Typical Behaviors in the Manic Phase of Bipolar Disorder
A person in the manic phase exhibits erratic behavior as if they were supercharged with boundless energy which often starts out as a euphoric experience and then becomes increasingly problematic and inappropriate to anyone witnessing them. They may feel as if they have firmly grasped the keys to the universe and decide to call a friend at 3 in the morning to discuss the intricacies, speaking a mile a minute. They will jump from one topic to another like a flying squirrel in a forest of ideas.
They can experience a boon in creativity and we can use the example of Vincent Van Gogh to point out just how magnificently creative bipolar people can be. Bipolar mania can also cause the person to become aggressive, irritable, and jumpy, sometimes resulting in fighting when someone is put off or disagrees with them. They also have very little need for sleep in the manic phase, often running on only a couple of hours here and there.
A lesser degree of extreme mania is known as hypomania. This occurs when the person feels productive, has increased energy, and feels good. They may do things they normally wouldn't do like call old friends or try something new due the atypical confidence hypomania can cause. In more extreme forms of mania, the person can be seen behaving as if they were invincible and engage in risky behavior like driving way too fast, going on lavish spending sprees when they don't have the finances to afford it, and make impulsive and untoward decisions regarding work, sex, and their personal relationships.
Grandiosity is also notable behavior. Typically, the manic phase causes poor judgment in all facets of their lives. Substance abuse is often turned to due to the person's desire to try and regulate their wayward, uncontrollable emotions in either bipolar cycle. Excessive drug use can lead to overdose and death. Any combination of these behaviors, when left untreated, can lead to suicide because the person truly feels that death is the only relief from the head they're terminally trapped in. When a person feels like life isn’t worth living, how can anything else really matter to them? That is why everything in our power is needed to get done in order to get these people professional help because there is always a way out no matter how overwhelming or exacerbating the situation becomes.
Image credit/Flickr.com/Raymond Abagat