Eli5 why is mania bad?


I understand that this is considered a mental health disorder and I’m sure there is a reason why but Mayo Clinic says that mania is characterized by an extremely elevated and excitable mood. It sounds to me like I would enjoy being elevated and excited. Now I totally can see why depression would suck in the case of bipolar especially oscillating between the two, but unipolar mania is a thing too.

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32 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s also characterised by a sensation of excessive energy. People who are manic are unable to sleep and feel like they can’t stop. Sometimes this means doing risky things and can escalate into delusions where they believe they can do things that a human body can’t physically survive.

Most people with bipolar tend to have long periods of depression and very short periods of mania.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s not as much fun as it sounds. Seeing a person in a manic state for days or weeks on end is like watching torture.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Most of the time people in mania episodes (specially when they don’t know what is going on with them) might be suceptible to do risky stuff or get in (immediate or future) trouble thanks to having more energy, being easily irritated or being impulsive.

They can also lose the ability to sleep well (or sleep at all) thanks to high energy levels which can also affect their capacity to think clearly and mental agility, and that has an impact on their relationships, work, school…and that creates more and more problems for the person.

Anonymous 0 Comments

>extremely elevated and excitable mood…It sounds to me like I would enjoy being elevated and excited.

I think you’re underestimating the “extremely” part. Mania isn’t just “being elevated and excited”. *That* sounds good. Mania is more like

* being SO elevated and excited that you feel invincible and drive 50 over the speed limit. Maybe while belting along to a blasting radio because that feels great too. And so what if I close my eyes to nail the high notes, everything’s fineeee!!
* SO excited you don’t sleep for 3 days because this new show or hobby you just found is SO F****** GOOD.
* SO elevated you buy a new car or console or collectibles you can’t afford because WhoCaresLifeIsAmazingAndThisIsShinyAndIWantIt

It’s classified as a disorder when you’re not just “excited and elevated”, you’re *problematically, uncontrollably excited and elevated* in a way that causes problems.

Think of it kind of like how addictions are a disorder. “Liking alcohol” isn’t a mental disorder. When drinking starts causing problems in your life and relationships and you can’t control it, that’s alcoholism. Same way, just “being elevated and excited” isn’t a disorder either.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Mania can ruin relationships, drain your bank account, land you in the hospital, cause violent behavior, delusional behavior, irrational decisions. Feeling elevated and excited can be a good thing of course, but not when it escalates into a manic episode where you lose control over your thoughts and actions. Inevitably followed by an equally deep depression in Bipolar disorder.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Imagine how you think depression is just a lot of really bad things making someone feel “down”

Now imagine the opposite of those bad things making someone feel “up”

Yeah. There’s a lot of bad decisions made during manic moments. Nothing has really changed, except the “yes man” attitude and willingness to do *everything.*

Anonymous 0 Comments

I had a friend that was bipolar. She would binge coke and alcohol when she was manic, never sleep and spend all her money. She finally landed in rehab and got therapy and meds. Doing much better now.

Anonymous 0 Comments

As a friend with a bipolar gf put it, the “happy/up” that she is during manic episodes is not anywhere close to a “normal” level of happy/up. It’s a beyond the pale, you’re scaring the crap out of everyone around you kind of energy.

Another friend who has episodes of mania does things like run away from home due to extreme paranoia, living out of cars and hotels, calling up friends with extreme requests for cash, and having unprotected sexual interactions with a lot of strangers before coming down. It’s like all of their self-destructive tendencies get revved up by 10,000% and there are no brakes and at the end of the spree they just have a completely wrecked life/body to come home to.

It’s not fun. It’s fucking terrifying.

Anonymous 0 Comments

As someone with *hypo*manic bipolar, it’s not really that bad at all.

My manic days typically go really well. I’m super high functioning and productive, I’m personable, I tend to call/text a lot. I’m maybe a little bit hyper or extra, it’s possible I’m kinda annoying on those days?, but not enough for anyone to say anything about it.

Typically i don’t even notice it in the moment. It’s usually around the end of the day when it gets to be more like an anxious feeling, and I’ll get things like a clenched jaw and chest flutters and rarely a low grade panic attack as things start to crash…but typically it’ll just kinda occur to me like “oh, huh, i guess I’ve been a little manic today. neat.”

I typically say to my psych that ideally, I’d have more days like that. It’s usually a great day with some mild unpleasant side effects. It can be associated with insomnia, but I get that with depression too.

For people with worse mania, the problems mostly stem from risky activities. You might buy things you can’t afford (this is the closest to danger I get, but it’s like…i might go on Amazon and buy a Lego set, lol), have sex you shouldn’t have, or do physically dangerous things. You might also just be overbearing. You might call or text people and they react “what the hell is wrong with that guy today?”

Anonymous 0 Comments

>It sounds to me like I would enjoy being elevated and excited.

For an evening, yes. Not for more than a week, though. You would be sleep-deprived, you would feel invincible, and you would make poor life choices. Like unprotected sex, betting all your savings on a roulette number, driving twice the speed limit and so on.