Why Do We Get Suicidal After Euphoric Mania?

By Julie A. Fast

It’s important to prepare for the intense depression that can follow euphoric mania by reminding yourself to ask for help and avoid isolating.

Photo: laflor/Getty Images


By Julie A. Fast


It’s normal for someone to become suicidal after a euphoric mania. This illness is called biPOLAR disorder for a reason. We go up and we then go down. In bipolar one, it’s actually more rare if you have full-blown euphoric mania and don’t get depressed after.

I am regularly euphoric manic and then suicidal as I have rapid cycling. (More than two mood swings a year.)

Many people get out of the hospital after their euphoric mania has calmed down and don’t have a plan ready in case the suicidal thoughts show up.

If you are a family member of someone with bipolar, especially bipolar disorder I who has full-blown mania, please talk openly with your loved one and a health care team about suicidal symptoms after a euphoric manic episode. Even if it feels like you are being negative, you can save someone’s life by voicing your concerns.

Because of my rapid cycling, I have a plan for depression after mania—because what goes up must come down.  I talk about creating plans for when you get out of the hospital in my book Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder. It shocks me every single time I get suicidal after a euphoric hypomania. How can I be on top of the world one day and then literally the next day feel like I live in the gutter? Because these are the symptoms of bipolar and although it feels awful, it is a normal course for the illness.

Here is my depression plan after a euphoric episode:

  1. I remind myself that just as my brain was lying to me that everything was beautiful and perfect when I was euphoric, it is now lying to me and saying that everything is ugly and filled with garbage. It lies to me when I get suicidal.  I have to teach myself to ignore both the mania and the depression.
  2. I stay active. Bipolar depression is so isolating. When I’m euphoric, I am out and about, talking a mile a minute. When the depression hits, I want to sit in my room alone, crying.  This shows me how bipolar controls my brain. I have to take back the control of my bipolar disorder. I force myself not to isolate.
  3. When I’m depressed, I have much more trouble working. It’s essential that I don’t completely stop working after the manic energy is gone. I use the ideas in Get it Done When You’re Depressed to keep myself going.  This book might help you or maybe there is another blogger  whom you really like.  Depression makes us shut down—go visit the bloggers you like to get the energy to keep going.
  4. I tell someone I am ill and ask for help. Suicidal depression really is a normal part of bipolar, but people will not understand how you could be so happy (euphoric) and then so depressed. This is a time to talk with a health care professional who understands.

We can do this! Euphoric mania is not a positive. Depression is not a negative. They are both symptoms and what goes up, must come down. The best way to stop all of this from controlling your life is to manage bipolar disorder. You can do it!


Learn more:

Bipolar Mania: You Want Me To Take a Pill Because I Am Too Happy?

The Eyes Have It: Another Way to See Bipolar Disorder Mania

About the author
Julie A. Fast is the author of Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder, Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder, Get it Done When You’re Depressed and The Health Cards Treatment System for Bipolar Disorder. She is a columnist and blogger for BP Magazine and won the Mental Health America journalism award for the best mental health column in the US. Julie was also the recipient of the Eli Lily Reintegration award for her work in bipolar disorder advocacy. Julie is a bipolar disorder expert for the Dr.Oz and Oprah created site ShareCare. Julie is CEU certified and regularly trains health care professionals including psychiatric residents, social workers, therapists and general practitioners on bipolar disorder management skills. She was the original consultant for Claire Danes for the show Homeland and is on the mental health expert registry for People Magazine. She works as a coach for parents and partners of people with bipolar disorder. Julie is currently writing a book for children called Hortensia and the Magical Brain: Poems for Kids with Bipolar, Anxiety, Psychosis and Depression. You can find more about her work at www.JulieFast.com and www.BipolarHappens.com.
  1. I I was hypomanic and then slept for 2 days extremely depressed and upset how I reacted to some people when hypomanic. I was very hard on myself and depressed. I see the people on this blog suffering thou they take medications. I am wondering with proper medications should bi polar not be controlled???? Please help me

    I am newly diagnized and am suffering a lot!!!!

  2. I thought rapid cycling was 4 mood episodes a year? Please clarify.

    Well written article on important bipolar topic.

    1. Hello Katie. The DSM changes. It used to say two. I believe that many of us have rapid cycling and simply don’t know it as we are not great at seeing mild hypomania. So, four or more a year is one way of describing rapid cycling. Julie

  3. Hey Julie,

    within a ‘well’ cycle of exuberant and annoying hypomania, sometimes I fly too close to the sun with wings of wax and swing back downwards based on a trigger or a thought.

    Recent events have frightened me. It’s always good to know that you are there; fighting the good fight. You inspire me, Julie.
    Allison S.

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