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    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

have you had mania experiences that have made profound change in yourself?

L

leon00

New member
Joined
Feb 4, 2021
Messages
1
Location
Canada
hope you're all doing well. just had some thoughts to share and would love to hear your experiences;

so I was diagnosed at 18, type 1 w/ psychotic features. i just turned 20 in august. through my earlier teens (15-17) I experienced some hypomania and depression but didn't have a full blown mania until that year I was diagnosed. i had a big crash and was pretty depressed for months, then finally got lucky with a med combo after a lot of trial and error. had a brief hypomania spring 2020 after a slip up on my meds and presumably combined with the stress of current events. but since then i have been quite stable.

anyways growing up i was never very creative, nor observant, i didn't look at the small things in life. i just existed. but after my full mania i believe it somehow changed the wiring of my brain, i have a whole new lens on everything i look at, it completely changed me and i am very grateful for that because without the viewpoints i have now, i don't think i would have a purpose. my life revolves around art, in forms like painting, drawing, but also music, photography, and the art i can see in so many everyday things and how i can appreciate and connect with nature. the mania has brought me a lot of negative too but i feel that the positive outweighs (but maybe not :/)

i know this is pretty common with mania, the heightened creativity and ideas and ambition. but i've never really heard a conversation on what happens after the mania. do some just simply lose the brain wiring (for lack of better words) that they had during the mania when coming down? i of course have had a lot more of a drive during my mania (last hypo i was writing my own philosophy book lol.) but i never quite lost the perspectives it gave me. it feels permanent.

if you've had this type of experience, i'd love to hear how things went for you following recovery. or just generally, have you had mania that made a profound change in yourself?
 
Zana

Zana

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
136
Location
England
This is a great topic.

I had several hypomanic episodes and one probably manic episode before the big one that led to a diagnosis (type 1) in 2020. Only after this most recent one did I recognise and after a short while accept what was going on. Up to this point there was a growing chaos in my mind that leaked out in occasional and dramatic ways that nobody understood. So acceptance has enabled me to convert some of that chaotic energy into positivity and becoming a better person.

Also when I reflect on some of my more questionable past actions, they weigh on me far more now than before, as there is a cumulative effect. This too has led to a similar change in outlook to that which you mention. It's like time is the best healer, but it's not the only element. You have to take action yourself too.

So perhaps it's less the mania itself that has profoundly changed me, rather my reaction to it. I know I do not ever want to go to some of those horrible places and put my friends and family through all that chaos again, but I also acknowledge that this disorder is not going to go away. Thus I have a moral obligation to protect others and myself for the remainder of my life.

Philosophy is a great subject, IMO especially for some of us suffering with mental health issues, because it addresses issues of the 'soul', and can enable us to orientate ourselves in a healthier way, which in turn we can use to help others. So if you're into it, keep going on that book!

Best,
Zana
 
A

ash_whole

Active member
Joined
Feb 4, 2021
Messages
44
Location
UK
Yes. I had a mystical experience that caused me to grow a mystical beard.

What is a mystical beard?

I apprecaite you asking and it is this:

a mystical beard is a very busy beard which 1950s Hollywood films would depict Moses showing off in. Moses, by the way, was a big show-off.

A mystical beard also has some, at times unpredictable, magical qualities.

For example, a woman once stroked my mystical beard and I said to her, "You may revealy thy torments" and apparently her irritable bowel abated for a number of months.
 
HLon99

HLon99

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
703
Location
London, UK
I'm still in the early stages of rebuilding my life after my illness struck. I had my first episode about 2 years ago and was diagnosed and treated last year. I wouldn't say that the mania in itself caused me to have some kind of profound 'pschychadelic' realisation about life. In fact it was pretty horrifying. And the illness itself wrecked havoc with my life and its a mess that I'm sure I will have to spend the next few years cleaning up.

However, living with this condition has certainly forced me to re-evaluate my actions, lifestyle and general values. Before I got sick, I was cocky, arrogant and took a lot of things for granted. I had the belief, as you do when you are young and naive, that I was invincible and could get away with anything, without having to face the consequences.

My old life tended to revolve around hedonism; partying, drinking, going out, doing drugs. Any meaningful persuits such as education, family, making real friendships, bettering myself was just an afterthought. I would do so only when I felt like it; not for a lack of ability but more so for a lack of principles. I could list you a hundred different reasons why this was the case, but they are of little consequence; bottom line it was wrong and I knew it. But that didn't stop me, because I always thought I was the smartest person in the room. I thought that if I could demonstrate a veneer of sucess (i.e. good grades, achievements, large social group) that I could get away with acting like a degenerate in my free time and never have to face the music. My hubris was my sin and I paid dearly for it. When I got sick, it all caught up to me.

I'm not going to sit here and pretend that being bipolar is the best thing that every happened to me. Actually, I think it sucks. But there is a silver lining in that it humbled me and forced me to acknowledge the error of my ways. Since, I've been in treatment, I have gradually started to make changes in my life. Before, I used to revel in my excessive lifestyle and then feel guilty about it after. Now I don't look upon this with contempt but rather quiet indifference, with the knowledge that its simply a stupid thing to do. I no longer take drugs, smoke and have cut drinking to a bare minimum. I have started to take more care of my body, wheras previously I would stuff myself full of junk food, I started a diet and am learning self-control.

Below the surface, I have reassesed the values that are important to me. I love and always have loved my parents, but on a day to day basis, I used to see them as a nuisanse and would take the efforts that they made to raise me for granted. Now, I have truly come to appreaciate how indispensable family is. Regardless of their flaws, they are the only people in the world that will always have my back and for that I will forever be in their debt.
Academically, I was bright and capable, but I always treated education with a certain level of contempt, more of a chore than an oppurtunity to improve yourself. Now, I appreciate the power that knowledge and wisdom give you. Instead of spending money on drink, I buy books and invest in learning new things everyday.
Finally, friendships. My lifestyle and caustic personality caused me significant interpersonal problems. Practically all my socialising revolved around drinking, partying and going out. As such, I formed superficial friendships, lacking in meaning and substance. Due to covid and the fact that I am currently out of uni, I haven't had a chance to make many new friends, but I'm trying to work with what I've got. Whenever they want to get fucked up, I quietly and without judgement refuse. But, as much as I can, I socialise with them in more healthy ways. I invite them round to watch a film, go to the park, play sports etc. I know I can't change them, only they can do that themselves, but I at least learnt to make the best of what I have and have seen better sides to them. I am going back to uni in October, and I hope this time round I will make healthier friendships.

This is just the begining, there is still much more to do and if I am to make any kind of lasting change in my life, this is something that I will have to work on consistantly and indefinately. But I am glad that I am seeing things in a different light now and in a way I am lucky to have been given a clean slate. I regret that I was unable to come to these conclusions sooner and of my own accord, rather than as a result of a serious illness, but I guess experience is the greatest teacher and I certainly have learnt my lesson.
 
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