Recovering from a Manic Episode

ManiaIn my experience recovering from a manic episode takes time. It’s been four months since the peak started to wane and I’m just now able to see and feel more clearly and easily without the devastating mania monster driving my thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. What a relief!

I am surprised at how long it takes for clear-headed thinking to return. The racing thoughts are finally receding. I’m able to be in the present and enjoy people and things around me without that awful pressured feeling. I don’t know how to describe that pressure – it’s almost like you have to keep moving, going, doing, running, racing. It’s exhausting.

Reminders:

  • Mania can manifest as euphoria, anger, or anxiety, or all three combined together.
  • During manic episodes, you will often not be able to see the havoc you are wreaking, and how you are hurting yourself, your family, and friends. So, you are often reluctant to stop doing what you are doing because you are convinced that it is the “right” thing to be doing.
  • I’ve found that it takes weeks even months for the brain to start functioning correctly again, so that you can review what you’ve been through and realize the effects of your actions.
  • Early mania feels wonderful, at least to me, and it is very seductive and easy to run with it. Unfortunately, it usually leads to impulsive decisions and actions that end up in disaster.

224 Responses to “Recovering from a Manic Episode”

  1. Josh says:

    Thank you for reminding me how long it takes. I had a mixed episode this month that lasted for only two weeks and only because of the lithium intervention. I’m back at work (graduate school) wondering why I can’t think straight after 4 hours. Is it the lithium? Maybe, but I think it’s the fact that my episode was over only last weekend.

    This is a horrible disease we share, and I’m tired of the somewhat false association (in my opinion) of bipolar disorder to creativity and genius. More like anguish, fear, and misery.

    • Luann says:

      Hi Josh,
      I’m sorry that you are going through the hell of gettting over a mixed episode. In retrospect it took me 4 months to get to a point where I could make good decisions and not feel constant dread, anxiety, and intrusive thoughts when trying to go to sleep. It took upping my Lithium and adding others (Seroquel) just for a short time so that I could get to a point where my prefrontal lobes came back online and I could think and actually write again. In one book I read, it actually described how during an episode your prefrontal cortex stops working. That’s the executive in your head who helps you make decisions and monitors your information processing.

      It is a horrible disease but I have to admit that I’ve been most productive at work and in grad school when hypomanic – that is of course – until it got out of control (as always) and I crashed and burned. Not a good strategy for managing the disease. I can’t imagine how many episodes I’d have to endure if I went off lithium. It doesn’t stop them but it helps manage the extremes when they happen. I’ve tried Lamictal and other meds but lithium works well for me.

      Hope you are able to think straight again soon. Give yourself some time and be kind to yourself. Thanks for checking in. I wish you all the best.

      Luann

      • Anonymous says:

        This has been the most helpful thing I’ve read! Thank you for the honest emotions. My husband is dealing with a manic episode now, he’s spent all our savings and our daughters college fund, while I’m stressed, I just want life to be back to normal, hopefully he’ll start cycling back soon before it gets worse and we loose our house. Thanks again

        • Karen says:

          I have felt so alone dealing with my son becoming a horrible evil demon when he goes manic. He had been well and a wonderful human being for two years since his last episode, and we thought the last four terrible episodes were a thing of the past. Now here we are again, and I have actual thoughts of taking him out before he does harm to anyone. He is back in hospital now – police found him after a few weeks of living on the streets. It has been 3 weeks in hospital and there is almost no improvement yet. But he has been off his meds for a year and a half. I feel such anger and despair at him for not taking his meds and letting himself go into this terrible state that causes utter devastation to his family. Thank you for this conversation feed. It is a great comfort to discover other people going through this hell.

        • Luann says:

          I’m glad you find some comfort here. Also keep in mind that your son’s episode will pass and he will need a very strong support system to help him stay on his medications after this. Mania can be very seductive and deceiving. You think you are doing just fine and you don’t need the meds and wham….
          Take care of yourself.

        • joe says:

          I am recovering from a manic episode where I did some horrible things to people I love. This has been very helpful.

    • Kevin says:

      My Girlfriend of almost 4 years has been going through a manic episode since mid April. It had been over 5 yrs since her last episode. It was triggered by a recent encounter with an uncle who sexually abused her when she was 4yrs old. (this recent encounter has triggered flashbacks from her childhood.) She has been in and out of Mental health hospitals for the last two months. 2 weeks in, got a little better, then worse, then back in for another 2 weeks. We had to file a 302 and have her picked up the last two times she was hospitalized. She is confrontational with almost everyone she comes in contact with. She is paranoid people are out to get her. She tried jumping out of a moving car while I was driving. She now hates me for filing the paperwork for her to be put in the hospital. I love her and I don’t know what to do. Her parents are out of state, and only her mother came for a 5 day visit after the last discharge from the hospital. This was too soon.
      I am worried I will never get her back. Will she recover completely? Will she be the same? I thought I found the perfect girl and the last few years have been amazing with her. Now she is a completely different person and it scares me, that I may never see the girl I fell in love with again.

      If anyone has any input, please share.

      • Luann says:

        Hi Kevin,
        This must be incredibly hard for you. You will need to be very patient. The person she is now is acting out because her brain chemistry is out of whack. She will not be able to be her normal self until she gets her brain working correctly again. In my experience once she becomes her normal self she will be the girl you love and she will feel terrible about her current behavior. She will look back at how she has behaved and regret it and you will need to be understanding and loving.

        I hope this helps. When I was having a manic episode I was sure that everything I did was perfect and anyone who opposed me was just plain wrong. After getting my brain chemistry back to normal – I realized how awful I’d been and luckily my husband did not allow me to feel guilty or bad about myself. That was a super help to my recovery.

        It takes months after an episode to completely return to normal. But once she gets the correct medications and they begin to work, she should start the recovery process.

        You also need to realize that episodes can happen in the future but taking the right medications and monitoring moods is the best way for her to stay stable.

        Best wishes to you and your girlfriend.

        • Kevin says:

          Well, here it is almost 2 months later. She is still not stable. Not taking her meds. Not speaking with me for the last 2 months. Not speaking with any family members. I hear reports around town, that she is out at the bars causing trouble. She’s been asked to leave one bar multiple times and I was told she will soon be banned from the bar. A cop who I know, informed me he was called to a pawn shop where she was arguing with the owner about what he was offering for her jewelry. (probably the stuff I bought her). Basically I think I need to let it go. She may never want to come back to me, and if she does, it doesn’t seem like the right choice for me, for my future.

          any thoughts?

        • Anon says:

          Hi Kevin, has there been any improvement with your girlfriend over the last month? I’m really sorry to hear what you’re going through. I’m going through something very similar with my husband. This illness is so incredibly sad and also so hard for partners that do not have a mental illness to understand and respond to what’s going on when they feel so helpless.

      • Anonymous says:

        When my son had his first manic episode, we were afraid we would never get him back, he came back with a LOT of meds in the hospital. He has had five more episodes in the twenty years since and they are just awful. He loses his jobs and spends money like he is Rockefeller. The last time his wife had him committed and he has never forgiven her. That was three years ago and he has been living with me ever since. My husband has passed and I have to cope with it alone now. It is a terrible disease, for the sufferer and the family. I hope your girlfriend forgives your dear. My heart goes out to you.

        • Ana says:

          Dear anonymous
          I am so sorry what you and your family have to go through. I feel for your son, he is suffering.
          Is he on any medications that help him stabilize his moods.
          I wish all the best and hope for your son’s speedy recovery.

      • Sigal it says:

        My husband of 7 years was diagnosed for bipolar manic depressant.
        Every episode he would live the house for months living behind all the responsibility we shared. It’s a very devastating mental illness. Especially for the ones that are left behind.

        • Joey says:

          Hi! My wife has been gone now for two moths. I don’t know where she is. She doesn’t even call us. We have five children together.This has happened several times in the past. Hard to get used too. I pray that you husband comes home soon, and that he stays on his meds.

        • Anonymous says:

          Second time my husband has left. This time I decided after 16 years of walkingon eggshells it is time for me to help myself instead of putting all my energy into him. I finally found the courage to file for divorce but feel extremely guilty for giving up on him. At some point though -we must ask ourselves if our efforts are worthy of their character and selfishness… Yes, they suffer from a terrible disease, but it is not an excuse for hurting the people that “they claim” they love. I will forwver love him and feel bad for him but I deserve unconditional love and appreciation for the endless support that I have sacraficed

    • mjw24 says:

      Creativity and genius are very much a part of it if you allow your mind to be free not taking anything away from the pain we feel.

      • jilily says:

        I love this comment. I’m an artist and I was recently diagnosed with bipolar. I finally graduated college despite the odds. Ive been given so many labels and diagnosis; ADHD, Narcoleptic, Fibro, and now bipolar. What helps you free your mind in a healthy way that doesn’t lead way to a manic episode?

        • Luann says:

          Hi Jilily,
          I know it sounds counter intuitive but discipline, practice, and hard work frees up the mind and allows creativity to grow and express itself. That’s my experience. I’m sure it is different for others. The energy that mania gives seems like the creative spark but I think it is misleading. I wonder what others think?

        • Tiye says:

          Jilly,

          I was diagnosed in college and against the odds have both a Bachelors and a Masters degree. I have had a career filled with ups and downs but always manage o overcome. Sleep hygiene is crucial, meditation, diet reducing stress, dramafree as much as possible. I also stay grounded with dance. I hope this is helpful to you.

        • Anonymous says:

          Hi, to all suffer
          I have son with autism/ and learning disability. And he suffered at 16.
          Was told has bipolar he gets fat with medication and when medication stop he gets I’ll, running away , shouting, not sleeping and v. High.
          He end up hospital every year.
          Then another son had depression at 16 and did not take medicine
          Now he 24 last all years been high angry and low.
          Last August he kick all of us out and we became homeless.
          And his own he was walking and fighting and doing all wrong his own.
          And police put him in jail for 3 month they found he is ill neatly and put him in hospital.
          He had high dose in hospital for six month.
          He came home yesterdY and refused to take medicine I M v scared what will happened now.
          Can someone help.
          Thx. Jojo

        • confusedgirl says:

          Hi Jilily,

          I don’t know if you come on here anymore but just incase I wanted to tell you that your comment was almost like describing me. I am still trying to understand this horrible illness. I have been diagnosed with everything you have too. Hope you respond. My husband has very little compassion unfortunately.

    • sally says:

      wonderfull you are in grad school good for you! yes I am fighting off the depression after mania 6mo long over winter.

      • Anonymous says:

        I am going through the same thing… 6 months of horrible mania and now severe anxiety and depression. How did you cope with depression?

        • gizmogirl says:

          I’m going through the same thing. Moods are lifting but every time I start to feel better I worry that I’m going manic again. How do I know?

        • Kittymama says:

          I admit I don’t cope with depression after mania, not really. My husband is a nurse and he’s very good at being kind but also challenging me a little. I’ve never been an organized person, but I do try to do something I don’t remotely feel like doing, every week or so. And some tasks pop up in the middle of the road and have to be be done no matter what.

          My main coping strategy is to tell my pdoc, “Hey, it’s been six months, damn it!” After visiting this post I see that six months is not that unusual. Damn it.

        • Suzzie Roberts says:

          Doing nothing but watching Netflix series. Taking my meds and waiting for them to kick in. I’ve severely depressed over the past several months. Came of mania also.

    • Anonymous says:

      I had a manic today I feel like crap now I just found out I have bipolar

    • Ed Cantarella says:

      I personally HAVE found my manic phases to be full of creativity. No anguish or fear – misery later mainly at what I’d written to people. Nothing untrue, just stuff I should have kept in my head. My manic phases have assisted me in getting out of a few toxic relationships, ones that other, “saner” agreed were toxic. But I could have been gentler.

      • Todd says:

        I’m scared frankly. I’m 50…P.doc I went to see 10 days ago. He,his nurse and I think I’m bipolar. Lithium was added.to amitriptyline. I think I have had this a very long time. Mania,grandiousity,credit card debt into a club I want to open…I have made a mess. Job loss,Internet posts,pushed people away…now…I crashed. Realize my mess …I’m suicidal thoughts….had those before. I wont…but the mess i made is massive financially. It’s just a matter.of time till all is lost. When the ccard.people desend I will.suffer in my head to no end..work ,child support,irs,debt,I am alone
        In a sea adrift with no sail. I feel.like I’m on the moon..in the dark…I’m slipping away.

        • Maris says:

          Hi Todd,

          Hang in there, be strong. I am praying for you. Right now my son is going through an episode. He is angry at me accusing me with horrible things he claims i did to him. I love him very much and I know he is not himself. I forgive him and hoping for a speedy recovery.

        • Latonya Ann says:

          Hi Todd,

          I’m so sorry to hear what’s going on. Sometime in life we have to just say enough is enough. Let the worry and the debt go before it kills us. I too owe so much money and living a nitemare with my adult son who refuse to take his meds but I had to let go and let God! It’s easier said than done…just take one day at a time. You can do it! With the will and determination to live the life you want you got to start with day 1. Good luck and God bless you….you’re not alone.

        • Timothy johnson says:

          Hey right there with you. Child Support is my biggest fear. Trying to get a job with pending charges (thanks mania episode).

          Not sure what to say other than I’m in the same boat.

          Hang in there and find some peace with God. All I can do is pray and hope that god gives me the strength.

    • Kathy says:

      I’m just coming off my first disasterous maniac with delusional thoughts. I convinced myself I was going to be a millionaire and spent a lot of money and stopped paying my mortgage. Now I’m penniless and have to sell my house and will be homeless. I ruined my credit and in 25 thousand in debt. I’m so ashamed and feel like I’ve lost the respect of everyone. My future looks so hopeless since I’m 58 years old, I’m now severely depressed. Anyone hear come back after such a terrible episode?

      • Michelle says:

        My daughter had first manic episode back in May. Came out of nowhere, no warnings. She was severely delusional. After hospitalization, on wrong meds that made her completely psychotic, a release for 3 days and back to hospital, we are finally on the right track with Depakote. The mental health system in this Country is horrible! If you or someone you love is dealing with this illness, the person with bipolar disorder needs to have someone advocating for them. Even if they fight you every step of the way. Taking and staying on meds is a must. We are still trying to get the correct dosage and I’m seeing improvement with every increase. Its been hard and no one was there with a how to guide. I will never give up and will go to every Dr. appointment until she is back to the person she was before all this happened.

      • Ty says:

        Hey Kathy, I can relate so much to your story. Crazy how we trick ourselves into believing delusions that don’t make any sense, and all of the effort we put into ruining the lives we’ve built up. No doubt that we feel shame and alienation afterwards. Which is why I found it strange you’re one of the only ones to bring this up here.

        I’m just starting to forgive myself now, and it’s been almost 6 months of slow but overall steady progress since my last bout of mania. At least now, there are glimmers of hope. A lot of times it’s still mostly faith, so I too seek out stories of people who have found their way again. But I know that it’s not too late for either of us.

        I’m curious too, how are things going for you these days? Have you found some things worth living for?

    • Margaret Rodriguez says:

      I am in my manic phase as I write this and I got to say going through it without running or using any illegal substances has been tough. I have a husband and children who have to see me in our house painting walls, deep cleaning bathrooms, changing all the pictures around on the walls!, then without notice Watching me go from extreme energy to no energy at all laying in my bed for hours. In the past when I would be in my manic phase I would run from my house to get away from all the noise in my head and around me, I had a mixture of feelings with anger being the strongest and felt like I was a liability to my family. I would engage in sexual behavior, use illegal drugs and be gone for two weeks to a month then come back home but this time my husband asked if I can stay home and go through it with him. I take Lithium and gabapentin so to slow me down I had to up my dosage

  2. Pete says:

    Thank you Luann and Josh for this exchange. I am recovering from my first full-blown manic episode at age 53. Very scary. It has been almost three weeks and I am now wondering why I am so anxious, particularly at the end of the day, and why I can’t write or type as easily. You remind me (as well as others with which I have spoken) as to how long “recovery” takes. I will be patient and give it “months” as Luann and others have told me. God bless.

    • Bell says:

      Wow, same with me. I told the counselor that I feel like I have had to learn to walk, talk, write all over again. 3 weeks and going~

      • sara says:

        i am bipolar but was misdiagnosed. They gave me effexor which drove me into my first Manic Episode. I became completely overly sexual with my boss. My husband who also Bipolar but not diagnosed at the time, finds out and we almost get divorced. After 6 months, my husband convinces me and my boss to start it up agin because he wants it that way. He was on 2000 mg of Depakote at the time and then stops meds just because… He says stop, I keep going and now he is threatens me regularly. I have not done anything in months and he constantly accuses me of having affairs. He is preoccupied w/ my phone and i am scared all the time. He just got back on Depakote this past Tuesday and he is still psychotic. He makes me hate him and i dont feel like I can be with him anymore. Where did he go and will I ever get im back.
        Sara

      • Liz says:

        My sister is 50 and is undiagnosed but has definitely been in a full blown manic state for 6 months. Her actions got her to emergency room and now a psychiatric hospital. When you are delusional and paranoid – should you correct their information? It seems to make her angrier. Does the length of time in a manic epidsode affect how long it takes to come out of it? In many ways she seems rational – and then bam she says something delusional. She’s taking serequel – how long should it take to work? When you come out of it – do you realize you were messed up? Why did many post that bipolar patient stays angry? Truly appreciate your help.

        • Faith says:

          Hi Liz, a loved one of mine went into Hospital last week because he had a manic episode. His first. I noticed the same thing. Some things he says seem rational, but his next thought might not be. I also wonder about correcting the things he says that aren’t correct. Have you gotten any information since you posted this in Dec 2016? I would love to know.

          Thanks, Faith

  3. Luann says:

    Hi Pete,
    It took me quite some time for my brain to process information correctly after getting the mania under control. I hope you recover quickly and do well. I was 57 when I had my first major and very destructive manic episode. I’ve been mildly bipolar all my life but it became extremely difficult to deal with in my fifties. I was diagnosed correctly after the major manic episode. Working with my family and psychiatrist has made all the difference. I’m able to stay relatively stable for the most part. No other major manic episodes so far! But lots of little to moderate mood swings even on medication.

    I don’t know why the anxiety seems so prevalent but it does with me as well, mostly when I have to deal with groups of people whether social or in a work situation.

    Take care and know that there are many people out there who understand what you are experiencing.
    Luann

    • Kathy says:

      Hello. Several family members have been diagnosed with bipolar and most recently my son, who is 26. I also have a son age 30 who has pervasive developmental disorder which is on the autism spectrum. the funny thing is that my 26 year old son had problem in late elementary school with anxiety and school work and started using marijuana very early to cope. it finally caught up with him and he has had 2 major manic episodes the first in July 2012 and just recently. I think an autism disorder is at the core because of the severe language and cognitive problems raise the stress and anxiety level significantly and then they worry what is wrong with them and what others will think. It is very debilitating. I am thankful for medical science but it seems to me that bipolar is over-diagnosed and the core issues are overlooked, as in my son, who simply would not talk about it. I honestly think he was afraid because he saw how his older brother with the autism disorder struggled socially and academically and emotionally. My husband also has had similar problems, but takes a holistic approach and he is very regular and disciplined about this sleep/wake cycles and his routine, which I think helps greatly.

      • Alister says:

        Hi Kathy and to all who are sufferers and family. My dad is a bipolar patient. He suffers from more mania episodes than depression. He becomes very irritable, offensive,short tempered and sometimes violent. It is very easy to spot his mania episode. His mood improves drastically,slpeeps about 4 hrs,smoke one cigarette after the other. He doesnt realise at all that he is having an episode and attempts to get him to his doc are problematic as he becomes confrontational. He seems to be having more frequent relapses in a year even though he is on his meds. It takes is toll on the family as you have to continuously walk on egg shells. Is there any real help out there?

        • Tiye says:

          Hi Kathy,
          I totally know what you are going through. You just described my husband. It is very difficult to cope since I too have the condition and he triggers me. We are not together right now because of it. I am medication resistant and sounds like your dad is too so that is the reason for the relapses or rapid cycling. I am recovering now from a manic episode and had to leave my job(too stressful). You don’t know you were manic until you are in the recovery phase. When I crash and am depressed is usually when I see the fallout from mania.Real help is available but the person who has the condition has to want the help. Self-awareness and acceptance of your condition are crucial. I know that I am going to need a few months to recover and I am giving myself that time. I don’t make it anyone else’s fault or responsibility. This is my condition and I have to manage it. My husband on the other-hand blames, does not take ownership for keeping himself well thus he uses cigarettes, drugs and alcohol to self-medicate. So he takes an unhealthy approach and has frequent arrests and is not able to care for himself. It’s sad too because he is a brilliant and creative man. I hope my story helps you Kathy.

        • G.L. says:

          My dad was very similar to yours only my dad did not take meds, he refused to go to a pdoc to get meds so my dad, in the 60’s and 70’s, was very argumentative and violent. Pure hell for children and a wife to have to deal with, as you can imagine. He mellowed out as he got older, thankfully, even without meds so, I was able to befriend him in the weeks before he died, although he did get crazier the older he got. My dad was never diagnosed, but, he probably had a condition like mine, called: schizoaffective disorder. Which is a cross between schizophrenia and bipolar.

      • Ed Cantarella says:

        Kathy:
        I think addictive behaviour go well with the bi-polar person – initially. In the case of pot the relief at escaping from the pressure of the external world quickly becomes overweighed by how bad you feel when you realize your functionality, memory and productivity is being hampered by the pot. I’m bi-p(manic) and had smoked weed for years – now have quit for going on 3 months. I “stumbled upon” a part of a joint on my workbench in the garage a few days ago and thought what the heck. Within a few minutes I was regretting it badly – walking back/forth forgetting what I was looking for,etc. So THAT is what I had done for years. {face palm}

    • Suzzie Roberts says:

      Luann, you are lucky that you lived this long without suffering to the extent of severity. I got diagnosed at thirty my depression is so severe I cannot function.

  4. tcast says:

    Hi, a couple of weeks ago I was going through a mized episode, it culminated into a dysphoric mixed manic episode and I had to be taken to the hospital. Currently I’m recovering from the fallout of major depression.

    I’ve been experiencing so far lack of concentration, inability to make clear decisions, planning sucks, inability to pick up social cues or maintain concetration, social anxiety,etc. This is my major episode I do not want another one again.

    I’m worried that there has been major damage that will be there the rest of my life or that some of these symptoms wont go away. Will these symptoms last forever?

    • Luann says:

      Hi tcast,
      Sorry to hear that you are having to recover from an episode. Lack of concentration, inability to make clear decisions, inability to plan, and social anxiety are all things that stayed with me for quite some time. The symptoms do lessen over time. Everyone is different though so what I experience will be very different from what you experience.

      The best way to avoid or minimize the impact of another episode is to work with your pdoc and therapist to find the right combination of strategies and medications that help you stay stable. Best wishes to you on a speedy recovery.

    • anonymous says:

      Hi Tim an Tcast,
      Your posts hit home with me. An episode of psychosis put me in the hospital after my first term in my medical program. I was diagnosed as bipolar 1. I honestly can’t remember how many days I spent in the hospital. I has lucky to have a wonderful support system. I left my schooling as I couldn’t focus, had racing and obsessive thoughts, was paranoid and irrational. I couldn’t plane or make decisions. I questioned everything about my life and who I was. I had lost my trust in myself. I couldn’t figure out what normal was. My mood was all over the place. It became hard to validate and trust most emotions. I returned to grad school less than a year later. My brain was still a mess, my social reactions were off. I nearly had a relapse. At times I felt like dying. Anxiety would stop me from sleeping. Eventually we got the right meds and things have significantly improved. It’s not over, anxiety still comes but leaves more quickly. I still question my moods. I still have days where my brain doesn’t connect, usually when I haven’t had a proper sleep regime. It’s been 2 years since my diagnosis and 6 months ago I would have told you I wasn’t sure if I could live a normal life. Slowly I am becoming me again. Time, great supporters, self care, self love, the right medication, a good psychiatrist, proper food and sleep. These are essential to recover. It’s a long road and to this day I wonder if people can pick up on my illness. Here’s to believing that each day we will make new progress towards managing this debilitating disorder.

  5. Tim says:

    You describe the pressured feeling nicely. It is so hard to describe to the doctors. Whether outside or in a room full of people I feel like there is always something that needs to be done and I’m easily distrated. This is 5 months after a psychotic manic episode (my third hospitalization). And then the racing thoughts kick in and I obsess if I will ever feel better. The one nice thing about the disease (if there is one) if that once the doctors up the medications, and find the right one…all of a sudden within a few days the mind calms and I’m less distracted. My thoughts become more coherent and I can start to trust myself again. But it is a long road. I required 12 days in ICU and 5 months out of work in an out-patient setting. They tell me it will be another 6 months before my brain is fully healed.

    • Luann says:

      Hi Tim,
      Thanks for your post. You sound like you are doing all the right things to be well again. Stay the course with your treatment. One researcher suggests that it take about a year for the brain to get back into its normal routine after an episode ends. I must be slow, because for me I could still feel some of the fog effects for a couple of years. But by 6 months I could think much more clearly and look back and cringe at some of the things I’d done while manic.

      • Tiye says:

        Cringe indeed. I just had a full blown manic episode…I call it what I did on my summer vacation. It was horrific and I am glad that I am more mature and don’t beat up on myself like when I was younger and had manic episodes. I am full blown depressed right now and isolating but not in a negative way. I really need rest right now. I had to quit my high stress job. I am very foggy and disorganized. I have little support and have to gradually dig myself out of the mess I created. I don’t have a lot of energy so it will be slow going.

        • Alister says:

          Hi Tiye. Hope you are well and all the best with your husband. My Dad had to be forcefully admitted to hospital as he is sure that nothing is wrong with him. He seems to have reached the peak of his manic episode as he is now saying he is God, then Jesus and has cures for certain deseases! He is offending people on social media, mostly family and friends and digging a really deep hole for himself. His spending spree has started and he feels he is entitled to everything he desires. He had been refusing to take his medication as he was admitted earlier this year for 3 full weeks. He now had to be admitted to a state hospital by police escourt as his medical insurance has been exhausted. It pains to see him in this state yet he cannot accept that he needs professional help. We go through this all the tine and its exhausting on our family. We are trying our level best to ensure he gets medical help and is in a safe enviroment but its a full time job. How do you get a person to realise on their own that they are having a manic episode, thats the challenge, does it always have to end this way?

        • Anonymous says:

          How are you now? You sound like me, i just got out of one a few days ago.

        • Suzzie Roberts says:

          Good luck, I’m in a similar position. Its gruesome

  6. Dave says:

    Hi All,

    Thanks for all the posts – this is a great resource – to be able to understand what happened to me last year to from others who have gone through a similar experience – at 43, I experienced my first ever hypomanic episode – this result in my losing my job and subsequently bringing about a changing in my accommodation situation. It has taken me quite a while to recover but am getting there slowly. Hearing others’ experiences really helps me on the road to recovery – hope it helps others too 🙂

    • Luann says:

      Thanks for posting Dave. Hang in there – it takes time but you will recover. I’m sure your post will help others who are going through hypomanic and/or manic episodes. The more we share with each other the better.

      Best wishes to you for a complete recovery and a GREAT life!

    • Bob says:

      Hi Dave,
      Make sure you stay on your meds. I had my first hypomanic episode and just thought that I was excited about a new job, girlfriend, or whatever else I thought was a positive experience at that time. Naturally, depression followed the episode. And then about 2 years later I had another hypomanic episode and of course depression came back but this time worse. I’ve been through 4 episodes with worsening depression each time. This is no joke. I’ve had legal problems and money problems since my first episode. The moral of the story is this: Accept that we have a condition that needs strict attention. For me it is staying on my meds no matter how good I feel and thinking that I’m cured. I’ve done that at least 3 times where I would just stop taking my meds. Anyway, good luck to you and to all that suffers from this disorder. I have a way to go but at least I’ve accepted this for now.

  7. kelly says:

    It’s nice today to read all the comments, needed it.
    Been on lithium four months now, had allergic reactions to seroquel and lamictal- so just Li for me! And mood wise, its been ok- til today
    Had first manic episode since starting drugs, am worried.
    I don’t like how I acted, or what I said to family, but…
    it was soo nice to think “like myself” again you know? Episode fueled by
    distressing news, no food and massive amounts of caffeine.
    But enjoyed getting ideas and plans again.
    Debating calling doctor tomorrow, conflicted!
    Anyone else ever feel this way?!

    • Luann says:

      Hi Kelly,
      I suggest that you call your doctor right away. It’s very insightful that you are aware that you are becoming manic and it gives you an opportunity to get help before you are so into it that you don’t think you need help. In my experience it doesn’t resolve quickly on its own.

      Mania and hypomania are very seductive but you know ultimately how destructive mania can be on your relationships with family and friends. I’m not a medical doctor but it sounds like you may want to have your doctor work with you to adjust your lithium level a bit until your episode resolves.

      I also did not do well with Seroquel and I had a terrible reaction to Lamictal. Glad lithium is helping. Don’t hesitate to call your doc.

      Luann

  8. Andrew says:

    I had my first full-blown, psychotic manic episode about 3 months ago and it is very true that mania is seductive. At the time, I thought I had unlocked some type of new productivity mechanism in my mind because of all the information I could process! (I was unaware of my bipolar condition at the time). I kept pushing my mind to race faster until I collapsed on myself. And many of the commentators on here are right- you do things you regret when you’re manic. I lost a girlfriend, a business partner, and almost my best friend when I was manic because of the ways I acted. Delusions are a scary thing.

    As for the recovery, I feel as though my thoughts are slowed, I’m sometimes unable to make even the most basic decisions, and I’m not as socially aware as I was before. But I’m doing much better than I was even a month ago. I hope I continue getting better- living like this is difficult right now.

    Also, I had some serious trouble last night falling asleep for the first time. You read that bad sleep hygiene can cause a relapse but I didn’t believe it until last night. Get on a consistent sleep cycle people! trust me!

    • Luann says:

      Hi Andrew,
      You are on the road to stability!! Yay!! Give yourself time. My mind didn’t work well for about 9 months, but slowly it improved. Be careful about the not sleeping stuff! Don’t let that creep up on you. It can be one of the first signs of mania-especially if your mind starts racing a bit.

  9. katie says:

    My 25 year old daughter is suffering with a manic episode at the moment. first time. I am so distressed but meds Abililify and lorazapan have been increased. she has no drive and feeling utterly helpless. I live so far away and don’t know what todo

    • Luann says:

      Hi Katie,
      I’m sorry that your daughter is experiencing a manic episode. It does sound like she is getting care and her medications are being adjusted. It takes some time to recover from a manic episode. If you can talk with her on the phone and communicate with emails that will be a good way for you to know how she is doing. I’m sure she will appreciate your contact. It also takes time to get the right combination of medications. It’s good that she is getting help with her first episode. The sooner a person gets help and on medications the fewer episodes they will have during their lifetime. It also helps to keep the illness from progressing. It’s called the kindling effect. The longer you go without treatment and the more episodes you have the worse the illness becomes over time.

      Thanks for writing. I hope you find a lot of support as you and your daughter travel this road together.

  10. Anonymous says:

    My 19 year old son was diagnosed with bipolar 1 in early June. He had just returned from his first year of college. He has been in the hospital for 30 days… June 1-11 and June 19 until present. The first time he was in the hospital he insisted he was okay and wanted to come home even though the Dr’s and my husband and I did not feel he was ready. We had him home for a week and things went downhill very quickly. The Dr.’s have had a difficult time finding the right combination of meds for him. He now on depakote, lithium, zyprexa and klonzipan (sp?). He is finally beginning to stabilize and might be able to come home by the end of the week.
    During his mania he was very forth coming and told about some of the drugs he experimented with while at college. Marijuana. Ambien, mushrooms and adderall during finals week. After everything I’ve read I know that all of these things can trigger an event in people who have bipolar. My son had not experimented with any type of drugs(other than alcohol) until Jan. 2012. He is an athlete and is on full scholarship at college for baseball. He is making plans to return to college in august and has said that he will go with or without our blessings. We are very concerned because the dr’s have all said that they do not support his return to school this semester due to lack of a support system and the chance of relapse. We agree with the Dr.s.
    We can’t imagine that he would be ready to return to the stresses of college and collegiate baseball in just one month from now. I would appreciate any suggestions that anyone would like to share with us. We live in Alaska and our son goes to college in Nevada….so we wouldn’t be close by for support. I have considered taking time off to be with him the first semester so that I can make sure he sees his psychiatrist and takes his meds.right now my gut is telling me to keep him home for the 1st semester. I think he needs at least that much time to let his brain and body heal.
    Please let me know your thoughts.

    • Luann says:

      Anonymous.
      I feel for you. That is a really tough call. Each situation is different. If he is not complying with taking his medications, then he will relapse no matter where he resides. If you have the ability and luxury to go with him for a semester that would be ideal; however, if there are negative influences around him (friends taking drugs etc.) then your being there might not be all that helpful.

      I wonder if you could work with your son and his doctor(s) to come up with a plan for his next 12 months of recovery. A part of that plan would include deciding when and how he returns to college.

      I wish you and your son all the best. Once a person realizes that they are ill, and they comply with their medication and wellness regime, they often recover and maintain a stable lifestyle for many years. Everyone is different but I’m very hopeful for your son.

      Take care of yourself as you help your son learn to take care of himself!

      Luann

    • maria says:

      Hi, my son is 19 , he was admitted three days ago .Doctors said it was bio polar mania. he believes he is rich and runs a porn company. he also believes he helped the police fight gang wars. i am so lost, never knew about this disease…no one will tell me how long this could last or if it will pass…please help

  11. Hopeful says:

    My son is 24 years old and has always suffered from what I assumed was depression. He had his first horrible manic episode and was hospitalized as a result. He is now diagnosed as bi-polar. This has put our family into crisis mode and I realize how our mental health care in this country is really lacking. Upon his release from the hospital, I took him to a private pscyh. who totally stopped the meds he was prescribed in the hospital (lithium and seroquel) and put him on Depakote (500 mg. twice per day). He hasn’t slept more than an hour for the last few nights and it seems to me that he needs something to sleep? I’m going to try to get him back into the pscyh. but I’m also appalled at their seeming lack of concern. I phoned them yesterday and they never phoned me back. Is anybody on Depakote and something else to sleep? Shouldn’t depakote help with sleep? Soo many unanswered questions.

  12. Luann says:

    Hi Hopeful,
    The good thing is that your son now has an official diagnosis and he can begin to explore treatment options. It takes time to find the right medication or combination of medications that work well. Everyone reacts so differently.

    I wonder why the private doc took him off Lithium and Seroquel? I’ve used all the of the medications that you mention and each has it’s role to play. Seroquel is particularly sedating and will help most people sleep. I did not find Depakote sedating but that might just be me.

    I’m concerned that your doctor did not phone you back when you called. I’d try and find someone who will partner with your son to help him become stable and healthy.

    I’m hopeful for you both!
    Luann

  13. Hopeful says:

    Thanks for responding to my inquiry. The doctor gave him seroquel (50 mg.) yesterday for sleep and low and behold he has slept at least 5 hrs. so far (he’s still asleep)! He seems to be “coming down” from his manic episode because in the last few days, he hasn’t been talking too much and he isn’t multi-tasking. Now, I’m worried about the depression….. He is supposed to go back to school in 3 weeks (he goes to a university out of town), and I just don’t see him ready. He has been smoking pot because he says it calms him down. Do some bipolar patients take anti depressants with a mood stabilizer, then if they feel that they are becoming manic, stop the anti depressant? I just feel he is going to need more than Depakote to live a happy life.

  14. Luann says:

    Hi Hopeful,

    I’m not an expert on antidepressants and bipolar disorder. My doctor never prescribes them for his bipolar patients because all too often they induce mania. He often prescribes lamictal along with another mood stabilizer.

    Research shows that lamictal to be effective for bipolar depression.

    I’ve heard that many people find pot to be calming. I was raised during the hippy era and found that it only made me paranoid and hungry! Again, everyone is different.

    Glad your son is getting some rest and starting to feel better. One step at a time. The goal is long term stability and living a happy, healthy, and full life.

  15. Hopeful says:

    Thanks so much for your continued responses. The doctor has now increased his depakote to 1500 mg. at night with 50 mg. of Seroquel, also 500 mg. De[akote in the morning. We have done this for a few days and now he seems to be more manic!! He sleeps maybe 4 hours and for the last two days there is about a 5 hour period during the day where he is very very wound up. This doctor seems to only like to use Depakote, which doesn’t really seem to be helping him. He has ringing in his ears now, which I understand is a side effect of the Depakote. Next week, I will try to get him in to see another psychiatrist for a second opinion. We are going on almost one month of mania, although not dellusional, he is still manic. I’m beginning to panic because he is returning to school in about two weeks and he is still manic.
    Hopeful

  16. Cindy says:

    Luann, thank you for the reminders. I feel fortunate to have happened upon this site. I feel like I’m still reeling from the fallout of a psychotic manic episode that ended in severe depression and hospitalization 3 years ago. It’s been a long and winding road to recovery, but looking back, I do see progress. An episode like that can shake one’s sense of confidence and security to the core. I am grateful for the excellent mental healthcare I’m receiving, and as a note to HOPEFUL, medication regimes are always personal, but I have found a depakote in the a.m. and seroquel at night routine very helpful. I’ve learned I can never take depakote past 2 p.m. or I cannot sleep.

  17. Kevin says:

    This past year has been rough. I was first checked in the hospital last year during a manic episode, and again a month later. It has been one year of manic-free symptoms yet I feel different. Very tough to pick up on social cues, to gather my thoughts, etc. I feel better, yet am concerned about going back to the university I attended before my break. Also very tough to connect with people (I feel like Austin Powers who lost his mojo or something…lol) Any advice? Can anyone relate? Has it gotten any better?

  18. Luann says:

    Cindy, Thanks for your post. An episode can shake your sense of self and your confidence but over time your do recover and I think become much more aware of your self and your triggers.

    Kevin,What you describe sounds very familiar. Just give yourself plenty of time and find support structures at your university to help you continue on your recovery path. It does get better. Keeping your sleep, eating, exercise, study, and relaxation in a fairly fixed routine seems to help quite a few people. Hope you continue to improve as you move out of the Austin Powers mode! it will happen….

    Luann

  19. Gary says:

    I’m glad to have found this site as it helps me to feel a bit less isolated.
    I tend to have a major manic episode about every 3 or 4 years, about enough time to get settled in a job, routine and friends. My last was about 2 months ago and the same destructive pattern played out, lost all my possessions as i simply left my rent house deciding i would move to another city with no planning whatsoever. I never can detect the symptoms of mania by myself and won’t believe others when they suggest i need help. I lost several friends and family members friendship & love as well as losing assets. I wonder if any of you have any insight on apologizing to friends and family after they’ve been subjected to the bizarre behavior of mania?
    Possessions can be replaced, but losing folks who care about you is tough.

    • Belinda says:

      Just do it they love you 🙂

    • Gary says:

      Hi Gary,

      My 22-year old brother just went through his first manic episode eary this year and lost almost everything from all his money to his job (he decided to quit after he realized the lies he told) and his group of friends.

      He has been improving slowly but surely over the past year. My whole family including myself was so confused and helpless as to what to expect and no one really told us what to expect. But now I know better in hindsight.

      My brother has decided to apologize to one of his friends recently. I’m not sure how it went over but this realization came when he interacted with two people who acted just like he did when he was manic. That’s when he realized how the people around him must have felt. I told him he needs to explain bipolar to his friend but he says he feels like that is just an excuse. I understand how he feels but of course disagree. It would be an excuse if he was not committed to his recovery.

      Feel free to reach out any time. I would be happy to help.

    • a says:

      my close friend is going through a manic episode now. he cut me off after a week (was trying to convince him to go to the hospital), distrusts his parents too, has been blacklisted at work b/c of all the destructive stuff he’s done, and is now on the run from everyone. literally.

      we’re all at a loss at what to do, how to get through to him. he is on meds, but no one knows whether he’s taking them or not, or whether the dose is right. it’s devastating. i try not to think of some of the things he said to me, and just be supportive of his parents and somehow keep making sure we have a line of contact with someone somewhere in case he gets into trouble. but what’s going on in his head and how serious he is about what he said… everyone keeps telling me he will work on re-establishing our friendship once he’s better, but right now I am so lost, I don’t know what to do or think. Just at a complete loss and only hoping he’ll come back safe from his ‘trip.’

      So if you have any insights on what your thoughts are about the people you lost during the episode, that would be extremely helpful. On my side, I would think that reaching out and having an honest conversation would go a long way. But who knows.

  20. Hana says:

    I found all of these responses very comforting. I recently had manic episode and the recovery process is very slow. Doing anything seems really daunting, and my energy is exhausted very easily. It is incredibly hard to focus on anything.

  21. Luann says:

    Hi Hana,
    Recovery is a slow process. The frontal lobes are trying to work again and it just takes time for them to fire on all cylinders.

    Give yourself time and lots of positive thoughts.I’m so glad to hear that you are in recovery mode now.

  22. Luann says:

    Gary,
    I am wondering if you are taking a treatment medication consistently and if you still have major episodes while on medication. For me, taking the medications doesn’t stop all the episodes but it does make them less intense and destructive.

    When you are in an episode you absolutely feel like you are totally rational and don’t need help. I’ve been there too!

    I’d recommend checking in with your doc and changing up your medications and then putting a plan in place so that you get yourself some help before the episode gets the better of you.

    Best wishes to you.

  23. Tanner says:

    I love this website because I haven’t found one like it yet. I’m Bipolar I and I’ve been in a manic episode ever since June 11 and it is now November 13. That’s 5 months. We’ve tried lowering every pill I’m on with the doctor and we get to a certain point where we have to stop because of my mind. I hope you’re right about the frontal lobes as I’ve never heard of such. I just wonder how long it will take before I can get lower on my meds *Lithium, Lamictal, Seroquel* and start living like a person, not a robot with a monotone voice and facial features. Just how long do these annoying episodes last? None of my others have lasted this long!

    • Luann says:

      Hi Tanner,
      Glad you find this website useful. The only way I can manage my manic episodes is with Lithium. When really manic – the addons come in to play, seroquel and whatever else might be needed. I do believe that over time you learn to manage your moods before they get totally out of control. That’s just opinion and I’ll probably prove myself wrong. LOL I’m to the point in my life where I can take a very small amount of lithium 300mg per day and manage pretty well overall for long periods of time. But then as you know it’s a never ending battle and the mania monster can pounce without warning. Research does show that if you have episodes and don’t treat and manage them, then the disorder and the episodes increase in frequency and get worse. It’s called the “kindling” effect. So, I take my lithium everyday. I hope that you will soon be able to decrease your dosage and be on an amount that allows you to feel human and healthy and not like a robot.

      Hopefully, once you’ve got this episode behind you, you’ll have a long period of stability. Keeping my toes and fingers crossed for you.

  24. LeighAnne says:

    My husband suffers from Bipolar and had a manic episode about 2 months ago. He was hospitalized for a week. This is not the first episode he has ever had, but it is the first one I have seen since I have been married to him.

    Unbeknownst to me, after coming home from the hospital, he quickly stopped taking some of his meds due to his frustration with weight gain and about 2 weeks ago he had another episode. This one was less severe, hypomanic, and he was put in an outpatient program for a few days. He is now back at home and work and in a normal routine. I am also keeping him accountable with his meds so that this doesn’t happen again.

    For the most part he is acting just like himself again except for some grogginess which the dr. says is due to extra meds he is on right now. However, we have had a few conversations in the last week that have concerned me. He just isn’t thinking and rationalizing like he used to and seems to have a hard time letting go of the fact that what happened in his delusional state 2 months ago wasn’t real.

    It sounds like from what I have read above that I just need to give him more time because his brain is still healing, which is encouraging to me. I am just scared and desperately want my husband back. Any advice that could be offered about how to help him through this would be helpful. Thank you.

    • Luann says:

      Hi LeighAnne,
      Patience is the best advice I can offer you. It takes lots of time to start thinking correctly again and the person recovering isn’t really aware that their thinking is off until far along in the recovery process. At least that is how it was for me. Now, I look back and cringe at my behavior and just can’t understand how I could have been so far off in judgement. It’s great that you are monitoring his medication compliance. It’s important that he be compliant and see your monitoring as help.

      It sounds like you are doing all the right things. I wonder if getting some help from a counselor might be useful to help you both adjust and continue to move forward in your relationship as well as come to a firm agreement about being compliant with medications?

      Avoiding episodes as much as possible is key. The extra meds can be very sedating and slow down thinking processes as well. Once he is able to taper off the extra meds (without fear of another immediate episode) then you might see his thinking speed up a bit.

      Best wishes to you and your husband. You’ll get through it and be the stronger for it. Take it as a learning experience and apply what you learn so that you can help him avoid major episodes in the future. He’s very lucky to have you and your help.

  25. F says:

    Hello all, it is nice reading you. My friend has manic disorder and after 5 years he had his first attack 5 weeks ago. He recently got out of the hospital and was recovering. However, two days ago, all of a sudden, he had another relapse. Any idea what causes relapses. thanks a lot.

  26. Luann says:

    Greetings and thanks for posting your question. If he had such a quick relapse it sounds like he may not have enough medication to ensure that he pulls out of it and stays stable longterm. I hope he is working with his doctor so that he gets through the relapse quickly. It takes time to figure out the correct treatment so he will need to be patient and work very closely with his doctor. If you can encourage him to continue taking his medications that will help.

  27. Sarah says:

    My brother is experiencing his first manic episode at 21. He’s currently in icu, the staff are not being very helpful and we have only just been told that what he is experiencing is a manic/psychotic episode. Can anyone give me a rough timeline as to when this episode might end? The Dr has told us that my brother should be out of hospital by the 30th of December if not before and that he should also be able to continue studying at university. I’m not sure if that is possible or if the Dr is being nice and keeping our hopes up. I have no idea what he is going through and it is very distressing for all of us, I can only begin to imagine what he is feeling.

    • Luann says:

      Hi Sarah,
      I’m sorry that your brother is having a manic/psychotic episode. The best advice I can give you is to listen carefully to his doctor and ask lots of questions. The person treating him will have the best idea of how long this will last and what your brother will be able to do when he leaves the hospital. Every person with bipolar disorder is different and the way the illness expresses itself varies as well. I wish you and your brother all the best. Do lots of reading about the disorder and be prepared to give your brother lots of love and support when he gets to a point where he can accept it.

      Best wishes,
      Luann

  28. Lisa says:

    I am currently recovering from an episode that began as manic and ended in a mixed episode. I just happened on this site today, as I have been doing a *lot* more reading on some of my disorders. I still feel “damaged” I did my episode at home, bad idea. Does anyone else have MISERABLE manias’?

  29. Joanne says:

    My son who is thirty-one was diagnosed & years ago with Bi-Polar schizo-effective disorder. He has been hospitalized 6 times, his last hospitalization lasted 60 days and he signed himself out AMA. Now 2 years later his father and I recently had to have him legally sectioned to get him to a hospital for evaluation – he has now been there for 17 days and we see little improvement. During the periods where he was ‘functional’ he was on Lithium and Seroquel but constantly suffered from sleep issues and depression. (hard to treat) This illness is so heartbreaking and as a parent I feel so helpless. Like many comments made here, he seems to like living in the hypo-manic state…and although we have discussed that he needs to rely on his friends and family to know when he is in ‘danger’ he just does not believe it and then the mania monster awakens. My son always signs a HIPPA form so I am able to discuss his meds and ‘progress’ with the clinicians (he is in a VA Hospital) But how do I approach him on the importance of continuing to reach out for help once he is out of the hospital? I have spent a great deal of time educating myself about the illness, learning about support groups locally and through the VA.
    What do you find helpful, a therapist, peer support groups? I value your input and applaud your courage in dealing with this illness. I wish you all the very, very best.

  30. Luann says:

    Hi Joanne,
    I’m sorry to hear that your son is in the hospital and struggling. The hypo-manic state is addictive and it might help if he were to work with someone his psychiatrist, a therapist who knows bipolar disorder to get him to a point where he is more comfortable not being hypo-manic and learns to prefer another mood state.

    If he does not believe that he needs family and friends to give him feedback then he is probably “at that point in time” on his way into an episode and can’t reason properly. I find that reason goes out the window when I’m feeling good and I feel totally in control even though others are trying to tell me something isn’t right.

    Peer support groups might be very useful. He could get to know others in similar situations and build relationships over time.
    I used to go to a very well respected therapist for a few years before I was diagnosed. When I was diagnosed she refused to believe the diagnosis as she had encouraged some of my bad behaviors. So, my advice would be to be sure that your son finds a therapist who is an expert in bipolar disorder.

    I wish you and your son all the best and hope that others may come to this site, read your comment and offer some other ideas that you will find helpful.

  31. Shannon says:

    My twin sister had her 1st manic episode at age 24 out of no where in August 2011 We did not know she was bi polar and was told she was suffering from psychosis..She was put on zyprexa, Haldol & then Respirdol which made her go from manic to like a zombie and to the point she said she has suffered brain damage. She finally got back to her old self some and Then yet again in August 2012 She went back into mania. She was given Depakote and Also the respirdol invega injection. She is now back into depression and believe anti psychotics are to blame..Is it the meds or just recovering from episodes? please help, She is so young and doesent want to live, this has ruined our family

    • Luann says:

      Hi Shannon,
      I’m sorry to hear about your twin sister’s struggles with manic episodes. It’s interesting that both manic episodes happened in August. Some people have certain times of the year that they are more prone to episodes. It may just be a coincidence for your sister. The medications are very sedating and they do have significant side effects. I wonder if she tapered off a bit too much which led to another episode. Finding a balance in the medications and finding the right combination and dosage is hard. And learning to manage the illness takes time. Sometimes it takes several years or more. Patience is very important and having your support as a twin sister is crucial. She is very lucky to have you. Read as much as you can about the illness and know that longterm recovery is very possible. All my best to you and your sister.

  32. Jill says:

    Hello Shannon: You are right, some individuals may be especially sensitive to medications. I have a 22 year-old son with bipolar 1, who has experienced several manic episodes thus far. He was diagnosed at 18 years of age, and experienced his first episode in August as well, six months after graduating from high school. There is a huge learning curve for the individual suffering from the condition as well as for their family.

    If you and your sister can learn as much as possible from this website and other helpful resources, how individuals manage their illness and stay stable, that will be half the battle. There are a number of strategies working together which will lead to the most stable mood over time for the one struggling to live with bipolar. Mood stabilizing and/or anti-psychotic medications are one piece of the puzzle amongst a number of strategies for managing one’s mood for the long term. There is a featured article on the website right now, “Staying Well with Bipolar”, that will give you and your sister some insight and encouragement regarding a number of issues to be mindful of going forward.

    I would also encourage you to explore the Truehope Nutritional supplement website. This resource has a telephone support line with trained staff, who understand the various medications, and can offer nutritional support for those experiencing side effects. I have found this support network to be invaluable for assisting my son in his journey of dealing with medications and their side effects. There you will also find a number of short video clips of individuals and family members sharing their experiences of how the True Hope Nutritional Support has been instrumental in assisting individuals living with various mood disorders and their families.

    You are certainly right that the entire family is dramatically impacted, especially since manic episodes can be so devastating and dangerous for the individual suffering from the illness. I would say that educating yourselves as a family, and encouraging your sister to be as informed as she can be about this illness, will go a long way to her managing her condition in the future. People with bipolar do need support and encouragement from family and friends in order to have the best chance of managing their mood disorder effectively. This will require patience for you and for your sister as well, but the benefits will be well worth the effort you expend on your sister’s behalf.

  33. Shannon says:

    Thank you so much for your words, She is still in the depression and doesent want to live, no part of her life is normal and dont know why this happened to her, she says that she only got to live 22 years and now she is brain damaged for life. She hasnt taken any meds for the past 4 to 5 months,The meds made her have involuntary mouth movement and to the point she would barley talk.. We are concerned she will go into a manic state again without meds but believing with enough support and with supplements and amino acids and regular exercise and counseling that she wont. She also has alot of trouble sleeping now and also when she is in a manic episode..I pray for everyone that has struggled and dealt with this..I do believe there is hope and that just maybe God can completely restore her.

    • Luann says:

      Hi Shannon,
      Not taking medication for 4 or 5 months may not be the best strategy for your sister. There are a number of medications and combinations of medications that help tremendously and finding the right medication or combination can take time and patience. The side effects can be minimized when you work with a really competent psychiatrist. If your sister is talking about not wanting to live – it is time for you and your family to intervene and get her help. Exercise, counseling, and supplements are additional treatments but not the primary treatment for bipolar disorder. It certainly sounds like she is not well right now and needs medical help. Please think about it. Wishing you and your sister all the best in her recovery.

  34. Ben says:

    Hello everyone,

    This site has been extremely helpful for me, the illness we all share is complex and tiring. Reading all the comments and stories here really helped me gain a further understanding of manic depressive disorder.

    I am a 27 year old male, recently diagnosed with bipolar 1. I had my manic episode in October of last year, I wasn’t sleeping, exercising vigorously and doing and saying things I would normally never do; for example, I proposed to this girl I knew only as friends, she was completely weirded out and it unfortunately ruined our friendship. Luckily most of my mania was around my family, who were very concerned and only wanted to help. I was hospitalized for an afternoon and then taken to an out patient mental health center.

    It took some strong medications to calm me down at the center and then I was on zyprexa for a number of months. The side effects of zyprexa really started wearing on me and I’m glad I’m finally off of it. I am now taking abilify, which seems to be working, keeping me stable. I’m curious if anyone else is taking abilify for manic depressive disorder? Most of the research I have done says lithium is the medication most used and I’m wondering if that would be better for me. Although abilify does seem to be working, it can give me some insomnia side effects which make me worried I could have another manic episode.

    I suffered through the depressive stage afterwards, which was incredibly tough. But because I’ve only had one major manic episode i already can tell my brain is starting to get back to a more normal state. It did take some big life changes ( I used to be a chronic pot smoker and probably drank a bit too much, which may have all been triggers for my mental illness) but I am starting to feel a lot better.

    Sorry for the long post, this is the first time I’ve shared my story. To others suffering with this illness, read everything you can about it. The more you know and understand, the easier I think it is to cope with it. I do not want to have another episode, and I going to do everything I can to prevent it, even if it means taking medications and dealing with the side effects. I want my old brain back so that I can possibly go back to grad school.

    Thanks for sharing everyone, best of luck!

    • Joe says:

      Ben, and all us readers, Bi-Polars and families: Forgive yourselves because no matter what you were doing before your diagnosis – if you had a mania and ended up in a hospital it means that you were going to deal with these mental health issues. I’m responding to Ben’s concern about being a pot smoker. I had NEVER smoked pot and got the illness. After 10 years of medication I actually used pot for 9 years and it was the most productive and balanced period I had. BUT once a mania came back even the pot did not help. To all the families who deal with this my heart goes out to us all. One thing people think is HOW LONG will it take till someone is better. Well, you may see symptoms subside but the illness never goes away and it will require a lifetime of management patience and understanding. If you love someone with this illness please be there afterwards if they let you back into their life. Let them know that you know the true character and heart of the person that they don’t have to be embarassed about what happened. If a person had a heart attack or stroke while driving their car on the highway you’d have compassion for them and not be mad that they needed a new car and you wouldn’t focus on all the destruction. Would you? Mental health is no different and we can all just do the best we can do. Follow a good diet and exercise program and realize that there is really nothing anyone can do to prevent a mania. Taking pills IS necessary because it may reduce the number of episodes but eventually we must accept there is always a possibility of one coming on. Discussing the response to your episode with your family and friends is important…. like have someone cancel your credit cards or whatever strategy you can come up with. I’m working on this right now at 51 after my 5th episode since I was 25. Good luck and much love to us all. I’m so blessed that my parents took me in because each time I lost a house, job, car, spouse and more. I don’t have any more answers today and as my parents are aging I must adjust and find new solutions. Blessings and Love to us all.

    • Listener says:

      I am glad to read all your stories.What we all suffer from is something hard to live with and only family can understand and true friends.I had my first episode 6 years back and its been scary getting back to grad school.Always saw myself earning a phd but after the graduating top of my class and later realizing what i had was inevitable,I gave up on life.But reading all this stories and comments has given me a new lease.

    • Jennifer says:

      Hi Ben,

      Thank you for this read. I am 27, lost my job, relationship due to a manic episode. They still don’t know if it is drug induced or bipolar. They over medicated me and I am still feeling the effects. I am just wondering how long it took you to recover. I’ve hit the depression but we aren’t sure if its from the meds they gave me or a side to being bipolar. Its been two months since the mania has stopped but I still feel slow and brain dead. Too much mental stimulation exhausts, is this something you experienced as well or should I chalk this up to the side effects of the drug they injected me with (Invega/ Paliparidone)?

      Thanks 🙂

  35. Mara says:

    My husband has been in a manic episode since April 2011 and it has been absolutely horrible. He seems to be coming out of it ever so slowly. A lot of financial damage has been. I am worn out and hoping for the best. I love him but am very worried about our future. Thank you for all the positive posts!

  36. Karyn says:

    To Mara, feeling the exact same way about my husband. I’ve been married to him for 18 years, been with him for 24 years. He has always had episodes of depression as far as I can remember. About 6 years ago he had a mania episode that lead to him cheating and quitting his job. At that time I did not fully understand bi-polar or mania, but we got through it and it did pass. He has not had another mania episode until about 3 or 4 weeks ago. How I could tell that he was in one was his high level of interest and energy in meeting with a couple high school girlfriends that he had on his FB page. A week later I found out that he was having an on-line affair with one of them. Since then his doctor and I have convinced him to stop all communications with this person, but the damaging behavior manifests in other ways. He has a gambling problem and is ruining us financially. Lately he has had high levels of irritability and says he needs to leave the house or refuses to talk to me. His doctor has lowered his anti-depressant and increased the mood stabilizer. I’m exhausted by his behavior. I have two children whom I am trying to keep their lives unaffected by all of this. I love him dearly and just keep hoping for him to come out of this, but I honestly don’t know how much longer I can keep going on like this.

    • Joe says:

      Karyn, I’m curious as to where are you know in the situation. With hindsight I can say that having advance directive talks with the Bi-Polar person is important. This cannot be achieved just after a mania as the depressions dulls the mind too much. But somewhere along the way one must put in place with the bi-polar person a plan that they agree to when they are well, such as, You will cancel or collect the credit and depit cards, they go on a cash only basis, no solo trips to the stores or whatever ideas you need to feel safe…. maybe there is a facility where they can check into —- Good luck. Protect yourself and find a way to love this person. If he had cancer it’d cost you lots too…. It is an illness like any illness and no one asked for it.

  37. BeerMan says:

    I apparently have BPD but that was diagnosed 8 years ago when I was in High School. But after an attempt on my own life which cost me my left leg (long story and today is the one year anniversary)I am debating what to do. I was already very depressed before this and I woke up from my coma feeling worse. I lied to people as to how it happened but my immediate family knows because I left a suicide note. I am in my mid 20′ s and suicidal thoughts come and go. Was put on the same medications I was on before the incident and to be frank I am tired of medications not only because of the side effects but I just have gotten anywhere with them. So here are the options I am considering

    A. Ask my Psych for a new anti depressant (I have gotten this answer from him multiple times) try lithium try abilify try zyprexa and I say well you have already prescribed these they did not work, and then usually he will just go off topic somehow and will never try to apply a new antidepressant like an SSRI or anything besides things that failed or a new anti psychotic.

    B. I stop taking my “medication” and I have tried this a few times usually I cannot sleep for days and eventually go back to taking them but I added a new option of just drinking until I pass out and hopefully the insomnia goes away with time and from what I have read it takes 6 months to years and years to recover from drugs.

    C. Get yet another doc which will be my 4th one but the last 3 have been in the past 2 years when the doc I had for 6 years kicked me out because I told her I was abusing my medication.

    And honestly I am leaning towards option B. because eventually when I turn 26 I will no longer have health insurance to be able to afford my drugs so why not stop early?

    • Luann says:

      I’m wondering whether you have Borderline Personality Disorder or Bipolar Disorder? You wrote BPD and that usually stands for Borderline Personality Disorder. Your post has a depressed tone to it and I’d suggest calling your doc right away. I know that for many people taking an antidepressant does not help, in fact it makes the situation worse. I like your A. option. I’d try that one first and if you aren’t feeling better after following your doc’s advice and medication regime, then I’d try C. Getting a new doc might be helpful. From the way you describe yourself, it sounds like you are not very compliant with the docs you’ve had and they can’t force you to take your meds. It’s really up to you to seek the help you need to start getting better. I’m sorry that you are suffering. You are young and can have a really cool and productive life ahead of you, if you give yourself half a chance. Best wishes to you. Stay strong and start relying on others to help you when you can. Be a friend to youself and don’t give up!!!

  38. Sam says:

    Thank you! I have felt largely lost in the midst of my daughter’s manic eoisode, which started over 6 weeks ago and involved 3 1/2 weeks in the hospital. She is 25, was diagnosised at 16. We have never had an episode like this one, which was the result of a poorly managed adjustment in medication. My question is this: After a long episode, I understand it will take a while formher thinking to clear, but is ther a possibility that she will not return to the same level of functioning as before?

    Thanks.

    • Luann says:

      Hi Sam,
      It takes quite a while for the brain to start functioning well again. For me, after my manic episode in 2008, it took over a year before I was able to feel confident that I was thinking as well as before. With the right treatment and time, I have every hope that she will return to her same level of functioning. I’d ask her doctor and get a medical opinion. Also, I’d be very interested to hear what her doctor says about recovering all cognitive functiong over time. Have you ever read or watched any of Jay Carter’s works. His daughter has bipolar disorder and he has lots of great info about dealing with it. http://www.jaycarter.net/ Best wishes for your daughter’s speedy recovery.

    • Sam says:

      Checking back in. My daughter has now been in three different hospitals since this episode started in February. She was discharged from the first, to continue out-patient. Delusions have been constant, She reved back up and was admitted to a second facility. Recommended ECT after a week, and we moved her to where she is now. She had 9 ECT treatments, and they are still working to find the right meds. Prone to manic outbursts and still delusional. Present facility says we may need to move her someplace with more resources.

      • Luann says:

        I’m so sorry to hear that your daughter is having such a tough time recovering. Have the ECT treatments helped? I wish you and your daughter all the best. I also wish I had more options to offer. It must be very frustrating for you. Be patient and make sure that you and your daughter are working working with a health care team that you respect and trust. Thanks for checking back in. Please let me know how things progress over time for your daughter. I hope you have a support system in place for you as well.

  39. Justin says:

    I’m not sure if I’m posting in the right place but I’ve looked everywhere for help!
    Yesterday I took my younger brother into the hospital to be evaluated because of his strange behavior.
    -He has barely slept in 4 days (maybe an hour or two at a time at most) yet he is full of energy and pep
    – He has started to talk irrationally about things, for instance he thought he had to go to school at 10:00PM on a Sunday
    -He is super dedicated to stating his mind all of the sudden, and he wants to relay his opinion to each and ever person he knows
    – He continues to make stories in his mind and state that they are real, For instance he hought my mother was married to one of his friends and told my mother this

    All of these things and he is sure that he’s “fine”.
    He’s 15 years old, otherwise in a healthy condition, very active and usually very level headed.

    At the hospital a drug test was given to rule out that possibility, all came back negative.
    An MRI was given to rule out possible head injuries.
    And after this he was given a psych evaluation in which he was released in 15 minutes.

    I’ve look up Manic episodes and they were the closest thing I could find and described much of his behavior.

    My question is what can I do to help him if this is a manic episode?
    How long will it last?
    Will his state of mind always be like this?
    What could of triggered this to happen all of the sudden?

    • Luann says:

      Hi Justin,
      Take him to a psychiatrist in your area for a more thorough evaluation. It sounds like a manic episode with psychosis. He needs help. I’m amazed that the hospital let him go. If it is bipolar disorer, there are some very effective treatments to help manage the illness. First, he will need to be evaluated by a psychiatrist. Then, he will need to work with his psychiatrist to find a treatment that works for him. Hope that helps. Take your brother to a qualified psychiatrist. No one can say how long an episode will last but the sooner he is treated the faster it will resolve. His state of mind will not always be like this but if he does not get treatment his episodes may become worse over time. It’s hard to say what may have triggered this. He may be able to figure that out later but right now his brain is not working well enough to do that. It is very typical for a manic person to believe that they are just fine. Best wishes to both you and your brother. Keep us posted.

  40. Janet says:

    I took my son the the Dr and then to the ER yesterday because he has been acting “confused” and saying things that don’t make sense.After a 7 hour Er ordeal I was sent home with NOTHING!! The Er Dr. told me they would have someone call me in the morning for a consult. I should mention that my son is only 14 years old with no other behavioral history. The problem is there is NO HELP for children like this. I went through the same ordeal with my 15 year old daughter and she was diagnosed as having mixed depression with psychotic features.I have an appt for my son in one day but I feel helpless. (He was given bloodwork and a CT scan at the hosp to rule out drug use or a head injury)

    • Luann says:

      I hope that your son is doing better and that they’ve found a diagnosis for what is going on with him. Best wishes to you both!

  41. Mina says:

    I grew up with a brother who was and still is suffering from bipolar 1. When I was younger his manic episodes were nightmares and so scary. His marriage ended up in divorce with two wonderful kids that are grown ups now. I am aware of all the signs of this disorder, but my question is how come his manic episode doesn’t end. He has been high during the past year or so with no sign of depression. He’s been taking his medication according to the blood work. Right now he is manic. Could it be that he has something new besides bipolar? How can I help him when I live so far away from him. Another sad part is that my husband has been diagnosed with bipolar 2. He has been depressed for the past 4 years. He has been on almost all the psychiatric drugs and none has been Helping him with his depression and anxiety. I live in a country far away from my family to get any support from them. I have two boys ages 8 and 12. I am starting to feel depressed myself. It’s been hard for me to smile lately. I am worried about my kids, knowing they have the genes from both sides and myself that have no power to face this ugly disease again. How can I prevent that from happening to my kids when the air in my house is so depressed. Somedays I feel like I am strong and I will get through this and some days like today I feel so hopeless. Could that be a sign that I myself may have this disorder? Are there any places to go and meet the families that are going through the same.
    Thank you

    • Luann says:

      Hi Mina,
      It sounds like you may want to consult with a professional to just get more information and to reassure yourself. That would be where I’d start. Bipolar Disorder has a genetic component but not everyone in a family where Bipolar Disorder is present gets the disease. Don’t hesitate to make an appt. for yourself. I like getting information from experts who know alot about the disorder. Best to you. Keep us posted.

  42. Mitch says:

    I wish people would post what happened in these actual episodes. I know it’s a sensitive subject on a case by case basis but I feel it would ony enlighten the reader/sufferer on how to relate to other people coping with the disease/illness/sickness/mental instability. I plan to tell my story someday but in a book since there’s so much that interconnects throughout my life to my epic life-altering episode. Maybe one day.

  43. Whitney says:

    I am having horrible manic episodes and after reading this website and some soul searching, I realize it is one continuous episode. I am at my wits end. I have alienated just about everybody who cares about me and that, in turn, makes the manic feelings worse. I am on Seroquel and Lithium and nothing is helping. I still have suicidal thoughts, but I KNOW I will not act on them like I did in August. I guess I have no choice but to go back to my doctor and find some other medication combo. I feel so alone and finding this forum has been a lifesaver. Thank you.

    • Luann says:

      Hi Whitney,
      Great thinking on your part. I totally encourage you to go back to you doctor and try a few other medications and combinations until you find the right combo that works for you. I’ve been through many medication changes over the last 7 years and know that I will most likely have to do some more changing as my situation changes. Thank you for posting on this site. I’m so glad that you found the information helpful.

  44. Annie says:

    Hi. I’m new to just how severe a manic episode can be. My boyfriend (and boss), I know, not a good combination, is going through a severe manic episode. He has been taking wellbutrin, prozac, ritalin and smoking a lot of pot with no mood stabilizer. From what I have been educating myself on, the antidepressants have probably triggered the mania. A month ago, we had professed our forever love to one another, told me he loved me in the morning, and sent me a text several hours later telling me that my stuff was on the side of the house, and to not come to work the next day and call in sick. A text. All my things were in garbage bags. We were living together. He has subsequently blamed me for all wrong in his life. I wasn’t doing my job. I’m not a good partner. His feelings have been all over the map. He offered me a severance of three months. He called back a 1/2 hour later to ask if I can take him through the transition while I clean up my mess at work. Let me say, as of yesterday, there have been 9 people in 6 months who have either quit or been fired. He verbally attacked the woman who quit yesterday with such force and also hit his hand on her desk and threw papers off it. The EDD claims have come in stating “hostile environment”. He is extremely cruel to me, and I finally told him on Monday that I am not coming in anymore because I cannot handle the abusive behavior any longer. One night, if I didn’t have my car locked, I believe he would have physically attacked me….such rage! He sent me the cruelest texts after I said that I was not coming back to work. I did not respond. He shut my phone off the next day. Also, the car I drive is owned by him, and I am unclear whether or not he is going to pay me my last check and vacation time. I love this man dearly, and I know that it is the mania that has overcome him. We went to see his psychiatrist and psychologist, and they both recommended that he detox in a hospital and get medicated properly. He refused. He agreed to give me his ritalin, and a week later came to the house I own and found and took it back. He has hidden all his meds from me. Like a drug addict. Any suggestions for someone who put all her eggs in one basket and got thrown out with the garbage?

    • Anna says:

      To Annie,
      I seem to be experiencing a lot of what you are and feel so helpless. My common-law husband is currently in a state of Manic Psychosis which began just over two weeks ago. When at his doctor’s office Friday, he was very irritated, beligerant and acting very strangely, causing the doctor to issue a Form 1 and contact the police to have him picked up and hospitalized. We went through the very same situation last year November, but that was for a cocaine-induced psychosis episode that he was exerpiencing. He refuses medication, is not sleeping or eating and thinks everyone is out to get him. They want to give him an olanxapine in the hospital to treat the psychosis but he is refusing to take anything, convinced himself that he is being drugged by everyone. The evening before he was hospitalized, he called me continuously for 10 hours, leaving me the most horrendous and cruel text messages.
      Posts and websites suggest that this manic episode could last months. I’m not sure how to deal with it if he is not willing to co-operate. He has for some time felt that medication is poison and will not take any but in his condition, suspected diagnosis of Bipolar 1 with psychosis, he needs it. I love him more than anything but this has taken such a toll on me. After last years’ experience with the cocaine-induced psychosis, I was not sure if I could handle it again. The doctor in the ER assured me that this time was different that there was no drugs present, and that this was a manic episode with psychotic behaviour. The psychiatrist also made a comment to me about his `sexual appetite` and I`m beginning to wonder if he has strayed in the last two weeks since moving out. He has continued to state, even in his cruel messages, that he loves me and has found God, telling me that he has forgiven everyone and we need to ask for forgiveness. I`m so confused and feel all alone.

  45. Philip Hauser says:

    Philip
    Hi, I just had a Manic Episode and it lasted about a week with mild symptoms happening, for about two to three weeks. I am recoverying good thanks to my family and Ex-girlfriend. I lost my job because of things I did during this last episode and I was wondering is there any laws concerning bipolar people that could help me get my Job back.

    • Anna says:

      Hi Philip,
      I would think that there would be some sort of legislation that protects people who suffer from mental illness. Where do you live?
      Anna

  46. Lucia says:

    My brother has been ill with some sort of infection the last 3 weeks. He was put on antibiotics and after that his personality and behviours were changing. He was overly positive and saying things like this is the new me. We also had been occasionally smoking pot, and thursdy might have done an exceasive mount. His gf came home and he was saying he saw my moms deceased uncle, wanting to hook up spekers for the world to hear music, and saying he had a message to tell the world. It was. Struggle to get him to emerg where he had to be restrined:( they moved him ip to the pusch nicu. All we are told is it might have been a pyschosis manic (i think its called) episode and bow its mania. Hes been in there 4 days and they are trying to help him w meds to find. Balance. Tomorrow we have to see the docs and hope to get an MRI done if he’ll cooperate. Could doing the pot, being sick , and the antiobiotics have began this manic state? Doea it where off? Any kther advice on what to ask the doctors??

  47. Thad says:

    Hi, I have type 2 bipolar and went through one of the worst hypomanic episodes I have ever had. I take cipralex, and lamictal meds. I am having problems with my sleep cycle now. I go through periods where I can not sleep, and have to take sleep meds, and then other times I sleep 14 to 16 hours straight. I am lucky that I am able to work on my own schedule because I work for myself as a metal sculpture artist, but I have had no urge to do any work, or had any creative thoughts for weeks now. Should I keep forcing myself to sleep with meds, and should I force myself to get out of bed to do something, or just sleep?

  48. Gracie says:

    Hi, I recently spent a week in the hospital for a manic episode then was able to return home. I am finding recovery to be slow. I hate feeling dim-witted and confused and just blank a lot of the time, and I’ve been very depressed about that. I feel better reading in this thread that it is normal for it to take awhile. Also, I have 2 small children at home and am finding it hard to focus and manage everything, though luckily I have help from my family. Are there any resources for bipolar parents, especially of little kids? I have been waffling between despair and hope for the future and just living literally one day at a time.

  49. Ian H. Erlandsen says:

    Phillip,
    You could formally request, in writing, for your employer to take you back under the Americans with Disabilities Act. You would state you were I’ll at the time of the incident which lead to your termination. You now want that termination reviewed based on your psychiatrist’s diagnosis and the particulars of the ADA.

  50. Belinda says:

    My husband has recently been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder 1 and after a horrific few weeks where I tried to support him through he has been hospitalised. They now have him on lithium and he is taking valium on a regular basis. I go and see him and he is so hyperative all the time I can’t even get his attention for a couple of minutes. He complains of racing thoughts and says nasty things and yells at me and I know it is the disease but I am feeling helpless. Are things going to get better? Will he go back to being the man that I married or is this what I can expect from this point forward…..

  51. Elli says:

    We have a daughter who has been diagnosed bipolar, more on the severely depressive side. Had hallucinations about 4 months ago, now has pychosis episode with voices mostly negative for over week. Psych is not recommending hospital, she has small children and too distracted by voices to care. They are attempting to adjust meds, however they have yet to get the cocktail correct. The only relief she has had was during pregnancy, however body was still acting up with blackouts and delusional regression for about a week. Is there a “typical length of time for voices and will meds be the only solution or is there other therapy..ECT worked for a short period for depression but very short lived.

  52. GregM says:

    I read that omega-3 was being used for psychiatric disorders and gave it a try for myself. It didn’t work, but I noticed that after 13 years my urine had no calcium sediments in it anymore. Before omega-3 supplements any extra calcium I ate showed up as extra urine sediment. I then read that calcium was important for proper neuron function and added calcium supplements to my diet thinking that I might not be getting enough. I increased the amount until I started seeing calcium sediments in my urine again. My mental symptoms stopped then. I believe the mechanism for the success of omega-3 is through its ability to allow the body to maintain a higher blood level of calcium. Higher calcium levels are known to reduce the level of excitability of neurons. Perhaps omega-3 allows the kidneys to reabsorb calcium to a level that satisfies all the body’s requirements.

    • Luann says:

      Interesting GregM. Have you talked with a doc about calcium supplements or did you take them on your own and then find that your your symptoms stopped? I’ve not heard of the relationship between Omega 3 and Calcium. What symptoms did the combination of Omega 3 and Calcium stop?

      • GregM says:

        I was diagnosed as bipolar but I had weekly symptoms of anxiety, panic, inability to concentrate, psychosis, and seizures. I haven’t experienced any mental symptom since starting calcium a couple of months ago. I didn’t talk to any doctors about the calcium.

  53. Kathy says:

    My 18 year old son has just gone through a very severe manic episode that lasted five weeks. He came down from it three weeks ago, and is on several meds, Depakote, Zyprexa, and Tegretol. He is sleeping from 11:00 pm to about 2:00 p.m., and my gut feeling about this is that he is exhausted from the mania and needs to sleep as much as he can. But I’m wondering if that much sleep is common after a manic episode. The doctor told him not to get a job for a few months, and it’s okay with me for him to just take it easy. I’m just not sure if I should encourage him to sleep as much as he wants, or if I should be pushing him to get up and do something. Once he’s up, he is a bit subdued, but has not fallen into a major depression. So my main question is about the sleep that someone needs after a manic episode. Thanks for your help!

    • Luann says:

      Best to check with his doctor. My doc says that 7 1/2 hours is optimal for the brain when it is functioning normally. I can see the need for extra sleep to let the body and brain recuperate from the energy expended during a manic episode, but sleeping until 2pm every day seems a bit much. Might be just right but I’d rely on his doctor’s information regarding getting jobs, amount of sleep, and what activities are ok. etc. Hope that helps!

  54. LizzieMac says:

    My 34 yr old son just had his 5th hospitalization due to manic episode. He was trying to reduce lithium dosage went from 600-300 and could not sleep-which is what basically caused the episode. He is having bad the side effects from lithium and is worried about kidney damage, so does not want to take Lithium again. The doc in a hospital put him on it after a severe episode in 2012. Before that he was on Lamictal and Abilify and was doing fine. (till he stopped sleeping one summer and we did not know about Zyprexa)
    He has been home here for 5 days and is only able to get a good night;s sleep taking zyprexa at night. He is a little drowsy and having a bit of rapid speech and fast thoughts, but other than that he feels much better. He slept only 7 hours last night (with zyprexa) Should I be concerned. What do I watch for?

    He is on Abilify (dosage was upped to 15 mg) and LAmictal (100 mgs now which will be increased to 200 in 2 weeks)
    A worried mom
    LizzieMAc

    • Luann says:

      It sounds like you are doing everything that a worried mom can do. It’s very important that he stay on his medications. Stopping the medications can definitely induce a manic episode. Watch for the signs that you know he exhibits when he is starting to go into an episode and call his doctor immediately if you see any indication that he is getting manic. Best wishes to you and your son. He’s very lucky to have such a loving and caring mom.

      • LizzieMac says:

        Thanks so much for your response Luann. He is back at work now and doing better this week. Not the rapid speech and fast flights of fanciful ideas as last week. He is however very tired after a long day and is sleeping a lot- falls asleep between 7:30-9:00PM. but then awakens sometimes at 5 or 6 AM. He gets up and goes to his 2 jobs and sometimes works out in between them at his gym.
        He feels that the Zyprexa (20 mgs) may be making him too sleepy and maybe the Psych doc can reduce it a bit tomorrow (he has been on that dosage for about 3 weeks) Also does the Zyprexa actually make him very sleepy?? or this him coming down from a manic episode as well and catching up on sleep. I am a bit confused. Again thanks for your advice

        • Luann says:

          Zyprexa is a very strong drug and very effective for many people. I found that it made me very calm and able to cope when I was recovering from a manic episode but I was certainly sleepy on it. Perhaps his doc can lower the dose a bit and see if that helps. Glad to hear that he is doing better.

      • LizzieMac says:

        Any idea what causes the night terrors? They are really horrible and he has just been having them for the last year. He has been on Abilify, lamictal and lithium. Recently switched out the lithium for Zyprexa as the he was not feeling well with lithium (unpleasant side effetcs)

        • Luann says:

          Hi, Not sure what causes the night terrors. I know that many people with bipolar disorder also deal with considerable amounts of anxiety and some have panic attacks as well. Not everyone but it is not unusual. Not sure if the night terrors are related to the illness or to the medications or to something else altogether. Let me know what you find out about them.

        • Hollie says:

          I read somewhere that continuous night terrors can be a sign of mental illness

        • Luann says:

          Hi Hollie,
          I’m not sure whether it indicates mental illness but it definitely indicates that something in the brain is not working correctly. Certainly worth a trip to see a good psychiatrist. Thanks for your comment.

  55. Maria says:

    I not only was misdiagnosed for 35 years, but doctors fire me for struggling with the devastating side effects of medication. Doctors are clueless and harsh with this bipolar illness. Stigma is too mild a word. The hospitals were nasty as well. I have lost everything. My mother is crazy with worry, and I am in severe physical pain that no one will treat.

  56. sarah says:

    Hi Everyone,

    My sister has just experienced her first manic episode and has been hospitalized. I’m not sure how long the episode has lasted, but my parents and I noticed her change in behavior a few weeks ago. She has been searching for a job for 8 months now and finally found a great job, but quit it after 3 days due to her episode.

    Right now I would like advice on how to help my sister as I do not fully understand what she is going through. My parents live close to her and visit her daily at the hospital. I, however, live in a different state and have not seen or talked to her since she was hospitalized (we are very close and usually talk every 1-3 days). She didn’t want me to know and has asked my parents to not visit her.

    Should my parents still visit her?
    Should I go visit her (I don’t mind taking time off school and soon will be on summer break)?
    What should we and I expect while she recovers?
    How do I help her handle the lost of her job after looking for so long?
    What is the best thing I can do to support her through this?
    How do I make sure she has a good doctor?
    How do I make sure the doctors give her the best treatment?
    What are things that I should NOT do?
    I also appreciate any readings or articles as I’m very new to the subject.

    Thanks in advance.

    • John says:

      I have heard lots of helpful comments about dealing with mania on this forum but very little talk about depression.For me mania always is followed by depression and that can linger a lot longer than mania.A lot of the recovery times a have read on this forum seem to me to be very short and not to include the depression which inevitably follows mania.Mania is a exciting subject and much more easy to talk about than depression but failed ways of managing depression often lead in to mania for bipolar sufferers.

  57. Tausha says:

    This Site is so helpful. I am struggling through a manic episode right now. Being that I have had a clear diagnosis of bipolar disorder since 2011, but before that I struggled not knowing what was wrong with me. But now I know and I recognize when I am in a manic state. I gave been off my meds for a nice little while now, and at first it feels wonderful feeling like I can do anything and my work doesn’t suffer because I can Sen to multi task. Now I’m over 3 weeks in with this and I am reaching the angry, hateful, irritable stage. I know it’s wrong but I can’t stop it, in which which I now am feeling like my skin is not my own, and I am dying to get out of it. I’ve blown up on my husband, and my kids are getting the short end of the stick. I started my lithium again yesterday, and made an appointment to get in with my psych Dr. ASAP! I mean I can start the meds with no problem, but how do I stay on track with the meds. I can’t keep on feeling like this, and next time may warrant A trip to the hospital. Anyone have ideas or suggestions?

    • Luann says:

      Get to your doctor right away and try and find a way to recall how bad it feels after it feels great! You can do so much damage to yourself and the ones you love if you are unable to stay on your meds and maintain a good balance. I can totally relate to what you are describing. I’m impressed that you are self aware enough at this point in an episode to know that you are manic. That’s a GREAT start! Get help and support. Do whatever it takes to get back to a balanced mood. Best wishes to you. Hope this passes quickly for you!

  58. Neil says:

    My 28 year old wife of almost 2 years (8 years relationship together before that) has been in the mania phase since end March. She was never diagnosed with any problems and this is her first phase.

    It is scary to say the least, she started changing plans overnight and coming up with new ideas like studying abroad, buying a new expensive car, etc… To cut the story short, our marriage started breaking up because of all these daily arguments and it came to a point which she left home.

    I didn’t know she was going through a mania because I never heard of any such cases, I knew she was not sleeping and waking up full of energy but never thought this was the beginning of a problem. I’ve talked to a GP about the non sleeping problems and I was referred to a Psychiatrist in which he told me that she is passing through this.

    Unfortunately, after not taking medications because she feels good, 4 different psychiatrists suggested to hospitalise her because she might involuntary harm herself. She took it against me big time, she does not want to talk to me, blocked me from calling her, restricted me from visiting her ward and told me she’s filing for divorce and that she does not love me anymore.

    Flashback to 3 months before, we were living our life, very happy with each other although we had some normal arguments every now and then but of course this mania phase strained our marriage so much that she met other boys, started communicating with them on a daily basis and perhaps she also lost the feelings for me.

    It feels like she was taken from me and this is definitely not the woman I married and knew for 10 years. She says there is no more chemistry between us and this has been coming a long way. She is in hospital being medicated, took the pills since Sunday (4 days only). In your experience do you think she is running too fast? will she change her mind about me? I’m not sure who is talking here… as far as I know she was happy and never told me she wants to divorce me apart from these last 2 months when the mania kicked in.

    • Camille says:

      Hi Neil. I’m so sorry to hear your story. Mine is at the bottom if you are interested. I really would love to hear how you are your wife are doing now? I hope everything has turned out well for you?

  59. Luann says:

    Hi Neil,
    So sorry to hear how things have escalated but she is getting help now. That’s important. Be very patient. When I came to – back to myself – I was so embarrassed by my behavior and shocked. It took a while to get out of the episode. I did apologize to my husband and we are together. Now I’m aware and always watching for signs of mania as is my husband, son, and mother. There is hope but you need to learn as much about the disorder as you can if you want to stay with your wife. Give her some time. 4 days on meds if not long enough. You did the right thing getting her help. Best to you and to your wife in her recovery.

    • Neil says:

      Thanks Luann for your prompt feedback. I’m trying to learn as much as possible about the illness and how I can support her in the future if she ever returns back to the person she was.

      She is admitting she has a problem and she feels getting better but I guess she’s not acknowledging the damage this illness has made to our relationship and her life in general. Perhaps it’s still too early.

      I find it strange that she’s like this with me (and to some extent her sister), to all other people she’s like a pot of gold, fun, jolly and intelligent. Sometimes I get confused whether she really means what she’s saying or it’s the illness speaking. But then again, why did she take it against me in the first place? Ok we had some arguments during the first mania signs but where did the love of 10 years go?

      I hope one day soon she will recognise this, if she does not, I truly believe I’ve been a good husband and supported her as much as I could, I discovered what her problem is and worked so hard to get her to the point to get professional care, along the way damaging myself.

      I would be extremely sad to see her go away after the illness is passed because I love her so much and that would mean we’ve won the battle but lost the war.

    • jt4567 says:

      Dear Luann,
      It is nice to hear that you apologized to your husband and you were embarrassed by your behavior not that you need to be embarrassed but the fact that you apologize gives me hope not all bipolar sufferers are like my husband. This is his 2nd manic episode since I’ve been married to him. This current episode has been going on since at least August 10th. After his episode in 2012 not only did he not apologize to me but blamed me for his mania. (this was after he got well) Granted he is still in mania now but tells everyone including myself that this is my fault when I did NOTHING to cause it. I try to help him eat healthy, not drink, take on less stress in his life and remember to take his meds. He fights me at every turn and then blames me for the episodes.

  60. Ana says:

    I have went through my first manic episode two years ago. I was on antidepressants prior to that. At the end so January I have returned to the doctor and was given Lithium and Saphris. I have been given diagnosis of bipolar I i am currently taking lithium, seroquel, lorazepam and lexapro. It has been very rough times since I am now officially separated and will be going through divorce. I am scared.
    I have still moments of extreme anxiety. I was under impression that seroquel helps with anxiety, depression and sleep. I am still very depressed. During my manic episode I did not work for year and a half. Now I am back at work, but have worries that I will be able to keep the job(it is very slow). I am still struggling with accepting thE illness as part of my life.

  61. Cath says:

    Hi I have been with my boyfriend for 8 years, He was diagnosed with bipolar 12 year ago. He told me after we had been together for a year, although i already had an idea. I made the decision to stay with him, it wasn’t a hard decision he is such a wonderfull person and for the most part over the last 8 year we have been very happy. While there have been some issues he hasn’t had any episodes until now and I am devistated. He is very poorly. I feel that I didn’t know enough to handle the situation and I feel like I have let him down. I feel like he has let me down too as he didnt prepare me enough or take the risk of a relaps serious enough to prepare. I tried to get him help but it was like no one was listening to me or seeing how sick he was. In the end he had a massive psychotic episode and is in hospital. My family hit the roof, his family are supportive but I’m sick of them pointing out the warning signs that I didn’t know we’re warning signs, I’m angry with them for not telling me and they are makinh me feel like an idiot Or like they know him best. Now I don’t know what part of the last 8 year is him and what part is the bipolar who do I love and who have I lost. I feel like the only person who would understand how I feel or that i could talk to is him. I’ve had to take time off work and I really need to go back but for the first time in my life I feel like I can’t handle the stress and I think a big part of that is not having his support. He has been I hospital for 2 weeks and will be in for a number of weeks to come I don’t understand how he got so sick I feel like it is my fault for not doing something or being to wrapped up at work and missing the signs. I know now too late how to prepare for the future and what to do in the future but if we repair our relationship my family will never accept him and might disown me. Also if We can repair our life together I’m not sacrificing what I want anymore as in children and marriage to be his carer thanks for listening x

    • JT4567 says:

      I have also been with my husband for 8 years. Married for 6 1/2. This is his 2nd manic episode in 2 years. The first time with the help of family I had him committed to a hospital for 10 days. This time he willingly checked himself in after the following incidents; smashing pictures, glass curio, tables, vases, mirrors and countless other glass in our home. Driving around for hours drinking bottles of tequila. I found empty needle packages leading me to believe he possibly his doing steroids (he joined a gym and started boxing) spending thousands and thousands of dollars on a lavish party (this was the start of the mania) and also jewelry, sunglasses, etc… He will not listen to me, lies to me constantly gets hostile with me tells me I need to be committed and leave his house and also stays up all night dancing and singing to loud music. I could not handle him so an x girlfriend thankfully got involved and manage to get him to the hospital. Since he checked in – he decided to check out and hospital let him go!! The last time it was not taking his meds, this time he was taking meds but put stress on himself with taking on a huge backyard project and planning a lavish backyard party. NONE OF WHICH WAS NECESSARY OR WANTED BY ME. Sorry to say but bipolar and selfish seem to go hand in hand. I agree with another poster that it seems hopeless to get help. The ones that have this illness seem to be having a great time being manic and do not want to get better. My husband will tell me any amount of lies to stay manic and have his fun. He is also diabetic, doesn’t care very well for his health and dumps his health on me. How many nights have brought the medicine up his bed and put the lithium in his mouth so he doesn’t forget- made sure he’s fed, and plead with him to not take on too much stress that can be avoided. He doesn’t listen to me ever – never did. I am here now running his business because he will not pay attention to it. He is busy running around being manic. After 8 years I can no longer take and must live for myself now. A good friend of his has come to the house and I have gone to my parents. I pray his friend can handle him as I must get out.

  62. alister says:

    hi all. It does seem like the manic person enjoys their episodes of mania. They are in the best of moods until it gets out of control. Sometimes you at the early stages you think something might actually be wrong with you, becuase why would you want to damper someones spirits when they are so happy. If the manic energy is not chanelled properly it is wasted on periods of useless babble , drinking and drugs. I take solace in the fact that many manic patients are entrepenuers and artists which shows that the energy must be use correctly just like nuclear power if not , low and behold! Just venting.

    • jt4567 says:

      sorry but in my opinion all manic episodes are wasted on drinking drugs and excessive spending. You must be a psychiatrist and you do not live with one of your patients or maybe I’m wrong but if you did you would see how hopeless this is for a spouse.

  63. Anonymous says:

    Hi,

    My husband is in his first manic episode for the last four weeks. He is 50 and this came out of the blue. I have a special needs daughter and have stayed at home to look after her and so have no outside income as of now. My husband has spent all our money and we are on the brink of financial ruin. I am worried because a lot of the credit cards, home bills etc are in my name. He has also not been home in a week, and has spent only four nights in the last three weeks at home. I dont know what to do.

    June

    • jt4567 says:

      Dear June,
      Here is what I’ve had to do; withdraw money from the account and hide it. I told my husband when things calm down I will put the money back in. Luckily for the time being he is ok with this. However, if things get worse I will have to get a court order to restrain him from the accounts. I know people will tell you to “get help” however, if you are alone with a special needs child and your husband is bipolar/ manic you may find like me, that there are few willing to help you. IN my case EVERYONE is frightened of my husband including myself so nobody will help me. He generally has fooled the psychiatrist into thinking he’s better. Bipolar people may be very sick individuals but are intelligent and can manipulate like you have never seen. My advice is to try to help your husband to get to a hospital but if he gets violent SAVE yourself and your child. You and your child come first.

  64. anon aswell says:

    hi anonymous you have to get your husband to the hospital as soon as possible. If he doesnt go voluntarily then you’ll have to admitt him on your own or with the help of family, friends or police. Without medication the manic state can even last months. He will only be a danger to himself as he will not be able to excercise restraint or make wise decisions. Others may take advantage of his condition or vise versa. Seek professional help immediately. best wishes

  65. Lori says:

    My son is 26 and has been in an acute manic state for the past four weeks. He quit his job, spent over $5000 in less than two weeks, was arrested for destruction of property and possession of pot. He refuses any medical treatment and does not fit the criterion for a 302. He went to one counseling session and skipped the next one. He is angry with many people in his life, and believes the bank and the NSA frauded his account. In the past he has had episodes of summer mania with winter depression but this episode has been the most intense. Is there any hope that he will return to his “normal” self as the season changes and then maybe we can help him to see the benefit of treatment?

    • Luann says:

      Hi Lori,
      It is possible that he will start to return to normal as the season changes; however, he may do a lot of destructive actions while just waiting for it to subside on its own. It may not subside on its own. As episodes get worse (according to my psychiatrist) more brain damage occurs and the episodes tend to continue to worsen over time. Intervention and treatment are the only two things that I know work for many people. It sounds like your hands are tied as he is an adult and is not wanting to seek treatment. Perhaps others will have ideas for you. Sure hope so. Best wishes for your son and you and your entire family.

  66. Lori says:

    And btw, this site is very helpful!

  67. JT4567 says:

    I just want to share an update on my husband as I hope this helps others. I have felt and still feel extremely alone and from reading some posts here at least I know there are others who can relate.
    so my husband is slowly recovering. I have much guilt because I just can’t stay with him any longer. I have chosen to help him with his business, bills, the house and his medications but I can no longer live with him. He did finally spend a week in the hospital but only after I fought to keep him there. The dr’s seemed to think he was ok to leave after a few days! This man was in a full manic state! It’s been extremely difficult this time and his mania did last about 2.5 months, switching from hypomanic to full on mania at different times. I have found the photos and text messages from infidelities. He spent a week in FL and tried to have all the furniture shipped to CA and started heading out there but not before he cleaned out the rest of our money. This was all before he went to the hospital. we managed to recover some of the funds. I scrambled to work out payment plans on credit cards, insurance payments and paid car payments and mortgage before he cleaned us out. Luckily I ran his business and kept money coming in to keep this afloat. We may get through this financially ok but had to start over. I am hopeful he does the right thing this time around with his DR appts and medications. Again, he will not listen to a word I say- basically tells me to shut up and let him do what he wants but however, wants me to remain married to him.

    • Camille says:

      Hi there. I have just ready your story. I am wondering what has happened? How is your husband now? How are you doing? My story is at the bottom if you are interested in reading it. I’m really hoping you are ok!!?

  68. Billy Francis says:

    Hey my gf of 8 years recently lost it she started talking like baby talk and not sleeping and full of energy was driving me and her mom nuts so we made the call fir them to pick her up now she is blqming everything on me and calling me the ex to everyone and saysshe wants me arrested for what i did to her im so worried about how long this will effect her and us we alsomhave a 18 month togather and is making it hard for me to make the right choice what to do for our future togather

  69. anon as well says:

    thanks this site is very helpful. I would be completely hopeless if i didnt stumble upon this site. The bipolar 1 is very destructive! Mood swings a very severe exreme highs wich lead to psychosis and deep periods of depression. The bipolar patient feels like their manic episodes are natural and you are the one that has a problem. Intervention be family is crucial as without this the person is on a definite collision course. Others may also take advantage of their vulnerability. Its a terrible condition watching the person swing back and forth and not having much control over the situation. Relationships are broken, enemies created reputations shattered. The person i live with has extreme manic episodes and becomes psychotic. Intervention is always required as the person will not acknowledge they need help because they feel so good and have a purpose to fullfil. A lengthy hospital stay is always required as waiting for the mania to subside could take months and this would come at a huge cost financially, emotionally and even physically. Its like reading the book of Job in the bible where God lets satan inflict all sorts harm on Job while God looks on. Cruel joke indeed. But faith in God is needed as well as meds. God bless all sufferers and their families because only he knows how difficult managing this illness is.

  70. anon as well says:

    hi all. Judging by the date inervals between posts i assume all is well and stable. Keep up the good work. I pray all of you have settled and are working on measures to identify when mania is setting in and that loved ones and carers are able to come together and win the battle with mania and depression. We can do it. im rooting for all of you.

  71. Francis says:

    I am so grateful to come across this website. I have spent 9 months learning as much as I can about bipolar. I was with a guy for 2 months and fell hard. Out of the blue he broke up although he held me and cried with me for 6 hours over the break up. This was when he told me he loved me deeply. We were back together in a week but things were never quite the same. He told me several times that his “gut” told him he shouldn’t be in a relationship but that he really wanted to be with me. (Of course now I realize that his gut most likely was the bipolar) He recognized something was wrong and sought help on his own, After six months he pushed me completely away and went into major depression (although I was not aware of it as there was no contact) He was diagnosed when the depression got so bad. I have had little contact with him since although he has attempted to come back to lessons we both attend several times. During this time he has had several major life events and I have heard from friends that he has had to switch meds multiple times due to extreme side effects. The last few times I have seen him he has responded when I talk to him and he has asked how I am, but it is only small talk. He also thanked me for a card I sent. He only comes to the lessons sporadically and often it seems in response to a text from me checking in or when I sent him the card. Sometimes I feel like if we go three or more weeks with no contact that he feels the need to “check in” or :check on“ me without seeming too by coming to the lesson when he knows I will be there. He has said that he doesn’t want to bring me into all his crap. I am certain that he was balanced when we began the relationship. I am trying to be patient and wait for him to get well but it has been extremely difficult since I have been totally excluded from his life. We have never really broken up and in the past he has told me he wants me in his life. The worse thing he has done is to tell me he was done with all girls and that we could be acquaintances as he didn’t think he could handle being friends with me. Even then he added that he didn’t mind if I called once in a while. He was hurt extremely badly in his last relationship and even though it has been several years and is was a bad relationship he still mourns that loss when he is depressed. At first this hurt but I realize now that this again is due to the disease. The last time I seen him he was distant again. It has been 9 months since he pushed me away. At this point I have decided to be open to other possibility if they come along but I won’t seek them out. He is the one I want in my life and I will welcome him back if he can get to a place where he can handle a relationship. I feel like you can read all the websites you want written by the medical community and still be left feeling baffled. The thing that has helped me the most and answered most of my questions is reading sites like these where I can read true life experiences. Although he seems to be functioning he is not as outgoing and social as he was. The only people he even interacts with is the instructor and myself. He use to be outgoing and fun loving. Everyone’s experiences of a long recovering and explanations of how the mind heals makes so much sense to me now. It really gives me hope that he will eventually figure this out. I just want everyone to know how helpful you stories are and thank you all for sharing them with others. I think for us who love those with a mental illness it really helps us to understand better which allows us to forgive easier and reminds us the importance of patience.

  72. Brandi says:

    Hi, I have been suffering from Bipolar I since I was 13. I am 27 now and have a husband and daughter. How can I keep myself from lashing out at my husband when his is trying to get me to recognize that I am going into a manic episode. He sees the signs, but unfortunately I usually do not. Most of the time this results in an ongoing argument(1-3 days) just for me to realize that I am in it. I always regret the things that I do/say after I have come back to self-awareness, but it is the getting back part that I have so much trouble with. Is there any advice that anyone has on how to be more aware during the build up so that I can avoid this altogether? We are running out of options. I am on multiple medications and it seems like nothing will work. We desperately need some sort of relief.

  73. Prior were just txts.
    Just had my first severe manic episode. Have been dx with sever depression over 20 years ago, but never experienced what I went through few days ago..didnt sleep for almost a week. Felt as if i were high without “drugs”…first few days were “fun”…very creative, got a lot accomplished. I probably would not be that productive during my “baseline” depression where I dont want to get out of bed…
    Can anyone give me advice or guidance? This was my first episode; after few days got really frightened..
    thanks, Celeste

  74. Kevin says:

    Not the Kevin who posted back in 2013, but pretty much the same story!

    My friend has just had a massive blow out. She is now in hospital, she initially went sort of voluntarily , then insisted on coming out but the hospital sectioned her.

    Can anyone give me an idea of how long she might be kept as an inpatient: two weeks, four weeks, six weeks, or is that like asking how long is a piece is string.

    This is her second time been hospitalised but this time I do believe there is a trigger, a family wedding and I just think it has piled to much weight on her.

    You know it frightened me see how quickly The Devil takes over. She had been a little high for a short time before hand, her doctors were reasonably happy with her and then over a period of four days she went from been almost normal to been completely gone. Fighting.

    • Hopeful says:

      Dear Kevin
      I am sorry to hear that your friend needed to go to hospital though hopefully she will receive the right treatment this way which may help with management of future episodes. With Bipolar Disorder people are usually only hospitalized if either their depressive or manic phase is at a severe level whereby they are at risk to themselves or others of harm or self neglect. Episodes can vary in length but can often take up to 3 to 4 months to abate, sometimes 6 if they don’t respond to treatment though she is likely to come back into a more hypomanic range before discharge and that may persist for many weeks after discharge. She is likely to be an inpatient to about 3 months on average.

  75. Vivi says:

    It’s so sad to read all these comments. I’ve been in a 30 year on and off again relationship.. Not realizing that he might have bipolar something.. His sister was diagnosed in her middle 20’s so I know the signs and what happens. I never realized my ex might have it. he suffers from depression and delusions like he believes I’m cheating when I am not. after such accusations He would act so sad that I would take talk him through the episode till it passed. Then weeks or months later we would go through it again.
    I always believed it was something i did He would convince me it was my fault he is a very smart man. here we are 30 years later and 9 years divorced, through those 9 years he founnd ways to keep me around. Plus we were raising 2 kids. He almost lost it and had a possible heart attack 4 years ago. He was put on high blood pressure med and has been ok till now. His depression was getting to him so he decided to finally ask for med for depression from his general DR. she put him on Zoloft generic I think.. I was recruited by my ex to watch him and keep him safe. He was scared of the med, but things were awesome for 2 months no depression hardly any delusions but then the depression started coming back when he didn’t get a promotion . So he went back and got the Zoloft increased thats when everything went to hell He has kicked me out of his life kicked his daughter out for trying to make him see he wasnt right and help, she tried to tell him to get a new med and get help. he is spending thousands of dollars, cashing in his stock smoking drinking a lot very manic, and delusional, forgetful, he has a new girlfriend who he is very sexual with. he says he feels great and life is great but anyone who disagrees he kicks out of his life. I hear he is in trouble at work he is going to lose everything and I cant do anything to stop it told family friends who now finally see his issues but no one can help..
    He obviously has more then depression maybe some type of bipolar and needs other meds
    but what happens when someone is manic for 4 plus weeks abd gets no help does he just stay manic.. He can only go without much sleep a little while right or does this last for months years I m so lost and scared my kids are going to lose everything he is going to lose everything. I was kicked out of his life and blocked in eveyway we have a kid underage is she safe with him? what can we do to help him when we cant go around him 🙁

  76. Ntando says:

    I am also a bipolar sufferer and have experienced a manic episode in February this year. It lasted only about 10 days or less due to the intervention of a – can you believe it?- traditional healer I.e. a sangoma since I reside in Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa. He was still giving me my pills so I don’t know if it was mostly his work that brought me back to sanity or it was due to the lithium and epilim. What makes it more confusing is that even during the duration of my “untreated” episode I still remember dutifully taking my meds…Anyway, what I wanted to know is whether you guys have any advice about how to get over, forget or deal with the realization of how innappropriately you were behaving during your manic episode. How to deal with all the flashbacks of everything you said and to who you said the to. And how to convince your self that those thoughts and ideas were indeed imposisible and, uhm, crazy ones. I have already tried the help of counsellors from school to my very disbelieving surprise because I sat there being questioned about every intricate detail of the manic episode and to not even get advice in return. How are counsellors suppose to work really? So these days I’m haunted with flashbacks of my manic episode sometimes during class. I try to push them to the back of my head but those few seconds they cost me are crucial since I’m in the middle of my second semester in chemical engineering diploma and the lasting I want is finding myself un the middle of a depression episode as a result of failure.

  77. kari says:

    This site has helped me so much. My husband is starting a manic episode now. His father passed away not too long ago and I worried this may happen. He has not had an episode in over two years. Last episode we separated and almost divorced. He is a wonderful father and husband but refuses to take his meds and honestly when he was on them he was not himself. How does someone deal with the episodes when not on meds before hand? Can he come out of this without taking meds or do I need to push him to get help now?

  78. Emily says:

    I’m really new to all this and scared. My boyfriend of 4 years is 21 years old and just suffered from his first severe manic episode. We had to take him to the er and the same day he was admitted to a psych hospital for evaluation. After three days he was diagnosed as Bipolar and they started the medication. The hard part it is it seems like he’s getting worse every time I see him. He’s still not sleeping and is very confused and not making sense. The doctor still refuses to discharge him which I understand because he’s not stable. I’m so worried that I’m never going to get him back. Can anyone help me understand how to deal with this

  79. Pam says:

    My son quit his job and packed his car and left his family with no money after days of violent behavior. He is now halfway across the country living in his car. A doctor at the ER at the local hospital told him he is in a manic episode and informed him about Bipolar. As his mother what do I do? Do I help him get home or let him work this out alone? is he mentally capable of working this out? Its getting cold where he went.

  80. Shurrlee says:

    Hi there. My boyfriend of 10 months recently bad a mental breakdown as well. After reading through everyone else’s stories, some of them sounds very similar to what happens to my bf. We were so happy together. We rarely argued. He smokes weed often. Tells me he only does it bc he has insomia and it gives him a better appitie. It never seem like a problem so ofc I let him do what he likes to do. Recently, he told me he has problems focusing at school so his friend gave him some of his prescription medication called “Adderall”. He told me it works & he focuses more. In about a week ago, I notice that he haven’t been sleeping at all! He talks very fast & would keep asking me the same questions over and over again. I got pretty annoyed & kinda brushed it off. He also became super forgetful! Our sex life great until now too. He has very high stamina and it would take him a while to ejaculate. Now he couldn’t even cum & it makes me feel like I’m not good enough for him. I thought he was just probably tired from lack of sleep. The next day, he starts putting me down & making me feel super insecure about myself. He never does this! It wasn’t like him at all! I told him if he keeps this kind of behavior up, I’m going to break up with him. He goes on and on trying to teach me about “Logic” which didn’t make any sense at all. Then he said he’s God and that he understands everything. We broke up, and then he would apologize to me and tells me he wants to marry me. His condition got worse day by day & I assumed it has got to be the pot he’s been smoking! I had no other choice but to contact his family members. It’s been 5 days since he’s taken away for treatment & I still haven’t gotten any news about his condition. I love him very much & I just want the old him back. I’m so afraid he won’t ever remember me and the promises we’ve made for each other. He’s 20 yrs old and is a very athletic/talented guy. He has such a bright future ahead of him! I just want him to be healthy again…

    • Regret man says:

      Your bf condition was 99% like me before when I was addicted to weed and heavily smoking daily for half a year and it trigger me into manic. I divorced with my wife and I am now regret and shame on the things I have done and words that said to my wife, friends and family. It wasn’t me.. i was diagnosed as bipolar 2. I am not sure whether my manic episode was trigger by weed, I’m now in depression and totally cut off from weed 3 months now. I’d advise people here don’t ever do drug because you won’t realize you’re addicted to it while you’re relying on weed to make you feel happy.

  81. Mario says:

    Hi everyone,

    I was engaged with this amazing girl and somewhere throughout our engagement she had a breakdown and went to the hospital and we soon found out that she was bipolar, which kind of made sense. She was in denial and her family was in denial.

    She was out of the hospital and i was taking care of her, cooking, cleaning, leaving my job to be more at home with her. At first dhe really needed me and towards the end of August, she started to need me less and then there were certain behaviors that started to arise that were unusual for her.

    In September she grew, irritable, distant, cold, condescending, and very hurtful. She started throwing tantrums like a child and started to get intouch with old friends and people that she said she never wanted to talk to again. Then she broke of our engagment, started talking to her exboyfriend and two new guys, and kicked me out. She changed her phone number, email, social media accounts, so i have no way to contact her and the last time i tried to go over and talk to her she went ballistic. She went from telling me she loved me and couldnt wait to marry me and have kids with me to telling me it was over the next day.

    Its been two months, do i just let her go? I love her so much, i cant believe this happening.
    Will she ever come back?
    Is she still manic?? She was getting treated for bipolar, how fast do the medicines work to get you out of mania?
    I miss her so much

    • Mike says:

      I am going through nearly the exact same thing right now my fiancé’ left me 3 weeks ago after 5 years of just great times, she now wants nothing to do with me and believes she is in love with my nephew. I have made a few other posts here, but really is just an awful feeling of heartbreak and powerlessness to do anything. Hopefully she’ll get help and when she starts thinking clearly again she might find her way back to you, but from what I have been reading. there is just no guarantee.. best of luck to you from another empathetic soul.

      • Mario says:

        Hey Mike,

        Thank you very much for replying to this and my heart goes out to you man. This is a tough road to be on and for it to work our S/O’s have to constantly be working on themselves! I’m feeling better and have other things occupying my mind at the moment, it will be one year of No Contact in October and its a great thing, she wasn’t a good person – she had choices and Bipolar Disorder is not an excuse. Best of luck to you and if you want her back know that it will take a lot of time and work, the recovery process is long and it could take up to 18months, if they get the tight meds. Make sure she is willing to work as hard as you are.

        Best,
        Mario

  82. Samantha says:

    I still have difficulty realizing when I’m going through an episode. According to my husband, I get very angry and it lasts for days. I convince myself he’s abusive and accuse him of it. He does have anger problems and I pick on it when I’m having an episode.

    Each time this happens, he will leave for a few days as I tell him I don’t feel safe with him around. When I calm down, I’ll ask him back home.

    This is very unhealthy. I would like some tips on recognizing an episode when it starts and how to Co troll it.

  83. Zoe says:

    hi mitch that is exactly what I plan on doing, writing a book about my experiences. I feel my life has come to a holt since my first manic episode (in july2013) and being diagnosed with bipolar 1. Especially because I had no insight or warning before hand. It still bugs me that I was so unaware… and upsets me that I was even convinced my family didnt love me & were turning against me.
    Its now December 2015 & I have only just began to read up about this dreadful illness i and so many others are living and dealing with. .. It has took me since my episode untill now to be on a level to face and accept my illness. And im grateful to have came across this website. Just to know there are so many other people who have bipolar (obviously it would be great if it didn’t exist but just knowing im not alone . .is to extent comforting)
    Hope your book suceeds..

  84. Concerned Daughter says:

    I feel for all your stories and experiences. It is equal parts comforting and terrifying to see how many people are experiencing the roller coaster ride that is bipolar disorder.

    My understanding of bipolar disorder has been abrupt and recent. Although I always new that my grandfather was mentally ill my mother had told a story about how he had caught it from a mosquito. It didn’t dawn on me until we started to notice symptoms in her that it was in our blood but not from a mosquito…

    Her cycles came on, seemingly, out of no where and in the last 7 years we’ve been through non-stop rapid cycling with one minor paranoid psychotic episode and a more recent major psychotic episode ending in my mothers first hospitalization. I’m starting to get a feel for how her cycles works, what her triggers are and what symptoms to look for before major manic, depressive or psychotic episodes.

    But I’m finding that I have so many questions that I don’t know how to ask her. Because she really hasn’t been staple since this whole thing started when I try to talk to her about how it feels, how she thinks she is or what her take on the disease is the conversation is always through the lense of whatever phase she’s in. I haven’t ever had that moment that I’m seeing some people describe where the illness subsides and the person is able to reflect on their actions.

    When I try to talk to her when she’s manic everything is fine and none of the recent depressive or psychotic symptoms seem to exist in her mind. When I try and talk to her when she’s depressed it’s some combination of apathetic answers or sometimes seeming to not really understand what we are talking about. And obviously I don’t try to have these conversations with her when she is psychotic but pretty much any conversation I have with her no matter what the topic always twists itself into her current delusion.

    I love my mom and it is the most profoundly sad experience to see this disease destroying her. I feel helpless like im just watching her drown. I’m starting to forget what she is really like as a person because this has taken her over for so long. I don’t know what to do to save her from this.

    I guess I don’t really have a question. I just needed to write my feelings. Thank you for listening or reading.

    I’m not a religious person but please pray for my mom.

  85. Woman27 says:

    Hi, nice reading all the comments. I have been hypomanic for a long period of time starting in dec 2013, wrote some fine articles, got some good grades (thanks to hard work as well), did have a semester after that with what I now know as psychotic features and very low productivity and what I think was signs of depression, wrote a Ph.D. Proposal and took two classes and wrote on my master the semester after that. Didn’t sleep to well at night, got bad grades and got manic. The manic state started full blown in May, I think, and I got a sickness leave in September. My doc journal tells that I got to a neutral phase now in January. I agree about that. I am still sleeping a lot and not ready to get back to school. My question is.. How much does medicine help from here? I get risperidal and my frontal cortex seems to work again. I am very chocked to have this disease. How often is it most common to get sick? Is it your experience that your episodes worsen over time or are you able to ‘stop’ them in advance. This it suddenly shit- especially that your brain doesn’t work the way it should so you are not able to make rational decisions. Somewhere I read that your frontal lobes doesn’t mature in the same way as in ‘normal’ brains. What to think about that. Does any of you feel less mature as others at your age? Except from manic perhaps. How do you make sure not to get manic again? And are your psychotic symptoms gone when you are on medicine? So many questions.. Hope that you will take the time of to answer some of them.. Thank you, Best

  86. David says:

    Hello,
    I’ve been with my gf for 6 years. She has been manic a few times and it gets very bad. The last few weeks she changed her anti-psychotic meds to saphris. She couldn’t sleep and ended up hypomanic which I then mentioned. Shortly after I had to leave our home and things spiralled. She now has 5000 fb friends and wants to move to cuba. My question is do you think in a months time she will actually succeed in moving to cuba which in itself is an odd choice?

  87. Diana says:

    Hi, I am in my late forties and since I was 26 I have been diagnosed; chronically depressed, ADD & ADHD, Bipolar (or I prefer manic depressive) and borderline personality disorder. I am a creative person, made a living playing music and now jewelry. I HAVE to have creative expression or I will go in a downward spiral. I had tried Prozac, worked only in very small dose (10mg) and only for 6 months, then it was useless. I tried Lamictal for bi-polar and my tongue was swollen and I was stifled by severe anxiety to the point that I could barely move. I refused any more medication, mainly because I was afraid it would take away my creativity. I couldn’t have been more wrong. My close friends and family eventually were negatively affected by my behavior and one day I couldn’t stand myself in this state anymore. Being manic depressive with a major anxiety disorder (since abusive childhood) and ADD that was affecting my jewelry work (I could not stay focused on one task).
    I walked into the MHMR clinic here in Austin (Mental Health Mental Retardation). I filled out forms and had a talk with an intake counselor. I was aware of the long waiting periods. But she asked me to bring my financial info in the next day and I ended up seeing a psychiatrist the following day at 9pm.
    His choice of medication was bulls eye. I take 1 mg clonazepam per day for anxiety (1/2 in the am and 1/2 in the pm) and for the first time in my life, it is calm inside. I was so used to being anxious, I thought it to be normal. What an amazing relief and freedom! He also prescribed Zyprexa, 5 mg to be taken at night time. It helps with sleep and sleep is CRUCIAL for bi-polar individuals. I get at least 7 to 8 hours per night. The last one is Ritalin for the ADHD symptoms. This is working so well, I can stay focused on one task, without my mind flying allover the place. I have been taking this combination for a year and a half and I couldn’t be more content. It did not take away any of my creativity, in fact, I believe it gave me even more room to be creative, and I finish the projects! The mood swings are barely there, only under high pressured stress will I have the occasional anxiety or lack of focus. But I am not fearful anymore, with freaky free flying anxiety for no reason and I am happy and I can focus. I wish I had made this step sooner. My friends can not compliment me enough on how much good these meds have done, and do for me. I am so much more pleasant to be around, especially for myself. I like myself this way. I can not be more thankful. I feel amazing, every day again. I hope this experience will help someone to take the step and try medication. It is worth it.

  88. Miriam Rodriguez says:

    This wonderful guy that I’ve known all my life has this disorder ..I had never heard of it before so when he told me about I didn’t think much of it. So as time went by we got close and he asked me to be his girlfriend and I said yes ..we were together for about 2months when he broke up with me for the first time ..I still kept talking to him and we started having like a friends with benefits kind of thing…he never told me he loved me and it was very clear that I loved him he was my priority ..so 4 months ago everything was going great and out of nowhere he broke up with me though text and this time it hit me hard due to the fact that I was on my period so I was extra emotional …I replied with a what happened text and no reply from him so I tried to give him some space by not texting him ..a week passed and nothing no contact then I found out by his mom that he was going through a manic episode and was hospitalized I did not visit him because I had researched so much about this and it says that they are not thinking straight at a time like this so anything I said or did was irrelevant.
    It killed me to see him that way from afar we were so close and out of no where he was his totally different guy. He contacted me recently via text on the 13 of February saying he wants to see how I’m doing and that he’s sorry that things ended up he was getting sick and needed his space and hopes I understand. I ofcourse did not know how to feel or what to think so I replied with a basic I’m good thank you and I do understand hope your doing better …he continued texting me telling me how he starting to somewhat feel like himself again and I just replied with short texts ..after that he texted me the next day on Valentine’s Day and he called me by my nickname he use to call me and knew that I loved …and I said thank you you too and he said youre welcome with a smiley face and again called me by my Nick name…and it has been three weeks since that and he hasn’t contacted me since …I want to talk to him but I’m scared he might still be manic and doesn’t want talk to me or if he rejects me or if he forgot about me already I’m just new to this and don’t know what to do…I want to be there for him but I don’t know how ..I’m afraid he thinks that he’s bothering me and doesn’t want to talk to me because of how I replied to him …any advice thank you

    • Tomm says:

      Having been through that with my wife before it took almost a year for her to completely come back. I know it’s a sickness, she doesn’t except it though. You need to look out for yourself, move on past him. The hurt that comes to partners is beyond words. I am living through the second round now, we are married and have two kids. Now, I know I can never and will never take her back it has destroyed everything we have. The illness is unlike anything I could ever imagine, and had I known what was coming, I would have called it quits 8 years ago. Although the damage that is done is part of an illness i it doesn’t lessen the effect others have to deal with. For your own stability and sanity walk away, I recommend not even staying friends you will still get hurt when it rears its head again.

    • Mike says:

      I just read your post and it really hits home – My fiance’ lost her job in April and coupled with the stress of the wedding and some bad news about her fathers cancer treatment went into a full blown manic episode. I cam home from work as things were fine, after dinner she came to me very emotionless and after some dillusions about being sent from God to save the world she handed me back my diamond and said she didn’t belong here and walked out the door. She ended up at her parents and they refused to accept there was anything wrong at first – she has been hospitalized twice and each time has come out with no medication and more and more devious deceptions. She had for a short time convinced her folks that I abused and beat her (complete un true) and it took 2 full weeks for her parents to come around – they are unwilling to force her to get help so they have removed her phone and internet abilities and think letting her deal with her emotions on her own is going to fix things. I have been complete shut out and heartbroken for nearly a month as we’ve had NO contact. Her rather reached out to me the other day to say he now sees what I was talking about and believes she is manic. he feels she is coming down and starting to feel emotion again and trying to get her into a Pdoc. Apparently she is beginning to feel heartbreak but in her delusional state she had visions she was supposed to love my nephew? so I am not sure who she is heartbroken for as he wants nothing to do with her. I would say from looking back she has been manic now for about 5 weeks with no meds and not sure if she is actually going to get help soon but her parents are on board with me now and trying. Tomm said move on, I just don’t know if I’m ready yet, but having NO answers is making it more and more difficult to cope. I wish you well in your situation and I too am sitting on the sidelines waiting to see if she’ll come back…. Good luck

      • Camille says:

        Hi Mike. I really feel for you with what you have been through. My story is at the bottom if you are interested in reading it. What has happened now? Are you still together? Did she go to hospital? My boyfriend is coming down from a manic attack that he was hospitalised for. The first time he’s been diagnosed. My life has been a nightmare since. I feel like it’s the ones that are the closest to them that seem to get the full blown anger from them. It’s so incredibly hurtful. I’m really interested in how you are doing now? Are you ok??

  89. Tomm says:

    My wife of 15 years started taking zoloft(100mg) 4 months ago and went maniac. We went through this 8 years ago (without medication) she refused to accept that she has bipolar(therapist told her). Now in her current maniac,she is doing all the same things(cheating, spending, filed for divorce). My question is does anyone know how this ends if she stays on the SSRIs? Her primary care doctor prescribed it, and I told him about the situation, he left her on it.

  90. Lillebjorn says:

    Hi from Norway and thank you for this article. It is really scary to think that it takes so long to recover from a manic episode, but it least I have something to refer to.
    It´s my friend that had a very bad psychotic manic episode. He is now locked up in a hospital. I would really like to help him somehow, but today he was a bit hostile against me and asked me to leave.
    Right now my plan is to make him know somehow that there is one person he can count on (I think this last episode alienated his last allies), and call in to the hospital in a week or so and ask whether it´s okay for him that I visit.
    Can anyone please tell me if my plan sounds okay? Is there anything I could do?

  91. daniela says:

    Hi my husband has bipolar I, he suffered through a manic episode last year that lasted from july 2015 until he was hospitalized for 2 months in november 2015. it was so bad he destroyed everything in our house, ‘stole’ or stuff to sell or give away to homeless people bought a new truck and trailer spent all our savings.. he had no recollection of what was going on at the time.. like there was no soul , for lack of better words, in his eyes. it took 7 weeks for him to be clear in the hospital he was so psychotic it was so scary i had to file a restraining order against him. my daughter and i couldnt be around him. the only thing that saved his life was hospitalization. he is now well taking seroquel and zyprexa. he denied to take lithium but these medicines are working well. however he has very depressed days where he cant even get out of bed and he never wants to do anything with me and my daughter like outing i have to drag him i feel bad dragging him it seems like he doesnt enjoy it perhaps from the depression? for whoever is reading who has recovered from a manic episode this intense, how long did it take to feel like yourself again and be able to continue with relationship and feel positive about going places and being outside? my husbnad just wants to be inside on the couch

    • Camille says:

      Hi there. How is your husband now? I am in awe of you for still sticking by him. My story is below (at the bottom I think) if you are interested in reading it. I am really interested in where you are at now? How is everything going?

  92. Matthew says:

    Thanks for all the posts! They have been helpful, and furthered my understanding. I had a manic episode last Nov/Dec. It felt pretty good being ‘up’. Thought I had discovered some kind of new side of myself, but ended up believing I had special abilities above and beyond what normal people have. Thought I was going to marry someone famous. Ended up in hospital. I’m having a bit of an extended come down though now. Little motivation, unfocused thinking. Slowly improving though. Just made the change from Olanzapine to Seroqual…however you spell it, and the Luvox which I have been on for years for depression and anxiety. Change seems to have helped. I wish everyone the best, and am hopeful we are discovering the genetic causes of this condition and many other conditions. More research!

  93. Anonymous says:

    Hello Everyone
    My brother is suffering from manic disease, from april he starting stay away from all family members, we all try to talk to him but he get angry on everyone, suddenly last month he continuously talking too much and we all don’t understood what happened to him. i try to get him hospital but he refused and said i am alright. but with lots of efforts we successfully consulted with doctor and started his medication. We all family members are also in too much stress. How much time it takes to get him normal.
    Any suggestions that can help us to get him normal.

  94. Mike says:

    Well I’m in week 2 of watching my fiance who decided to take off on me go through what appears to be a clearly textbook manic behavior unfortunately after her parents hospitalized there she was able to fool the psychiatrist into believing she was okay to my knowledge they released her without medication and she so angry at me for what I had to do to get her some help that she will no longer speak to me and have called off our wedding and is living at home with her parents this form has truly helped me understand a little bit better but I think is going on here but I’m just hoping that at some point her manic behavior ends and she begins to think more clearly about the damage she has a lot on our life

  95. Raj says:

    My Friend has been diagnosed with bipolar mania. The doctors say it’s advanced stage.
    The manic episode started in April and is still going on. He is very very aggressive . Fighting with everyone. Full of rage. He left university and came back home.
    We admitted him the rehab but he came back in a week. The doctors say that they can’t handle him. He is smoking a lot of pot. That’s making him more aggressive. He has been smoking pot for 2 years now. Regularly. His internal organs are effected. But he just doesn’t understand that he needs help. His blood is impure. Full of THC. He is still smoking up.
    I don’t know how to help him. He has done too much damage I am really scared for him. His family and friends are being supportive but he isn’t listening to anyone.

    I don’t know what to do and how to help him.
    He doesn’t realise that he’s not well.

    • U says:

      You have to let him just ride it out, he will not listen to anyone while he is in a manic state, eventually he will come down from being manic and you can try to reason with him then.

  96. anonymous says:

    I’ve suffered BPD type 1 for 6 years since being diagnosed at 18yo. Had many years of wellness after hospitalization when first diagnosed. Was put on Lithium and ended up slowly missing appts and took myself off it. No matter how well you think you are doing it’s vital to keep up what ever medication you have been prescribed. About a year ago I stop taking Lithium, it was a slow down hill slope. I am a fairly driven, passionateic

  97. anonymous says:

    I’ve suffer BPD type 1 for about 6 years, was hospitalised and diagnosed at 18 put on Lithium longer term. Now being 24 and helping run a marketing company and using my creative ideas to help initiate business gains. In charge of people under me can be stressful and from the many years of wellness I travelled and can safely say you need balance in your life and to keep up the talking therapy plus medication or whatever you are doing that’s working and stick to it. About 15-18 months ago I thought I was fine and started taking Lithium randomly, to then the point of not taking it at all whilst becoming too busy for the appts.

    Knowing your triggers is important but the most important thing is to admit you need help. Since the start of this year my mental state has steadily decreased. With a lot of tragic life events in personal life, substance abuse increased dramatically, yoga and usual weekly routines were out the door. I was going really well at work and loving life(hypo manic). People knew how much stress was going on in my life but were amazed I was holding it together. Hypomania lasted about a month and then I completely withdrew and gave up on myself in May. So severely depressed I was begging to disassociate myself from reality and losing my mind. Realisation came I got help was put back on Lithium and was in a Mixed Episode, so confused, paranoid, energy levels high, not wanting to be here becoming stronger; I spent a month with a care team at home in this state that ended up getting worse to the point I couldn’t handle it anymore and was hospitalised.

    Just recently got out of hospital a week ago was in for 3 weeks and they’ve added Epilim to the daily Lithium intake. The recovery or residing episode they say can take months to resolve fully. I’m feeling much better still vulnerable. I can’t emphasis enough no substance (drug)is worth 4 plus months of your life. This year has been so hard for me, looking forward to a yoga retreat next month but you have to put yourselves first no matter what. Bipolar Disorder is the devil so take care of yourselves and mental health and find your true passions.

    Has anyone else experienced a serve Mixed Episode? recovery tips..

  98. Candy says:

    How do you help a loved one that is going through a manic episode? He thinks everything is great and he is feeling happy, yet everything around him is falling apart. He has lost his job, no insurance for him or his family now. He is spending money like it’s water. We can’t him around his kids or wife at this point, but he refuses to go to the doctor. They may lose their home at this point. His friends have tried and intervention that didn’t work. He think everyone else is wrong and he is right. Need advise I what to do. Who to contact. To top it all off he has never had anything like this before.

  99. Tariq says:

    I am a teen boy and my younger sister just got her first episode of mania. It was really hard for me to watch her doing stuffs and it brought tears in my eyes and whole of the family many times. It is really hard to face this situation. I didn’t believe this was happening. It has been two months. Her school gave up. But I don’t want to give up.. Kindly advise me how to manage her….

    • Matthias says:

      Hi Tariq
      Please don’the give up. One of my Sons had two manic episode’s in the last 8 years and he is just in the third one as I’m writing this to you. I know it’s very difficult to handle and it brings you to the edge but your sister needs you more right now then ever.

  100. Manuka says:

    Hi I thought this site will help me.

    I was with my boyfriend (I should say’ex’) for one year and he broke up with me once due to his family circumstance. We made up after 6 months and everything was great for second time around (we were close and so much in love) but he broke up with me again after he saw my negative parts. That was when I thought something is wrong with him. He action/behaviour was not normal and he said hurtful thing to me over text and he didn’t see me in person. He said he lost connection with me and he broken up with me. A few weeks after he started to see his new person and I was shocked.

    I had a chance to see him again 4 months after (work related) he broke up with me and I told him my concern that he may have bipolar and suggested him to see his psychologist. He didn’t do anything about that and said he said he is comfortable with himself with his new girlfriend.

    It’s been 5 months he broke up with me second time but I’m still finding very difficult not get used to that he is not in my life. It hurts a lot his action/behaviour and I’m hoping he will realize what he has done to me sometime soon..and come back to me.

    I have been working on this with my psychologist as it has been very difficult. The psychologist said my ex boyfriend moved on so quickly to new girlfriend because he is not able to tolerate feeling ‘negative’ (which ‘I’ caused this) due to his ‘manic disorder’ so he cut relationship with me.

    I’m trying to tell myself his ‘Manic disorder’ caused his action/behaviour = cut relationship but it hurts a lot that he seems doing well with new girlfriend and he doesn’t have feeling towards to me other than ‘friend’ and I’m left behind here.

    If anyone has any advise or thoughts I really appreciate thank you for reading this.
    Reading comments helps me that I’m not alone suffering pain/sadness. I really love this person so it is hard for me.

  101. Camille says:

    Hello
    I have come across this website and it’s really helped me a lot. I’ve been with my boyfriend for 3 years and he had planned on proposing in 3months (I have found this out). He even had his grandmothers ring sent over from Italy. He has always been a big spender of money and it’s always been something I’ve struggled with. He’s a larger than life character and is always so happy and loud (I just always thought it was because he’s Italian). He’s had a few stages of depressive months, which I always put it down to homesickness as we live in Australia (I’m a kiwi). So a couple of months ago we had just come back from Italy where I had just met his family and ever since we came back he started acting very different. It was like he was on edge, got angry easy and started to do ‘uppers’. He got verbally abusive to his manager and lost his job. We went to see a psychologist and he was diagnosed with bipolar. I thought that was ok that I could handle a few ups and downs! Well things just got so bad. He continued to take more ‘uppers’ spent thousands of dollars in a few days, I found shit on his phone with another women, (first time I’d ever checked his phone!) and he changed religions! He’s a catholic but he started to believe in light, stones and satan. He got incredibly verbally abusive towards me until I had to ask him to move out. He stole my credit card m, sold his laptop and spent the money on a night out and I caught him trying to take my beautiful $2000 camera that he brought me for my birthday tu cash converters. I went to see the psychologist by myself and he said I needed to get him to the hospital. His friends have been such a support for me and have helped me every step of the way. He’s now in the psychiatric ward and continued to verbally abuse me for putting him in there. I’m studying and this has been so incredibly stressful for me. I have tried to give him as much support as possible but the anger and verbal abuse continues. I know he’s sick but honestly how can you just put aside everything that has happened and move on. I didn’t sign up for this when we first got together. I don’t want to now become the ‘mother’ figure, making sure he takes his meds and doing everything I can to keep him on track while just waiting for the next manic episode to happen again. And apparently this is his second one. He had one before in 2009. I would love to hear from anyone that either has bipolar and explain if you really don’t have control over everything you do and say. How much am I meant to put up with. It’s just pretty unfair not only on him for having this awful disease but also in me because I feel like he now as alibi to act however he wants to and just put it down to his condition. I am struggling to see where does the disease end and my boyfriend begin. I have a massive decision if this is something I can live with for the rest of my life.

    • Not saying says:

      If you are not committed and or married leave now! After 23 years of marriage, the strain is getting to be to much and my health is no longer good. I never know what is going to happen next. My wife has done this before and we got through it after about three months.
      That was 8 years ago. This time I’m not sure I am making the right decision anymore. Life should be lived this is like prison for me. I can never do anything for fear of what she will do in my absence and I can’t take her out anywhere she can be obscene and obnoxious even violent at times she threw away her wedding ring when I wasn’t watching that broke my heart and it will break hers too if she ever comes out of it again. People don’t know how to take what she says and she says the darkest evilest and nasty things imaginable often about me, none of it is true but people don’t know that. It’s very humiliating to understate the crap out of it.
      I love my wife very very much and so far I’m still in it for the long haul but dealing with this and caring for someone with this condition can truly be one of the most tormenting ways a person could spend their lives.
      If your boyfriend is safe LEAVE NOW BEFORE YOU BECOME OBLIGATED IN ANY WAY.
      DONT THINK ANYMORE JUST DO IT!
      YOU DESERVE TO LIVE AND FIND HAPPINESS. ITS NOT YOUR FAULT JUST GO!!!

      • Camille says:

        Hi Notsaying
        Your words have jolted through me like an arrow and given me goosebumps. I feel like you are my future self begging me to let him go. Thank you for your story and honesty. I am blown away but what you continue to live with and feel so sad for both you and your wife. My boyfriend spent two weeks in hospital and a further two weeks coming down from his manic stage. It’s only been this week that I’ve seen him twice and he’s back to his old self again. A man I haven’t seen in 3-4 months! He’s so sorry, crying and telling me how happy we can be. That he loves me so much and he can now handle this illness with the help of meds and his psychologist. Is your wife on any meds? When did you find out about her diagnosis? I feel so torn as I still love him and want to believe every word he says but I cannot go through the horror of another manic episode. It has caused me so much stress. I’m am flying back home to New Zealand next week to take a break and get out of the emotion of it all. I hope with a few months of my own healing I can have a clear head to make a decision.
        I really thank you for your message. I honestly feel like your my future self speaking to me and showing me what life would be like.
        Please keep in touch here. I really hope you and your wife are safe. I am so sad to hear your story.
        Thank you

        Camille

        • Sarah says:

          Hi Camille,

          I am 31 years old and I’m going thru the same thing right now. My boyfriend who talked about marriage just had his first manic episode. He is very angry with me because I haven’t committed 100% and every time I see him he asks me about our future plans. It breaks my heart because I can’t make any future plans with him while his is in this condition. He hasn’t recovered from his episode yet and I can’t get him to see a professional. He saw a psychologist once and doesn’t want to go again. This was his first episode and he and his family are blaming it on me. They say if it wasn’t for the stress of our relationship he would have been fine. At first I blamed the stress in our relationship too, but after reading about it and seeing the psychologist 2x I know that it’s not me.
          I haven’t talked to him for the last week. The last time I saw him was on my birthday when we went for dinner and he was yelling at me at the restaurant. He apologized for his behavior after, but the stress is just too much. I feel like I’m a caretaker and walking on eggshells not to upset him.
          I’m not sure that this is something I want to take on for the rest of my life. His dad had two episodes in his whole life (Yes, and they still blame it on our relationship.) I can handle two, but is he going to have more? Do I want to pass this gene to my kids?
          I think since we were at crossroads already this will probably be the end of our romantic relationship. I’d love to be there for him as a friend, but I’m not sure that he will accept that. I hate leaving him in his time of need, but his condition leaves me sleepless at night and is starting to affect my everyday life.
          We both deserve a safe and happy relationship.
          I wish you good luck with whatever decision you make.

          Hugs from USA!

  102. Lost, confused and Hurt says:

    My husband was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder. We have been together on and off for about 10 years. there was 2 different times that I saw inappropriate online conversations prior to us trying to divorce. The first time was more emotional and feeding into his ego. It devastated me; however, I was not the easiest person with being standoffish and not really opening up myself fully to share my life. After therapy and things I saw a second incident that involved soliciting sex. I was heartbroken as we were on a better road within our marriage. He was unable to explain why but blames stresses with us. After a rocky 9 months where I was mentally don’t and finally put in for divorce we went our separate ways which included dating. I then worked on myself and felt that no I did not cause him to act out; however, how may I have contributed to his wanting to. I was controlling, argumentative and nagging. I didn’t like those qualities and worked on myself. We rekindled and it had been great for the past 2 years. Everything was like the movies. We barely fought, if so, it was done and over and nothing demeaning. We shared in everything (or so I thought). Just recently I went through his cell and saw that he was contacting women. One in regards to setting up for sex. I was devastated. when approached he immediately went to a psychologist who put him on meds and diagnosed him bipolar. He is in therapy. He has been constantly saying that this wasn’t me. that he was purely happy with the progress that we made together and loves me. I have no idea what to believe to do. I do love him; however, I am so beyond hurt. I don’t want to live with someone who is going to do this over and over to me. He is a good guy deep inside, but when I asked him why he did it he couldn’t explain. He said it was like a nagging feeling. this scares me.

  103. Maribeth says:

    During two spinal surgeries, over the period of a year I was given Valium and Oxycontin, which just chewed up my Depakote and caused me to have a full blown manic psychotic breakdown. It was very bad.
    I ended up at my grown daughters house for most of the episode, but shuttled off to a cousin’s house for Thanksgiving. I returned to my own home just before Christmas, and was consequently uninvited for the holidays with my daughter and grandchildren. I did see them the day after Christmas, but not since.
    I have been medication compliant for nearly 20 years and until this November, I had only had one blip in all those years. Most people did not know I am Bipolar as I live a very normal life.
    But now, as the Depakote levels come up, I see what has occurred. And although it was not my fault, it was still me and my illness.
    It’s hard for my family and friends, and so people stay away. I have felt so isolated. And I miss my grandchildren so much.
    I know i should just give everyone time, but it is so hard!
    I need further spinal surgery .but this time I have asked for a psych consult so we make sure my Depakote levels are maintained.
    I really hate this illness!

  104. Mario says:

    Hey guys – Mario here – checking in 16 months later. Still till this day no contact at all with my bipolar ex-fiancé and I am perfrctly fine with that. I haven’t tried reaching out and I dont know if she has because i have gotten many blocked calls but I screen all my calls. I truly hope she is well but definitely now can see how bad our relationship was and in what kind of distructive path our soon to be marriage would head. I know her parents still probably blame me for “making her bipolar” because they dont understand how this works but again I also wish them the best because they will have to deal with this for the rest of their lives as well. For a long time I wish she would call me and say that she was sorry that it was her bad, i wanted validation for being a good guy. But now i know that isnt good or healthy at all and am starting to bring that validation out from within which has helped me a lot. I still do have PTSD from being in this relationship that sends me back to a time I hated and a feeling of not being able to escape for the fear of her hurting herself, me, or someone else. I am meeting with a therapist once a week and working on myself, my goals, and loving myself and that has really helped me through.

  105. Rachel says:

    I started talking to this guy and he was very sweet and i fell for who he was on the inside and finally we decided to be officially together but he is 4 hours away which we work with. Im on vacation and was talking about going to visit but my car broke before I could make plans and then my phone broke and I told him that i wasn’t able to talk to him until my phone gets fixed and i won’t be able to visit until my car gets fixed. i was on facebook and i went to message him and i couldn’t because he done blocked me, I was so upset and someone who knows him had to explain to me that he has bipolar and is having an episode and when he has an episode the first people to go are the people he cares about the most. he stopped taking his meds and started drug abuse but when his therapist ask him if he liked me he just says “I dont want her to see me like this.” he hasnt talked to his best friend, my mom who he loves, or anyone that he normally does. He did not tell me about his illness altho he asked me if he got “locked up” if i would leave him or be waiting for when he got better, i said id wait but i honeslty have no idea what i should do. because my mom (his old thereapist, i didnt know when i first met him.) said the last episode he had lasted two months and he refused to talk with her because he doesnt want to hurt or dissappoint the ones he love the most. She says he wants someone for when he is alright again but I have no idea what to do. cause im only 20 and before his episode he was talking and making plans how he was gonna movve down here and we was gonna get married but then he quite his job because he started to hear people whisper about him. i just bruushed it off and he started to stress about not having money to get down here then he just went off his rocker and i wanna wait for him but i dont know because i dont know how long itll take. for those of yall living with it or living with someone with it yall are brave caause im confused right now

  106. Jimmy says:

    This story was very encouraging for me. My wife has been going through a major manic episode that has lasted the last 6 months. We were finally able to get her in to a hospital to get her help as this is her first ever episode and she has felt that she doesn’t have a problem. She has destroyed our marriage, destroyed her relationship with her daughter, and has destroyed relationships with friends and family. She has damaged her car and spent much more money than she would ever think to spend. Her thoughts are scary and unnerving to say the least.
    So reading this was encouraging because she can get better and as her husband, I can’t tell you how good that feels. Just 7 months ago, we had the perfect marriage and she was my best friend. With all of this, I realize we could be looking at every bit of a year before she is fully back, but in your estimation, what timeframe do you see that it could take for her thoughts to come back to some kind of normal thinking? And further to that, how do you keep someone on their meds? She had a short stint in the hospital 2 months ago and they let her go after a week of stabilizing her but never cared to check on her and whether she was taking her meds (which she didn’t take once after leaving) and now we are here, back in the hospital and even worse than she was before.
    Lastly, what are the best things, in your opinion, to help her get through this once released from the hospital?

    Thank you and I look forward to your response as this is the hardest thing I have ever had to go through, so I can’t even imagine what she will have to go through when she finally starts recovering

    • Mario says:

      Hello Jimmy,

      Happy to hear your story snd hear you reach out for help. A few things, estimating the time fram is different as everyone is different. Some can take months to come back to normal and some can take years. If your wife has rapid cycling not only is it harder to stabilize but it also is difficult to predict.

      You cannot do anything to keep your wife on meds, she is the one that needs to understand that she needs to be on them and WANT to be on them. Many Bipolar people find themselves not understanding why they are on meds, just taking them because their loved ones want them too but they dont think they need them because they are fine. Eventually when mania sets in they will drop the meds first thing because they think the meds dont necessarily meet their imediate needs. In order for this to not happen, she needs to understand why she is taking these meds. So ask her if she is doing it for you or if its for her.

      Lastly. Meditation, therapy with someone who specializes w/ bipolar patients, and taking medication will best help her to get back to ground zero

      Cheers,
      Mario

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