What It’s Like Coming Down From a Manic Episode
Coming down from a manic episode can be different for everyone. We’re all unique in how our bodies and minds are made up. But for me, when I am coming down from a manic episode, it is almost comparable to coming down from a drug or alcohol high because that is exactly what our minds and bodies are doing; coming down from an emotional high.
I still haven’t slept yet and I believe it will still be some time before I am finally able to get some much needed rest. My body is completely physically drained and I have aches and pains all over; perhaps not giving my body the chance to rest last night might have something to do with the increased aches.
Even though I feel so exhausted my mind is still trying to convince me otherwise. I feel like I am going to completely crash once my mind finally decides to shut down.
Racing Thoughts & High Anxiety
My thoughts are still racing all over the place and my anxiety is in high gear. I can’t even fathom having anything more than a text message style conversation right now. The thought of possibly having to use my vocal cords to converse with another human being honestly terrifies the living shit out of me.
Instead of answering calls today, I have mainly been watching my phone ring every time someone called me while I would secretly contemplate whether or not I could get myself to actually physically swipe the answer key until the callers were all forwarded to my voicemail. I can text and message friends on messenger at the moment, but that is as far as my socializing can go without running the risk of having back to back panic attacks.
It’s really hard to tell if I am overly anxious because of crashing down from a manic episode or if it is due to the fact that I never slept. Better yet, maybe it’s a combination of the two!
When Agitation Starts To Kick In…
I just feel overall edgy and annoyed. Mania can sometimes make you feel great but believe me when I say those wonderful feelings don’t last forever. Once the full blown agitation kicks in you sometimes start praying for the courage to gouge your own eyes out to make the feelings go away. It’s a very intense feeling and not in a good way.
What a difference mere hours can make on my mood and mental health; happy and outgoing to incredibly miserable. I’m pretty much just isolating in my room. Human interaction feels like too much work and effort.
I can’t help but wonder if there is anyone else out there who feels like they are coming down off a high when they are coming out of a manic episode or if it’s just me. 🤦♀️🤷♀️ I can’t be the only one, right?
Anticipating The Next Episode
I’m just sitting here anticipating my next irrational bipolar mood swing; wondering if I am going to crash right into a downswing or if I’ll be able to catch a break and go back to baseline for a bit.
(Baseline is when you’re not swinging from the extremes of mania and depression and you feel like yourself the most!)
I must admit, there is never a dull moment inside my head. And just when I start to let my guard down and think that maybe my medications are actually doing what they are supposed to be doing; BAM! I’m hit with yet another mood swing!
If Only There Was A Magic Pill
I wish that there was some kind of magic pill I could take that would make mania comedowns more tolerable for everyone involved. They aren’t always this bad, but then sometimes they are. However, the agitation part of it is usually always there.
I have found that many people with bipolar disorder have to deal with intense feelings of agitation more often than we’d like to admit. Agitation can be a symptom of mania, mixed episodes, and even depression. It’s like unless we are baseline there is some form of agitation weighing heavily on our chests regardless of whether or not we show it. Some people also have to deal with feelings of agitation more than others, but regardless it’s still there.
Coming off a manic high can also feel like a caffeine and sugar crash that’s been jacked up on steroids for too long all at once. You want to sleep but can’t and some people can even feel jittery and have trouble staying still and focusing on basic tasks.
The Parts People Don’t Talk About
This is a part of being bipolar that I have never discussed with someone else who shares the same diagnosis as me. I don’t think I have even come across manic crashes in an article before. I am sure there has to be some, but none that have crossed my path before.
You always read about mania, depressive episodes, even mixed episodes but never really the aftermath of mania.
Lucky for me, I didn’t have to do any damage control because of this manic episode. I didn’t offend anyone or piss anyone off. Now, that is progress right there!
Sometimes coming out of a manic episode can be like waking up from being blackout drunk and not feeling too sure about everything that took place the night before. Sometimes we have to apologize to our loved ones for something that we did or said while we were on our own world; our own reality.
You Wouldn’t Understand
Unless you have ever come out of a manic episode first hand or have come down from some drug or drink pretty hard before, I don’t think there is anything I could type that could put you in my shoes for even a moment in order to understand what this can sometimes feel like for people.
Again, I have to say that I cannot be the only one who feels like this sometimes, right? Show of hands… anyone? 🙋♀️
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Samantha is the author of "My Bipolar Mind: You're not alone," she is also a freelance writer, blogger, and mental health advocate who runs and manages her own mental health blog MyBipolarMind.com.