Manic Elation/Euphoria – Examples and Issues

heart on the sidewalk

Sometimes mania, in the mental illness known as bipolar disorder, is romanticized because of some manic sufferers’ tendency to experience mental elation. Mania, however, is often also accompanied by irritability, which can perhaps be a weak word for severe anger or tirades. As curious as this may sound, some people with bipolar disorder even experience periods of mania that include symptoms of depression. This could be a combination of extreme energy levels, with hopelessness and/or agitation, or any of many different combinations of manic and depressive symptoms.

Elated mania is not just romanticized by non-sufferers. People who’ve experienced elated mania often romanticize it themselves. After all, THEY really know exactly what it’s like. This fact tends to make certain bipolar sufferers less prone to medication compliance. As cocaine addicts yearn for their cocaine highs despite the risks or past ramifications, some people with bipolar disorder yearn for their manic highs. Why?

Do you remember the feeling you experienced when you were utterly and blissfully in early love, and felt equally loved in return? Have you ever had a day when you felt you were powerless to stop, and succeeding at everything you tried, well beyond the normal? Can you recall your greatest sexual orgasm of all time? One that lasted for what seemed like hours, and was repeated several times in a single day? Well, that’s a little bit of what elated mania can feel like. The difference is that sometimes the elation in bipolar mania becomes other worldly, excessive to the situation, and/or may even cause delusions of grandeur and bring on hallucinations of the most marvelous types one could hardly imagine in a stable sober state.

Elated mania usually comes on slowly. “Wow! I look absolutely beautiful today! And so do you, and you, and you…The sun is touching me with sweetness beyond belief. The flowers are singing alluring songs written just for me. Everyone I pass smiles at me and says hello because I glow like sunshine through diamonds. Those that know me laugh at everything I say. I’m so witty! I hear them tell me that I’m as clever and creative as William Shakespeare, and that my walk is like the dance of Ana Pavlova. I’m maybe even more clever and graceful than them.”

Elated mania can almost make my face hurt with an extreme Cheshire cat smile, but it’s a wonderful pain. Sometimes it triggers loud guttural laughing at others (or even more often oneself) and the laughing turns into a laughing jag that doesn’t stop for what seems like hours. People stare, but the manic person doesn’t care!

woman shopping.jpgMania makes us love almost everything remotely positive in our path. Sometimes even things we’d normally find boring or dislike. “I am becoming enamored with the fascinating artwork formed by the cracks in the sidewalk. They are telling me a story of my future rise to ultimate success…That blouse is beautiful, I must have it! I’d look great in that Porsche, I must drive it! A tattoo of a dove on each breast would be fantastic! They’d be in love, for sure! I’d love to have 10 dozen mixed colored roses. I will put them in vases throughout my house. I want to dance, dance, dance through the wee hours of the morning with the songs of Led Zeppelin causing vibrations through my body and my house.”

man in Porche

“Now I’m so extremely hungry. Where can I get some chocolate cake? I know this 24 hour diner in the next town.” I get in my car and I just can’t wait. My foot pushes on the accelerator harder and harder as the music pounds. I see myself going 120 mph. That’s 10 mph for every month of the year. “Funny! LOL!” I’m lucky and don’t get caught in this whirlwind of speed. I enter the diner like a queen followed by her subjects. I announce boldly to the staff that “I have arrived, and I am here for cake! Two pieces, please! A cup of coffee, some whipped cream, a cup of tea, and some hot chocolate, too.”

The experience above might not have even reached psychotic, but I guess it would be fairly far along the manic road to cause many rolling eyes, extreme laughter, or perhaps even fear, depending on the witness. Not everyone with bipolar disorder has such extreme mania, but even the lesser elated mania (hypomania) is well beyond the normal experience of heightened happiness, and noticeable. It is intoxicating enough to make it hard to want to stop. Why would you ever want it to stop? Perhaps (perhaps) only if some little troll of insight whispers into your ear “I’m here, and you’re getting sick, my friend. Come home and take your medicine. Call your doctor, or I will. I’m taking your keys away from you. Don’t leave the house.”

“Shoo! Get off my shoulder you little scum! I’m busy and there’s no place for you!”

But the troll keeps nagging, and if the troll gets frustrated enough he can call in the big boys and take you where you don’t want to go.

“Do I have enough time to run away? Run away! Run away! Way far away!”

hit a brick wallTime speeds by fast. Before you know it you’ve come to a complete stop at a brick wall. Do I remember where I’ve been? Or do I wonder how I got here? In any case, I’m not feeling so good anymore. There is perhaps only evidence of the experience I’ve been through, some of which may be quite regrettable.

The days of reckoning have come. You pay the price. And yet, would you believe you might be willing to go down that road again? I mentioned earlier that you may even seek the on ramp back. It would seem ridiculous to almost anyone, but you.

Just like an addict must sometimes find their bottom to want sobriety, sometimes a person with bipolar disorder must lose enough to get them to accept treatment. The sad part is, while the addict only becomes high again if they again take the drug, the person with bipolar disorder may have episodes arise even with treatment. It can be a big struggle not just to be compliant with treatment, but to find the right treatment that lasts. Medications often need to change. Dosages need to go up. Lifestyles need to be carefully adjusted. Sometimes you also need a little luck.

I took a short walk the other day and looked down at the side walk. The cracks were irregular, but didn’t speak to me, but the sun was nice and warm, and I was glad that my feet were firmly on the ground. I walked on a bit, and then walked home. Dinner came and I took my medications. I slept well, and then swung my feet off the bed to the floor. Everything around me felt safe and pleasant. I gave a small smile and said “Today I’m OK.”Save

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16 thoughts on “Manic Elation/Euphoria – Examples and Issues

  1. Melissa A. August 31, 2017 / 12:48 am

    Wow…that was quite a lot to take in! I’ve never felt any of those feelings because I’ve been clinically depressed most of my life. Thanks for letting us take a peek at elated mania. It’s interesting to see what the other end of the spectrum is like. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight August 31, 2017 / 3:30 am

      Hi Melissa. Not every example I gave in this post was something I experienced personally, but all were types of experiences that full blown manic people with bipolar type 1 have. Some I’ve experienced and some I did I didn’t include here.
      The most extreme experiences would likely not be experienced by people with bipolar type 2, but they do still experience elation that can be noticeable.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. marandarussell September 15, 2017 / 2:43 am

    LOL, this reminds me of myself a little. I’m not diagnosed Bipolar (yet) but my counselor suspects a mood disorder, likely Bipolar 2 since I don’t have psychotic episodes in mania. But I do have these weird times I am just passionate and in love with the weirdest things. I remember once telling a coworker at Subway how much I loved cutting the wheat bread because it was just perfect for cutting lol. They thought I was weird. Once I just burst out at home talking about how much “I love education” as a kid. I feel like I feel things so much deeper than most other people do, but it is horribly distracting and sometimes overwhelming. And along with that elation, on the other hand I feel the limitless pits of despair often as well. At some point I might have to see if I can make a blog post about my own weird little “love spells” I’ve fallen under with the weirdest things. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight September 15, 2017 / 12:25 pm

      Hi marandarussell. I do hope you get a proper diagnosis soon. Depression is horrible, and though possible elation can feel amazingly wonderful, it can become problematic.

      It does feel wonderful to be in love with life and everything about it. I’d be interested in reading the post you say you’d like to write.

      Like

  3. celtics345 September 21, 2017 / 11:46 pm

    Amazing! Well said. I have had mania and hypomania and that sure is what it feels like. It’s true those feelings are good but always lead to destruction and bad things. Right now I am in the depressive side and I’d rather be there than hypomanic or manic. I don’t like the anger that follows along with sometimes interpersonal problems. For me not getting good sleep for 3 years gave me the creativity to write a 1000 stories and many books but it lead to many bad things along the way including 5 hospitalizations this year to get my meds right. I was just inpatient last month my mind has been worn out with med changes. But I feel better and still am writing. I see it only getting from this month on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight September 22, 2017 / 12:00 am

      It’s really rough having so many hospitalizations in a year, I know. Well, maybe I only had up to four in a given year, but I had 10 in a 3.5 year period. It practically destroyed me. But you are a survivor. Keep writing, especially what feels right.

      I hope you finally find some long-lasting stability and stop the stream of hospitalizations. My stream of hospitalizations stopped about eight years ago. I have had some significant ups and downs since, but my psychiatrist has been able to extinguish them by just minor adjustments to what has been a good base medication mix for me. Luckily about two or two and half years ago he’s even been able to eliminate some medications and/or lower dosages. At one point I was on 8 psychotropic medications at one time. Ugh!

      Liked by 1 person

      • celtics345 September 22, 2017 / 12:09 am

        Holy God! 8 medications! Jesus I feel for you that must have been so hard. You are strong and so much stronger for going through that. Glad to hear about 8 years. The longest I ever lasted was 6 years and that was twice. I think like you there will be minor adjustments made to the meds over the years i have a feeling they pretty much nailed the meds right it just needs to keep stable over a long period of time.

        Liked by 1 person

      • updownflight September 22, 2017 / 12:12 am

        I certainly hope your feeling is correct. I’ll be here and at MDJunction to give you support to help you reach your goal of long-term stability. Let’s just both not get too disappointed about hiccups along the way.

        So you know, on MDJ my username is Cthebird.

        Liked by 1 person

      • celtics345 September 22, 2017 / 12:17 am

        My name is Dan I read your name is Cindy. It’s been great talking to you and reading your work. I am just on ‘my very first love’ section i am hooked i want to finish that and read more of your writing. Yea you put it greatly those ‘little’ hiccups along the way that stall our progress. Bipolar always seems to be an illness you will be making med adjustments along the way hopefully for us once a year instead of once a month.

        Liked by 1 person

      • updownflight September 22, 2017 / 12:34 am

        Yes, Dan, my name is Cindy. I saw Jayna call you Dan on MDJ, but I didn’t know if I should call you that. I figured you and she had corresponded. Since we hadn’t at that time I thought I’d continue to call you by your username. If you don’t mind, I’ll call you Dan from now on.

        No pressure to read all (or even any) of the story series posts I listed.

        Liked by 1 person

      • celtics345 September 22, 2017 / 2:13 am

        Yea Cindy you can call me Dan. I finished the first love series it was well written. I’ll keep reading your work from time to time I started my new book already ‘The Other Side Of Love’ it really does make it hard to read when all you do is spend your time writing. I am excited for the new book. It’s nice to meet you Cindy and I am glad we are friends and can talk on here and MDJ. You are a great writer and I hope you can stay stable the rest of your life. It meant a lot to me you read my book and liked it. Thanks for the support and taking the time to read it.

        Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight October 2, 2017 / 2:59 pm

      Yes, 8 medications is a heck of a lot. I’m lucky that over the past few years I’ve been weaned off of some. Now I’m on 6, but hope to be only on 4 in about six months. Maybe someday I could even get down to 3. My situation is a lot different than it was in the past.

      Like

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