Mania is that step beyond the merely hypomanic and to enter there is to begin a trip that can end quite badly on several levels...not always of course, but if it doesn't it is usually by accident and the aid of some really caring persons willing to stick by the manic person as they take the ultimate bipolar ride.
A manic spree can have many features such as over-spending, euphoria, lack of sleep, extremely "pressurised" speech (I call it the spittle-slinging stage of things), overt sexuality and promiscuousness, substance abuse in wild proportions, aggressiveness and sometimes anger and extreme violence, delusional behaviour, and hallucinations of all sorts. It's a pretty wild and oftentimes exciting ride...but the one thing to remember is that it is ultimately quite destructive to all concerned and most especially the manic person. Learn a bit more about what some of this terminology means by reading the rest of this section which will familiarise you with many of the terms you will hear frequently used by knowledgeable bipolars and by their therapists and psychiatrists.
Bipolar Behavioral Characteristics
Blessed by the Muse...
The Upside of Mania
When mania strikes, the bipolar person often exhibits full flights of fancy, you will notice a pre-emptive ability to argue aggressively and passionately for an intellectual position. A bipolar personality is intense and can accomplish an incredible amount of work with little or no sleep when manic. They are frequently impatient with other's slowness, often thinking they can conquer the world. You'll find them prone to overgenerous behaviors, such as taking and paying for unexpected trips with friends and acquaintances; spending huge amounts of money on credit cards and in general being a bit of a challenge for the slower-moving folk of the world.
Think of bipolars as brilliant diamonds: when on a manic swing, like
the breathtaking, icey diamond, they can be lovely to look at, but are
capable of cutting through you as easily as a diamond will etch glass.
Manic-depressives can be, and are, very charming, fascinating personalities,
but there's always a yin for every yang isn't there?
And Cursed by the Devil...
The Downside of Mania
While riding the manic tornado, a bipolar will sleep little if at all, will often use drugs of varying sorts, and frequently self-medicates with quantities of alcohol no person their size should be able to consume and keep walking--it is a notable characteristic of the species it seems. In its extreme form, mania may manifest itself as psychoses, complete with dissociative behaviours and a crippling inability to distinguish the real world from the one induced by the illness.
An individual on a manic high can be extremely volatile, may exhibit
pronounced tendencies toward risky behaviours, often becomes a sexual
predator, and may move from being the fast-talking 'life of the party'
type to that of a physically aggressive, belligerent danger to themself
and others. Under no circumstances should one
attempt to care for a person in an extreme state
without the aid of a trained physician and hospitalisation.