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“I think you’re becoming elevated” are words that make the ground fall out from under my feet. When I hear someone even hint that I am unusually energetic, cheerful, speedy or irritable it feels like my grip on reality is weakening. I can picture my ascent into mania all too strongly as the times when I have been manic and out of control rise to...
Did you know that two of the first human diseases described by the classical Greek physicians are “mania” (mixture of anger, rage, and euphoria) and “melancholia” (sadness)? Jules Angst and Andreas Marneros wrote a paper that scoured ancient writings for observations about bipolar disorder. They found that review of pre-Hippocratic era...

Mania, Anger, and Guilt

November 4, 2015
Mania is a very tough subject for me. When I’d go through the manic episodes it was very painful. I’ll admit, after I dealt with it in therapy, I just wanted to forget about it, but I know that’s not right for our readers. So, here goes… I deal with mania a lot. When I would get angry, anything would and could set me off. When I would get set...
Sometimes mania seems like the ugly stepchild of the bipolar duo of mania and depression. Depression seems to get all the hype, all the attention. And mania sits in a corner like Baby from Dirty Dancing. But if any of you have seen a loved one (or you yourself) have experienced a manic episode, then you know mania is not some passive, quiet,...
I was eighteen years old when I first experienced acute manic psychosis. I had just arrived at the University of Georgia for my freshman fall semester when I suddenly had what seemed like a profound spiritual awakening. I felt as if I was waking up from a bad dream, as if my mind and body were merely figments of my imagination. I felt an...


June 23, 2015
I sometimes wonder how and why many people who have bipolar disorder feel and become creative. I know, for example, when I am in mania I become far more into writing, descriptions, and reading book after book. I crave to live outside my life most of the time, but especially in mania. Let me back up a notch and define what exactly I mean by...

Taming My Mental Illness

June 22, 2015
Quite a while ago I was told that during spring and summer I would most likely be controlling underlying mania and during winter I would be fighting depression. This is because medication doesn’t work very well for me, my moods are very seasonal and I have the type of bipolar that would make me constantly unwell if I didn’t control it. This is...
Last month I participated in a Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) with local law enforcement. These officers, dispatchers, and prison guards were learning how to improve their interactions with people who have mental illness. It is a week-long training put on by our region’s mental health center. Counselors talk with participants about mental...

Long Way Down

May 13, 2015
‘It feels like a long way down.’ Yes it certainly does. The crashing fall from the highest peaks of manic elation to the deepest depths of despairing depression is devastating. My mood swings are like clockwork and for the past few years I would become gradually more elevated from October until my mania would peak in February/March. May would...

The Lyrical Caregiver

April 16, 2015
"Music washes away from the soul, the dust of everyday life"- Berthold AuerbachGrowing up, music was a big part of my household. Not that any of us played musical instruments but just, enjoying it. Dancing around the house. Singing at the top of our lungs. We all had different tastes in music. So the house was filled with different genres. Let’s...

Diary of a Mood Swing

March 24, 2015
2/25/15 Mania.  I am manic as hell right now.  I can’t sit still.  Nothing is enough. It’s insatiable.  I smoke too much, want sex too much, shop too much.  And it’s never enough. Never.  I have to keep going, keep seeking out pleasure, and it’s like it’s not even my decision.  It’s like it’s happening to me...
Practicing self-care when it comes to Bipolar Disorder means that not only do I take my meds and see my doctor regularly, but also over the years I've learned a few "tricks" to help get me by. These are simple things that make my life, and the lives of the people in mine, much easier. My goal is to keep myself as stable as I can, with as few mood...