Mania is much harder for me to talk about. It’s full of painful memories. Sorry but most I won’t be sharing, they’re too personal. For me there are generally two types of my Mania; Artistic and Dangerous. My artistic mania is generally messy, expensive and I’m sure annoying to my husband. It’s when I can’t do anything other than whatever art project I’m obsessed with at the time. I hardly sleep because I’m either creating or online looking up info on whatever it is. When I was in high school I would stay up all night drawing the covers of record albums. As an adult I remember calling in sick to work because I couldn’t possibly stop working on a project. It would be all consuming. It’s kind if scary because it becomes all you can think about or care about.
This is my kitchen during a manic episode.
It’s a well known fact that many artist and other creative types have had Manic Depression/bipolar disorder. I wonder if the mania makes them more creative or if it’s the obsession and focus that shuts out everything else and allows the talent to grow.
Dangerous Mania is when you get obsessed with things or ideas that are harmful or illegal but that sound rational at the time. My favorite and least painful example is when I was first diagnosed. I was rapid cycling, which means going up and down in a short amount of time. It would start with me thinking that it would be a really good idea to steal my parents car, drive to the middle of nowhere and make up a fake identity. That sounded logical. Seriously. It really did. Then 45-60 minutes later I would come to my senses and remember that I have a great husband and a family that loves me and wonder why in the world I would think about leaving. Then a little while later I’m thinking of running away again. Rinse-Wash-Repeat. It’s funny to remember it now because it is so extreme. Even at the time, when I clearly wasn’t thinking straight, I could tell something was wrong. It made it easy to accept the mental health help I so clearly needed.