Sunday, January 31, 2010

Manic depression and sociopathy (part 3)

Oh, there's something that I wanted to add. My own theory when I'm in a hypomanic and manic state. From personal experience my brain has the ability to work faster and harder in a hypomanic state, so when you're in a social situation everything is happening in slow motion. That means a few things, one you get bored easily, secondly you can decipher people and their motivations much quicker. Combine the latter point with boredom and playing with people becomes entertaining. However, my brain would spin faster and faster if you will, becoming more capable by the hour but at a certain point you have a psychotic break. As if you're reached the practical limit of your brain's processing power and you just unravel and lose touch with reality. At this point you're living in your own world, and it feels great (at least in my experiences it has), but you will freak everyone around out.
I don't know that much about manic depressives, although I was accused of being one once during a period of prolonged illness. I wish I knew more about it, but maybe my readers do. Shall we see what they have to say about things?


  1. That’s exactly how I would describe it. A mildly elevated state is the norm for me, and gives me an edge at work. Having to slow down and crawl through boring meetings with others can be painful though and then I’m usually not feeling much empathy for those around me.

    I don’t spin out of control, but my thoughts can start racing if I'm feeling trapped. The more trapped I feel the more I think, and the more I think the more trapped I feel. Unless I find a way out it all keeps escalating.

  2. You sound a little delusional, to be honest with you. That bit about your brain becoming more and more capable by the hour strikes me as particularly bad. People in a manic state seem to think less and rely more on intuitive analysis of a shrinking pool of data, which usually translates into bad judgment, even if it is faster.

    The subconscious is surprisingly powerful, no doubt, but beyond a certain (low) threshold, relying on snap judgments and incomplete observations becomes a liability, not an asset. You may feel elated that all of your poorly constructed ideas seem to fit together perfectly and with ease, but they're probably way off the mark. What's worse is that while you're in a manic state, you'll probably ignore any rational evidence you're given and just spin another story for yourself to keep on believing.

    Mania is no joke. It can be an asset when any action at all is preferable to inaction, which it often is, but to say that it makes your brain more capable is ludicrous. Studies show that people are actually less intelligent during manic phases, and I believe it's because they jump from conclusion to conclusion, willy nilly, constantly believing they're right unless they're smacked in the face with a brick. Even then, they just pick up at the last thought they had that hasn't been proven wrong, and they keep on going.

    Without the capacity for reflection or anything more than a superficial analysis of any thought or situation, they're quite limited.

  3. Anonymous, when you were manic did you find yourself jumping from conclusion to conclusion, willy nilly?

    Did you experience racing thoughts, a hypomanic state, or a psychotic break from reality? Or all of the above? And when did the elation you refer to wear off exactly?

  4. I'm not mentally ill, but I've dealt with many manic individuals at work. Their ideas are never completely thought out, and if you examine the logic they present to you, it's clearly based on false assumptions, which are most likely generated in a similar manner.

    One patient approached me, thinking he'd figured out the dynamics of power among the staff. What he had to say was extremely entertaining, and he delivered it with such certainty and conviction. When I sat down to listen to him, it was clear he wasn't thinking straight. It was like he was skimming the surface details, constructing a story supported by them, then cherry picking information that supported or expanded upon his theory.

    He believed that the receptionist was the center of power in the office, and that she had a network of influence branching out to the rest of the staff. It's highly amusing, but it's also very wrong. It was no use trying to explain that to him, though.

    1. Sounds like you are amused and fascinated by this illness and haven't a clue about what it feels like to have this disorder. I pray you will develop more compassion and get in touch with your own judgements. Sounds like this person was very intimidated in this atmosphere.

  5. I think calling it an "edge" is very accurate indeed. My best friend was bipolar (I know, I do seem to attract some types) and in his manic stages he was nothing short of fantastic, brilliant. Could not be stopped. His ideas were sometimes ill conceived and sometimes resulted in awful decisions, but then the depression was the result of the guilt and shame he felt when he realised his mania had gotten out of control again. Although, the way he described his manic states; feelings of uncontrollable impulse, racing thoughts, grandiosity (and irrational decisions as a result of)... that's just how I feel all the time.

  6. I thought mania was just being hyper active and wild. Guess i was wrong there. I had no idea a person with bipolar completely detach's from reality during an episode. That sounds serious. So for instance if a person suffering from mania believed they could fly, would they try and test that theory? Pardon me for the random question, im a little intrigued.

    Tink :)

    Tink :)

  7. Anonymous, yes. Sometimes mania can border on psychosis.

    I had a bipolar friend who would sometimes do insane stuff during an run around the perimeter of the house thinking he was literally God, or would run down Hollywood Boulevard completely naked.

    Certainly not all bipolar people get this crazy, though, but some do.

  8. I went totally psychotic twice during mania. During an episode, I thought a friend of mine was possessed. It was during the start of one. I grabbed two knives while he slept. My thinking was I had to save him because he was evil. I was very convinced. But there was a small part of me that sensed something was not totally right with this. So when he awoke I told him of my thinking and he freaked of course. I always tried to get others opinion on my thoughts during this, which was a good thing in retrospect. Further in my manic episode, I was faced with a strong impulse to end myself. I was at one point on the edge of a high hill, with everything, myself, my god, my devil, suggesting to end me, end myself. I fought real hard against this. I was crying and feeling so guiltly for every little bad thing I ever did. I remember thinking you know, fuck this, I walked over to a store, bought a pack of marlboros, and put them in my sleeve rolled up like a character in a stephen king novel, and walked into oncoming traffic like a badass, lol. Crazy. But I survived.

    I saw very weird things that to this day I cannot explain (I dont think they due to psychotic confusion)

    I think the thing that creates psychosis at least for me is lack of sleep.

  9. I've never told anyone that. It was really a lot tougher than what I said as I suppose most things are.

  10. Hey aspie, that sounds really serious. Be careful who you give that infomation out to. What would happen if you had one of those episodes again and someone with an agenda goaded you to jump?
    And that is my utterly useless advice for today. I feel better now.

    Tink :)

  11. I find lack of sleep makes it worse for me too. Also too much caffeine and being in some mental conflict, like if one part of me really wants something and the other really doesn’t. If I’m experiencing racing thoughts for more than a day I take the pressure off and cut back on the caffeine for a day or two, which sucks, but does the trick.

  12. aspie said...
    I've never told anyone that. It was really a lot tougher than what I said as I suppose most things are.

    Yours reminds me of my own. The same elements were in mine, good and evil, god, possession, the devil. And that terrible mental struggle, the crazy impulses, their relentlessly pushing.

  13. Anonymous said...
    I'm not mentally ill, but I've dealt with many manic individuals at work. Their ideas are never completely thought out, and if you examine the logic they present to you, it's clearly based on false assumptions, which are most likely generated in a similar manner.

    You can't understand from the outside so don't be so quick to judge. I gained insight from the craziness and better knowledge of myself, and my limitations. Other people just saw the craziness. Not everyone manic acts out. I don't. I could be sitting next to you and you would never know it. :)

  14. When I have manic episodes, I become downright callous most of the time... I ruin lives and don't care much about it. I manipulate almost everyone around me and I am always reading people for weakness to use against them. I also get hypersexual and make up lies like crazy. I feel as though I am possessed during this process. I have the normal period which is often rationalized with, "I was manic" and I do the obligatory, "I'm sorry" routines even though some of them deserved it and I do it because I was always told to. I never really feel it. I never get depressed though, just apathetic

  15. Manic mood issues that are connected with bipolar disorder meddle with personality development.The prior the manic mood issues begin,the more personality is influenced.I have had the benefit of teaching child adolescent and adult development commonly now.It is entrenched that our identities don't quit creating at 18 that is the reason mood issues at any age can influence personality.

    Emily Reed.


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