Mayo Clinic Connect
How can I tell if I am having a manic episode?
Hi @rspaulling. Welcome to Connect! This is a great question and while i’d imagine that the exact way a manic episode is experience is unique to each person, here is some info from Mayo Clinic about the criteria for manic and hypomanic episodes: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bipolar-disorder/basics/symptoms/con-20027544.
Can I ask, what kinds of behaviors are making you feel like you may be manic? Have you found any techniques help for managing the episodes?
I’m tagging @innercastles and @stageheart who have posted about manic episodes in the past, though it was a few years ago. So i’m also tagging @ribkauh, @susandockter, @jbyrd and @missyb57 who have posted about bipolar disorder (the two are often associated) more recently and may be able to provide some insights.
I have not experienced full on mania, but once in a while I get on a track that I’m absolutely certain needs to be followed – with incredible intensity! Like the house needs to be perfectly cleaned up now and I’m the only one who can do it. If no one else is home then I can use that energy to clean. (doesn’t happen often enough!) If they are home they look at me like I’m crazy…. Which I don’t like but is a bit true at that moment. I always seem to be aware of these moods, and thus can choose how I decide to handle it. Not sure if everyone is able to be aware of this kind of mood switch?
Also, my anxiety often tries to take over and I’m wondering if that is similar in how it feels? I can tell when this is happening when I know I’m not reacting the way I normally would. For instance my anger is way overblown for how I usually react to a situation. In these situations I can tell myself that these reactions are not me. I know I need a break doing whatever I can to calm down and distract myself. For me this means lying down in a cool room and watching low key TV like a lifetime movie or reading a non deep thinking book like something by Nora Roberts. If the pattern continues I start looking for triggers and call my Dr.
Liked by Colleen Young, Connect Director, bb
Hi @rspaulling, Manic episodes look different for everyone. The symptoms vary widely in their pattern, severity, and frequency. If you’re not seeing someone already, working with a therapist or psychiatrist who specializes in mood disorders or bipolar disorder would be a great place to start. They can work with you on identifying manic episodes, treatment options, and putting coping mechanisms in place. The Depression and Bipolar Alliance has a lot of information on their website including information on how to find treatment. NAMI is another resource that may be useful to finding information or locating a nearby support group (which can be great because you can hear from and learn from others going through the same thing)
There are objective criteria for fulfilling the definition of a manic, or hypomanic, episode as some people allude to below. However, if it is determined that you had one or more manic episodes remember that there can be multiple causes along with the assumed bipolar disorder. You should get a workup by a neurologist and a psychiatrist. The root cause if you in fact had one may be physical. Good luck.
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