Mania and Bipolar disorder

Happiness: who doesn’t want it?

Everyone yearns to be happy and energetic, to steal the attention in a gathering, speak aloud and be heard; and have positive thoughts and emotions. Elation, exaltation, euphoria, and ecstasy are all positive emotional states that hallmark happiness. However, when these positive emotions become unreasonable, disruptive, and uncontrollable, they interfere with functioning and constitute the psychological disorder: Mania. Happiness is not a psychiatric disorder, optimism is no sin and excitement is no evil. There are no treatment guidelines to help a person become ‘less happy’. It does not sound legitimate either. However happiness that is realistic, justifiable and reasonable is usually considered normal. Energy and zest help one rise higher to achieve superior goals, to believe in betterment and have faith in abilities to use them to gain prime outcomes. Happiness is justifiable and permissible when happy thoughts match affirmative emotions and positive circumstances to engender constructive results.

Truth about Mania

Mania is an extreme of positive emotion, which does not match the manic person’s background situation. The positivity and optimism is a façade that is usually put up to mask some hidden trauma or setback. It is psychodynamically best-explained s a compensatory mechanism for combatting disappointment. The conscious mind fails to accept the loss and tries to restitute it by expressing a disguised emotion that is diametrically opposite to the real mindful one. And this façade constitutes the disorder that needs to be managed.

Euphoric Mania

Euphoric mania involves a positive mood, excessive talking, rapid and uncontrollable thoughts, and a feeling of superiority, with disregard for others. People in a manic state may believe that they are endowed with supernatural powers, they are the saviors of the world, have extraordinary contacts with reputed people, and are in control of the universe. Their optimism seems bizarre without doubt. Their behavior may become so disruptive that they usually get hospitalized within the first few days of their manic episode.

Dysphoric Mania

Dysphoric mania on the other hand is a condition wherein feelings of superiority, excessive talking, and thoughts persist, but mood becomes pervasively irritable. Dysphoric manics are troublesome to have around and cause significant amount of commotion in the household, neighborhood or their workplace. They are commanding and demanding, and they use physical and emotional force to get their way through.

Why does this really happen

Mania is attributable to genetic factors that lead to chemical changes in the brain. It has also been associated with traits of inferiority, which the individual’s depressed psyche tends to overcorrect by grandiosity. In genetically primed individuals, negative life events may bring about depression or mania. The high of mania in 100% of cases alternates with lows of depression, which is then commonly known as bipolar disorder.

Trauma of bipolar and its management

Bipolar is distressing and upsets the socio-occupational setup of the person. Both phases; depression in which one feels low and in the dumps; as well as mania, wherein one can become unreasonable and disruptive; are tormenting because in both, the person cannot function with rationality and reason. Disability associated with bipolar disorder is very high. Management of bipolar disorder is predominantly medical with judicious use of mood stabilizers to prevent swinging of moods. The productivity in the interim period is usual and the person can lead an absolutely normal life. We use psychotherapy to deal with mood swings and maintain the tempo of life as normal as possible. Such patients have a good prognosis and must get the treatment they truly deserve.

Signs of bipolarity

Fluctuating moods are common today. However one must watch for signs of bipolarity:

  • Alternating between emotions
  • Extreme intensity of moods
  • Inability to function normally
  • Switching sleep patterns
  • Rash and impulsive behavior
  • Elevated or grandiose ideation
  • Frequent ‘dysphoria’ or bad mood

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is mania considered to be abnormal? Is happiness an illness?
Happiness is not a disorder. However, a manic intensity involves unreasonable, irrational and disruptive elevation of mood which is out of synch with reality and causes trouble to oneself and others. When so, it classifies as a mental disorder and definitely needs treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does one switch from mania to depression?
Manic episodes take up a lot of energy from the body. A prototypical manic episode lasts for a few weeks after which the brain itself alters its own exaggerated chemical and electrical activity which then gives rise to a depressive episode. The disorder is cyclical by definition in its natural course. That is why one switches between the two moods.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can medication control the swinging of moods?
Mood swings are caused due to disruptive chemical and electrical activity in the human brain. Mood stabilizers are similar to anti epileptic medicines which control this abnormal activity (like what occurs in epilepsy) thereby preventing the mood swings.