Mania is the "up" side of the severe mood swings characteristic of manic depression. A manic episode appears as an extremely elevated mood or as a time of very high energy. During a manic episode, a woman may be unable or unwilling to sleep for days at a time, may believe she can "do anything," or may feel "on top of the world." Or, she may feel out-of-control, very irritable, frightened, or restless. Whether the woman's manic experience feels wonderful or scary, the episode will ultimately end in burn-out or a swing to an extreme state of depression.
While manic, a woman may get a lot of work done, or she may feel like her mind is racing so fast that she cannot get anything done. She may not be able to focus enough to complete a simple task or may not be able to stop working on a difficult task. Frustration with such out-of-control feelings may result in rage episodes or aggressive outbursts. Mania may also be reflected in excessive shopping/spending, gambling, or sexual behaviors. Inability to make good judgments about personal safety may be especially problematic. Lack of insight about potential harm is common during a manic episode. Treatment of mania is complicated by this lack of insight. During a manic episode, a woman may not recognize manic behaviors as dangerous or problematic and may have to depend on family and friends to recognize the "red flags" of a potential manic episode, such as:
- Disorganized thinking or not being able to focus
- Excessive talking or talking too fast
- Having so much nervous energy that she has to pace constantly
- Not being able to sleep or not wanting to sleep
- Shopping or gambling sprees
- Sexual promiscuity or heightened interest in sex
- Driving too fast
- Obsession with grandiose, unrealistic ideas
- Not taking prescribed medications
Treatment of mania depends on several factors including life circumstances, medical history, severity of symptoms, and impact on daily functioning. Medication management of manic depression differs from that of depression because of the way anti-depressive medications work on the brain.
If you or someone you care about is having trouble with manic symptoms, contact Brookhaven now to take the first step toward getting help.