Manic-depressive illness or bipolar disorder

manic2This is Dedicated to “E” a long time Friend and once Brother who’s life has been a Series of Devastatingly Disappointing ups and downs!

Over the years i have lost a lot of good friends, some to Drugs some to Jail and some to Death. So it is safe to say that most of the Friends that i grew-up with are either On Drugs,Dead or in Jail! It is So hard to see the people that you Love and care about Pulled-in, consumed  and devastated by the Culture of the Ghetto. That’s why its even harder to see a Friend and loved one suffer at the hand of their own Destruction and torment!

Manic Depression

1rtsketchSeveral of people that i have cared about over the years have Battled with Manic Depression and Bipolar disorder. Unfortunately, in addition to affecting the sufferer’s life, this disease also has the potential to devastate the lives of friends and family. Not only is it very hard to watch a friend or loved ones life start to spiral out of  control but  Being around a Person during a Manic, Depressive, or Mixed Bipolar Episode is like watching a movie about a Roller Coaster while riding a Roller Coaster, one Minuet life is Great the future looks bright the World is Perfect. the next minute the world is coming to an end, life sucks and and life is barley worth living. the energy of such an emotional roller coaster is disorienting! If your child, spouse, sibling, boyfriend, girlfriend, partner, parent or friend is bipolar, you suffer almost as much as they do.
Manic episode: A manic episode is diagnosed if elevated mood occurs with 3 or more of the other symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, or for 1 week or longer. If the mood is irritable, 4 additional symptoms must be present.
Depressive episode: A depressive episode is diagnosed if 5 or more of these symptoms last most of the day, nearly every day, or for a period of 2 weeks or longer.
Mixed bipolar episode: In some people, however, symptoms of mania and depression can occur together in a mixed bipolar state. A person could have a very sad, hopeless mood, while feeling energized at the same time.

I truly hope that “E” gets the help he needs and is able to gain Stability and learn to keep up proper Maintenance of His Disorder!

I have been researching this Disorder Since the Fall of our Friendship, i will say i now have a better understanding of the Hell you go thru while living with this Disorder.

The following is a first hand account of how someone with this disored feels! please visit the site.

How I Feel
When I Am Manic

When I am manic:

I get very tense. All my muscles will tense up, and my shoulder blades and my jaw muscles begin to ache. It usually happens when I am busy, but busy doing the exact same things every day which don’t usually stress me out.

My heartbeat apparently speeds up. I don’t think it actually does, but it seems that way. Can be mistaken for excitement or enthusiasm or urgency. My level of excitement/urgency is out of proportion with what is happening to me or around me.

Physical activities requiring full muscle movements (cycling, swimming, lifting weights) becomes effortless. When manic, I have lifted weights weighing nearly one-and-a-half as much as I usually can and swam twenty lengths more than normal and cycled faster. And all with less apparent effort.

Activities requiring fine motor control become difficult. Tieing shoelaces requires utmost concentration. Shaving becomes difficult. Picking up or putting down stuff requires effort. Handwriting gets erratic (but typing remains accessible). I tend to feel jittery, as if my hands are shaking, but they never are.

I get twitchy. My hands and feet may rhythmically shake on their own accord. I may get spasms in my shoulders for no reason. I also get verbally twitchy. I talk to myself, repeating the words to myself. The twitchiness is not intense and it is easy, almost automatic, to damp them down when I recognise it is happening.

When I am manic, these are my symptoms of mania

I react to things way out of proportion to what is needed, either by becoming excited, or angry, or happy, or anxious.

I get irritated about the smallest things. I argue with waiters. I get annoyed with store clerks. I quarrel with the telephone operators. I get short tempered with my friends and my family.

Driving becomes difficult and hazardous. I overreact to oncoming or overtaking vehicles. My memory failure makes it difficult keep a mental picture of traffic around me. At intersections, if I look for cars in one direction, by the time I check the other direction I have forgotten if there are oncoming cars from the first direction.

I get the intense urge to do things, even if I know that they are stupid and even if I know they will irritate people. It could be in saying things to people, poking / tickling people, interrupting people when they are talking, or ignoring people.

I get vivid realistic full colour dreams. I feel as I am actually living these dreams as if they are real life. Sometimes, I am not sure if my memories are from real life or from one of these dreams. (I can never remember these or any of my dreams in detail).

I get major carbohydrate (not sugar) cravings. Bread, rice, and pasta are wonderful. Or, I don’t feel like eating at all.

Speech speeds up and may be a bit unintelligible to others (as noticed usually by people asking “what?”). Grammar remains intact.

When I am manic, I also get these symptoms of mania

There is a tendency when speaking to just have sentences trail off without finishing them. More frequently, I would be in the midst of a sentence and forget the next word I wanted to say. Indeed I forget all the words I need to use to show the point I was trying to make. I would be able to visualize what I want to say, but not be able to think how to say it.

Memory about facts or items fail. I can’t remember dates, names of things, or when I met people, or telephone numbers. I often can’t remember activities that I have done unless strongly reminded. I forget things I have to do, appointments, etc. I am famous among my friends for this.

Productivity soars as I feel better, move faster, get things done. Even though I find this a good thing, it is an indicator because it degenerates to…

I get ideas on all the things I want to do. Good ideas. I think this is what the standard texts mean by grandiose ideas, but it doesn’t manifest as “grandiose.” Just good ideas and lots and lots of them. This can halt any functionality I have as I sit down and think on them instead of getting ahead with what I have to do. Few of these get acted upon eventually. Many projects may be started but few are finished.

I get easily confused if I have more than one thing to do. Everything become equally urgent and I find myself swapping between doing 5 things at once (and getting none done adequately). I cannot concentrate enough to do one thing because I feel other things need to get done “now!”. One of most obvious ways I notice this is I start walking back and forth between two locations to get two things done simultaneously (for example – trying to change on a morning and trying to get breakfast organized).

My thoughts begin to get out of my control.

When I am manic:

At work, I tend to get focused on one project almost to the exclusion of everything else. I visualise with crystal clarity what needs to be done and I can’t wait to get back to working on the project. I take time off other tasks, even important ones to finish the project. Other work suffers and paperwork from them pile up on my desk. Activities outside work may suffer.

I stay at work until very late hours of the night, often past midnight to finish a project even though everyone else has left the office since six pm. I may come in early to start working on it. Everything on the project has to be just right. It’s almost an obsession.

If there are other persons working on the project, I become impatient with their slowness or inability to understand how the project needs to go. I quarrel with others. Given half a chance I take over even though this might not be the most diplomatic thing to do.


My poetry exists when I’m hypomanic. Language becomes a toy to play with rather than a workman’s tool of communication. I can churn out limericks within minutes on anything that is happening around me. My poetry comes out fully formed in a burst lasting from two to less than twenty minutes and needs no fine tuning or rewriting.

A Point of Note. I thought a lot of these things were my normal behaviour until I went on medication. After all, none are really so far out of the ordinary. But they all stop when I am stable.

These days, I monitor myself closely. Once I am getting one or two of the symptoms of mania, I actively try to calm myself down with deep breathing or taking a 5 minutes off from what I am doing, etc. I have found this to be useful in staving off the onset of the hypomania and sometimes the intensity of the hypomania. And it keeps me functional longer if the it starts happening at work, enough to finish work for the day sometimes.

2 Responses to “Manic-depressive illness or bipolar disorder”

  1. sad,
    people should think more about what affects their brain and respect the world around them as well,
    people now a days forget who they are,or just don’t make and effort to find out,,,

    the Roller Coaster is everyday life without a stop to take a breath of fresh air for your soul,,,and body …
    i hope you fullfill your music with positive vibrations for us,
    take care and be fresh,be you

  2. Substantially, the article is actually the freshest on this deserving topic. I harmonize with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your forthcoming updates. Just saying thanks will not just be enough, for the great lucidity in your writing. I will immediately grab your rss feed to stay informed of any updates. Admirable work and much success in your business endeavors!

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