Sometimes, frequent mood shifts may not be normal anymore, and you may need to consult a medical professional if you experience this. Also known as manic-depressive illness or bipolar disorder, manic disorder is a mental health condition that’s characterized by extreme shifts in activity levels, mood, and energy levels. This chronic condition often involves depression and mania in recurring episodes.
Bipolar disorder has several subtypes, including cyclothymic disorder, bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder, and other unspecified conditions related to bipolar disorder. The frequency and severity of depressive and manic episodes can vary among individuals and across different subtypes. This disorder is likely influenced by a combination of environmental, genetic, and biological factors. In this blog post, we’ll be able to know and discuss the potential symptoms that you can have with a manic or bipolar disorder.
You may experience impaired decision-making abilities and judgement during a manic episode. As a result, poor judgement may engage you in impulsive behaviors or make decisions that have negative consequences for being restless and risky. For instance, this may seem ordinary, but during a manic episode, you may compulsively or impulsively shop by purchasing unnecessary and luxurious items. If you’re a sexually active person, it’s possible to engage in unprotected sexual activity without considering the occurrence of unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.
In a study published in the National Library of Medicine, researchers concluded that manic patients clearly show decision-making defects, which are eventually related to their lack of insight. The somatosensory cortex and ventromedial prefrontal cortex, which are neutral circuitry supporting effective decision-making, can be implicated in acute mania’s pathophysiology.
Grandiosity is an inflated sense of self-importance or self-esteem that’s unrealistic and exaggerated. You may feel like you’re at the center of attention, or many people never leave their eyes and focus on you. In simplest terms, you feel like the main character who thinks you’re living in an unrealistic world, being too out of touch with reality.
Sometimes, being delusional may not be a bad thing, especially when you like to daydream or depend on false hope to avoid thinking negative thoughts. But your fake scenarios may lead to grandiosity when you have a manic disorder. According to Simply Psychology, you may exhibit grandiose delusions like believing you’re destined for greatness or have special abilities and superpowers. This can result in impaired judgement and reckless behavior due to its problematic impact on your mental state.
When anxiety is high, racing thoughts are entirely normal, especially if you’re currently in the most challenging state of your life. But repetitive and prolonged thoughts that can hinder normal function or disrupt sleep can lead to racing thoughts as a symptom of manic disorder. If this continues, you’ll need a mental health professional for evaluation and treatment.
In the context of an impending manic episode, racing thoughts may co-occur with distractibility, irritable mood swings, a diminished need for sleep, increases in risk-taking behavior, and restlessness. Racing thoughts can cause a person’s thinking to become fragmented, with thoughts constantly changing and shifting. It may be challenging for you to follow a logical sequence of ideas or a complete coherent thought. Moreover, engaging in a conversation may be difficult for you as your thoughts rapidly move from one subject to another without any apparent connection.
You may significantly increase the speed and amount of your speech during a manic episode. You may feel overwhelmed by having the urge to talk and can experience difficulty controlling the flow of your words. Excessive and lengthy conversations can be involved in talkativeness during manic episodes. You may continue to provide more information than necessary due to going into great detail on various topics.
As a result of your talkativeness, you may also complain or make hostile comments and become excessively irritable. You can make a conversation difficult since you will be easily distracted by sudden inconvenience or intervention. This can also be connected to exhibiting grandiosity, in which you can experience inflated but unjustified self-confidence and self-esteem.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, when you have a manic episode for at least one week, you can possess more energy than usual. You may experience increased activity, such as working on several projects at once. While this may seem different for someone who is already a workaholic, it’s important to check on your mental health to avoid experiencing more severe conditions. You can also have an increased risk behavior that will lead you to drive recklessly or spend money impulsively.
Since you tend to want to finish more work or be active in particular activities, you’ll start to feel restless. It’s like you constantly need to be engaged in activities or be in motion. You can fidget or pace frequently and have difficulty sitting still. This is eventually connected to a decreased need for sleep, as you may feel you only require less sleep than usual. You can still feel energized despite having a lack of proper sleep.
Occurring with three or more primary symptoms most of the day, a manic episode is diagnosed if an elevated mood occurs. According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, having an elevated mood will engage in risky and impulsive activities and decisions. Some symptoms of having an elevated mood include the abuse of drugs, specifically cocaine or even alcohol, aggressive behavior, and excessively high euphoric mood.
Moreover, an elevated mood can let you display an optimistic and positive outlook. You can believe that you can achieve anything you desire or believe that everything will work out in your favor. Your elevated mood can engage you to be highly outgoing and sociable. You may initiate conversations with strangers, seek out social interactions, and excessively socialize.
Increased-goal directed activity
It’s perfectly normal to prioritize your goals and pursue what you’re passionate about. It’s normal to spend time working on a novel by ensuring the plot’s flow is smooth, and your ideas must be aligned with your goal. However, increased goal-directed activity can also be a symptom of manic disorder. You may find yourself staying late at night, without needing sleep, by writing a complicated manuscript or creating plans for a business venture.
Another thing is your frequency of engaging in multitasking. You choose to do multiple projects or activities simultaneously due to the need to accomplish all these in one sitting. You tend to struggle to focus on one task for an extended period with the overwhelming number of ideas you have. Your body and mental state have their limits, but having this disorder can be difficult for you to spot such limitations.
Irritability or agitation
When you have a manic disorder, you may have a low tolerance for frustration, making you easily annoyed even by minor triggers. You tend to reach more strongly to inconveniences or perceived slights. Due to agitation, you can experience difficulty pacing, engaging in repetitive movements, and sitting still. It’s also difficult for you to wait patiently for someone or something. There’s a reduced ability to tolerate delays and waiting. This can cause you to express anger or frustration when things don’t go quickly according to plan.
You can feel easily upset and often bristle at others’ attempts to help them. When someone requests to talk, you can be easily irritated or annoyed. This may place a view on how others think of you; they may see you as someone who always has anger issues, even though you have a manic disorder. According to Healthline, it’s important to note that anger isn’t a symptom of bipolar disorder, but many people with this disorder can report consistent emotional bouts.
Decreased need for sleep
Your ability to multitask numerous things at once allows you to feel more energized than ever. But staying too focused on your goals and plans for the day may lead you to disregard the importance of sleep because you can still function actively. According to the American Psychiatric Association, sleep disorder is a core symptom of manic or bipolar disorder. It’s indicated by the diagnostic criteria that during manic episodes, there may be a decreased need for sleep. Hypersomnia or insomnia during episodes of depression can be experienced nearly every day.
Moreover, if you experience difficulty sleeping, you can frequently have racing thoughts which makes it more challenging to have a good night’s sleep. You may wake up after only a few hours or experience consistent awakenings in the middle of the night.
If you have a manic disorder, it won’t matter first if what you’re doing may or may not cause harm or consequences to others. You may engage in impulsive actions without considering the risks associated with impulsive behavior. It’s difficult to say that you’re being cruel or insensitive for having impulsive behavior. Because the reason why you engage in impulsive actions is due to the disorder you have, which should be treated immediately to avoid harmful activities.
For instance, you may choose to spend your money unwisely due to your impulsive behavior. According to Georgetown Behavioral Hospital, your impulsive behavior may engage you to gamble your rent money, go on a spending spree, or invest in a business venture without doing first-hand and thorough research. You may also act on impulses that harm your physical health.