Revealed: What Bipolar Mania Feels Like

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I hope you’re doing ok today.

I got this disturbing email, but it’s really a
good description of mania, so I wanted to share
it with you.

Dear Dave,

I hate bipolar disorder. I hate having it so
much, because it practically ruins my life
every time I have a manic episode. It makes
me so out of control, and I don’t even know
what I’m doing, and what’s the worst is that
I hurt the people I love the most, because I
do and say stuff I normally wouldn’t do,
and then I don’t even remember it later!

And I hate that, because then they’re all mad
at me, or really hurt, and I don’t even know
what I’ve done, and then I feel really guilty
about it. And there’s no way I can make it
up to them.

I hate how I am in a manic episode, but I
can’t help it! I get really racy, like I can’t
sit down, and I’m, like, all over the place.
Everything feels like it’s going real fast.

I talk a lot, and I talk real fast. And I
always feel like I’ve got so much to say,
and that what I’ve got to say is so
important! And I’ve always got these great
ideas, and so many of them, and they come
so fast I can hardly keep up with them.

But when I’m normal, none of them are good at
all. When I’m manic, the plans I start just
never get completed at all, cuz they were no
good to begin with.

I hate feeling like I’m crazy, I really do, but
I do feel like that. That out of control
feeling. That’s what mania is like. Like
you’re crazy, out of control. And you do
things, like I said, you do all these great
(grandiose) plans, and sometimes they
might hurt other people, and you don’t
even realize it.

Like spending money. Like your family’s
money. A lot of it. Or the credit cards,
running up a lot of credit. But you don’t
think about the bills you (they) have to
pay later. And that hurts them, or makes
them mad at you.

I wish I could say it’s not my fault. I
wish I could say it’s the bipolar’s fault.
But I’m the one who has the disorder,
and I’m the one who feels guilty for
what I do when I’m in an episode.

And the worst part is, I don’t even
remember doing any of it!


This is a very accurate description of
what having bipolar mania is like based
on what I have learned through the people
who work for me, volunteering, and
lots of interviews.

It’s hard from a supporter’s point of view to
believe that the things that our loved ones
do are not their fault, or that they really
don’t remember what they did.

Sometimes we even believe they’re
faking it, that they really do remember
what they did, or they’re just using the
disorder as an excuse for unacceptable

In my courses and systems:




I talk about how to cope and deal when you
loved one has mania.

There are many things that you have to
do to be fully prepared if a manic
episode strikes.

And you can’t just sit and do nothing.

That’s because we’re the ones who are
there when they do it, or we’re the ones
who get the credit card bills. But maybe
you can see now, from an insider’s view,
that it hurts them just as much. And that
they are not faking it.

Well, I have to go.

Your friend,


P.S. Don’t forget to take a look through the
different programs I’ve put together… each one is designed
to help you with a different area of bipolar disorder whether
you have it or you are supporting someone with it.
You can see them all and get the details by visiting:

P.P.S. Check out my F.ree blog with copies of emails
that I have sent in the past and lots of great
information for you:

P.P.P.S Check out my F.ree podcast. Hear me give
mini seminars designed to teach you information
you can’t learn anywhere else.

  1. Dave – That’s EXACTLY what mania feels like; except, I remember most, if not all, of the things I said/did in a manic episode.

    First, you lose sleep. I read somewhere, that if you can’t sleep in the first 20 minutes, get up and DO something. During my last manic episode that led to hospitalzation (1977), I would get up around Midnight, and stay up ’til 3, and try to get back to sleep. All this time, I was working, so the lack of meaningful sleep at night, affected my work.

    Then the “spiritual” messianic delusions started. I never had “grandiose” plans, but I “lived” like I was a “child” of God. All the while, I was contradicting my beliefs with my actions – sleeping around indiscriminately, with several partners. This “contradiction” is one of the symptoms of bipolar disorder.

    Your mind races; you can’t stop with just one idea – they all come at you at one time, and filtering them out, while you’re talking with someone, becomes more and more difficult. You want to be UNDERSTOOD, but no one can grasp what you’re thinking. (If you can call it that!). You’re so “high” that you can’t concentrate correctly, so your work, and your interpersonal relationships, suffer. Your friends notice a “difference” in you, but you’re so “peppy” and energetic, that they follow your lead, and become excited, too. They begin to believe your delusions.

    While you’re in this euphoric mood, reality suffers. It’s wonderful while you’re in it; you don’t want to “come down.” But, I’ve found, when you get too high, and your thoughts begin to come true (almost miraculously), THEN the bad stuff happens. Your judgment is SERIOUSLY compromised, and you’re left in it’s wake.

    The BAD stuff – I let a drunken man, who I had just met, drive my car – and he totaled it. Then, after he moved in with me, when he decided to leave, we had a brawl on my front porch. The BAD things had just started, and I was beginning to get scared.

    Within a week, I had signed myself into a private psychiatric hospital. I came “down” all right; I was discharged with clinical DEPRESSION, which lasted a year!

    Now, I follow a treatment plan, take my meds, sleep with an “ebb and flow” cycle, etc. It’s NOT WORTH the pain of becoming manic. I can’t AFFORD another hospitalization, not because I don’t have insurance, but because my life is pretty good right now, and I don’t want to lose it.

    Well, that’s just an outline of being manic. It is NOT fun, no matter how “grandiose” the ideas or the delusions, or the heartache you cause your loved ones.

    Thank you for letting me “add my two cents” to your blog. Your emails have helped me soooo much. I have both your courses, and they are valuable to me. Keep up the great emails; you help more than you know:)

  2. I have a best friend who is manic right now. I have supported her through manic cycles in the past. With each manic cycle she starts to believe that I hate her and her children, and am actually trying to destroy her and her family. She finds other people to be close to and tells them all the things she thinks I am doing.
    Has anyone ever felt this feeling about a friend when they were manic? Does this feeling only occur about the people you are very close to? Do you remember this behavior later? What is the best way for a friend to behave when you are feeling this way?
    I would love insight. She usually has her mania in the fall. And she was planning to go to a doctor before this one started, but I think her husband, who is afraid to believe this is happening to her, talked her out of it.

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