Am I Happy or Just Manic?

It could be both. I always ask myself this question when I feel I’m on the upswing. I’m afraid of having a manic episode as I get older and have more responsibilities. Before a full-blown episode you might find that you are generating every creative ideas and solutions at work and at home.

If it’s just mania does that mean my ideas are bad?

This is really a question that you must ask and answer for yourself but I will share my thoughts. You have to be clear on what happiness means for you. Usually we think of happiness as a positive emotion in regards to our current state of affairs. I think there are some positive emotions that accompany happiness, but happiness is more about the contribution you make within your community, the quality of your relationships, and your level of self-respect.

Just ask this question to ask in order to determine if you are going manic and need to slow down or are just happy and enjoy it:

Are you keeping your daily habits?

By now you should have a well-established morning and evening routine. These are almost performed religiously so I actually call them rituals. The rituals like making your bed, chugging a glass of water and going for a morning jog before sun up help you stay healthy. Missing a day or two is normal, but it should raise a flag.

If you can’t even get up to do your morning ritual, chances are depression is lurking and you can then modify your work out plan so it is basic and covers only the essentials. If you pop out of bed before the 5 AM alarm clock goes off, that’s great! But if you think, man I feel so great, I don’t really need to meditate this morning, or I can skip breakfast to keep working on this blog post, chances are that mania is just around the corner.

It’s a sad thought to think that if you feel good then it’s just a symptom of the disorder. It seems that the goal is to reduce and eliminate symptoms when really we should learn to cope and channel these intense emotions into something creative like art and music.

Reaching a manic state of mind may feel like reaching Nirvana or even talking with God. When the crash comes and you start to analyze it you may doubt the spiritual insights or “Aha!” moments that you had during that time. In 2009 this caused me to question my entire worldview.

Choose your own belief about it

Some people choose to see their bipolar disorder as a spiritual condition because the experiences can be so intense that they leave a mark on you so they discount the science, and others only see it as a chemical reaction in the brain. I’ve learned to hold on to the spiritual insights while accepting the depression and manic episodes as part of the mental health condition. It’s really your choice how to you view your episodes moving forward, just try to pick the belief that brings the most peace and empowers you to reach your goals.

Screenshot at Aug 11 18-32-59

5 thoughts on “Am I Happy or Just Manic?

  • August 17, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Hello Layne. Glad you go out in the open and talk about your bipolar disorder without feeling embarassed or anything. It is important to be true to ourselves and honest with the people around us, so we can be aware of our pluses and minuses and strive towards solving them. I believe anyone is bipolar up to a point. It’s just a matter of being aware of your ups and downs and know that it’s a crazy rollercoaster out there. Just have fun with it 😀

  • August 17, 2016 at 1:07 am

    I’m not familiar with bipolarity but I know many people dealing with different degrees of depression. A lot of what you wrote here reminds me of something I’ve witnessed. Like how you describe the symptoms of mania. When you think you don’t need to stick to healthy habits because you think you’re doing fine and it’s actually when you need it most. Being awarded of this is crucial but not everybody can. Thanks so much for this great reading. Your website is very helpful.

    • August 17, 2016 at 7:39 am

      Thanks for the comment Carolyn. I’m glad you stumbled upon the site because I promise you, you know at least one person who suffers from bipolar disorder. 2-5% of the U.S. population has some form of the condition, most still aren’t open about it because they are embarrassed. It’s great to educate yourself so that when the time comes, you will be able to offer support to that friend.

      Depression is very common too, in fact, your bipolar friend is probably from that group. Stopping meds is very common for bipolar and depression because once you start feeling better, there seems to be no reason to continue.

  • October 19, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    The happiest moment of the day is after my second cup of coffee. Yes, the caffeine helps. I also us cacao which has been proven to be a mood lifter (Source: NutritionFacts).

    I’m not bipolar, but I do sometimes experience depression. Caffeine is my way of self-medicating. Do you think this might be dangerous?

    • February 12, 2017 at 7:09 pm

      Hi Gary, thanks for sharing your thoughts.Caffeine is a drug just like any other. It can be addictive, I’ve heard it’s harder to give up coffee than heroin. There are also some potentially harmful effects, it can even trigger mania for people with bipolar disorder.

      I wouldn’t be worried about drinking a soda or something to give you a temporary lift now and then, but I would encourage you to find other healthier ways to combat depression. I talk about several methods on this site.


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