If you’re feeling manic, get to know your pattern––like rapid speech or impulsive spending. Then use some tried-and-true coping strategies; here are nine:
The end of August and beginning of September is the worst time of year for me mania-wise. I’m on spending lockdown, when all I want to do is shop on-line and plan vacations. I talk a mile a minute to any poor soul in my wake. Ah, pressure of speech: You have to really love someone with bipolar disorder during – God forbid – full-blown mania. Luckily I’ve learned to take action and know my patterns now. It’s still hard to stop the freight train and these days even I want to be around me.
With each passing year, our loved ones, certainly mine after twenty years, become more adept at recognizing and handling us when it hits. In my family, the pressure of speech is what first gives me away. Then it’s the spending. (My bank and credit cards get confiscated by my partner; although I get aggravated, I’m used to the routine.)
To combat mania, once I recognize it, I flip through the rolodex in my mind.
Here’s what I’m doing and recommend:
Increase frequency of appointments with psychiatrist and psychologist (or social worker, therapist, CADC, etc.)
Go to bed earlier and sleep longer.
Limit time in the sun, particularly during summer for those in a four climate region.
Listen to people when they tell you that you’ve got rapid speech (or any other symptom). Chances are they’re right.
Lean on your friends, family and mental health network.
Force yourself to go to your meetings – your regulars, mental health or otherwise – and ask for help. (You should have the energy!)
Spend time in nature, meditate, take baths, listen to calm music, use aromatherapy such as lavender oil – anything that calms you.
Turn off your computer and electronics earlier in the p.m. than usual.
Dim lights and try lighting candles at night.
If you’re feeling manic, get to know your pattern; it’s quite common this time of year and I feel your pain.
Getting through mania takes vigilance, professional help, support, rigorous honesty and often doing the exact opposite of what we want to do.
Wendy Williamson had her first manic episode while studying at Virginia Tech, eight weeks before graduation. It was then she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder type I. After being downsized from corporate America, Wendy wrote her memoir of honesty and hope entitled I’m Not Crazy Just Bipolar. She co-wrote her second book: Two Bipolar Chicks Guide to Survival: Tips for Living With Bipolar Disorder with author Honora Rose.
Wendy writes for BPHope.com and The The Huffington Post. She has written for: BP Magazine, Bipolar Disorder for Dummies: 2nd Edition and The Two River Times. Her book has been reviewed by Publisher’s Weekly and National Alliance on Mental Illness’ The Advocate. Wendy is the founder of The Red Bank Writers Group and has been interviewed on over forty radio stations worldwide. Catch up with Wendy on Twitter and at her website.
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