened.

the worst is when you’re having a mixed episode. it’s when you’re manic and depressed at the same time; you have a high energy level but emotional are a wreck. this is what causes suicide. it’s a terrible, terrible feeling.

i’ll do my best to explain.

you wake up in the morning feeling like complete trash. you don’t want to talk to or see anyone, nothing sounds appealing, you’re full of apathy and despair.

but at the same time you feel the need to be productive. not just a need, a compulsion. it’s physically painful to not be productive, but nothing is interesting. you don’t have enough energy to do anything but you must. it’s a weird, ugly limbo that causes a lot of pain.

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