Posted by: Kay in Gtown | 2009/09/25

Manic tears?

I’ m sorry I’ m posting a lot. My head is a bit hectic. :(

Is it possible, when you’ re manic, that you can be laughing and feeling interested in all things and feeling at one with the universe one moment, and then in the next, be crying because you saw a soppy advertisement or you heard a sad story about someone? It’ s as if your soul and emotions are SO wide open to everything around you, that it’ s an effort to keep every little thing from inducing more intense emotion (+ve or – ve) and affecting you deeply? The crying is not depressed crying, it’ s more a feeling of being so deeply connected that you feel others’  pain and sadness as if it was your own or you feel so close to Mother Nature, that a pretty cloud brings you to tears? As if the intensity of everything is turned to full volume all the time, not just the good, but also the bad? Like your filters are way too permeable? This was me today. Is this ‘ mixed’  or is it just another way mania can be?

I let myself get triggered at my SADAG support group meeting tonight where we watched an excellent SADAG documentary on depression, which was, unfortunately for me, an hour-long unpleasant, downright scarey, dé jà  vu of my whole adult life, and the Black Pit from just 5 mths back, where I just can’ t go again. I was both laughing and crying (not out loud, just quietly). Now, at home, I’ m hyped up, pacing, rocking/shaking my legs, snowball’ s chance in hell of lying still enough to sleep, crying, joyous, panicky. I’ m way too wired to sleep but I can hardly keep my eyes open. I am utterly exhausted. I must get to sleep, but how…  what is going on?

Sigh, I’ m so confused and I have no idea when it’ s time to call my pdoc. Can you give me any advice..? This is just hard :~(

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Our expert says:
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Part of being manic is being emotionally unstable, and so a manic episode may not be exclusively merriment and hyperactivity. It can include what is more technically called "emotional lability". And there's increased vulnerability, of course.
And, perhaps oddly, some of the scientific research into the nature of bipolar disorder chemically, and some of the rationale for the important drugs which serve as mood stabilizers, happens to be about permeability of membranes, and controlling just this.
I wonder about the value of already depressed people watching a long documentary about depression. If it provides usable information about the nature of depression and its treatment, that's fine, but where it dramatizes the experience --- that can be valuable in showing the non-depressed, non-polar people what it can be like, but it's hardly necessaery to convince people with personal experience, of what it is like --- they know that far too well.
Call your pdoc in the morning. ANd though I am only answering this the following morning, what might be worth trying at such a late night session would be NOT pacing and worying about how to sleep, but using the energy --- try tidying the pots and pans in the kitchen, alphabetizing your bookshelves. Filing the cat. That sort of thing. Until you feel drowsy

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