Thirty Symptoms of Mania

When I start to feel this way I describe below, or when these symptoms show up, I know that I am either already manic or in the early stages of becoming manic. Hypomania is simply a milder version of mania – but it is still enough to cause problems.

The “Mania is Wonderful” Signs

1. I feel great!

My energy level rises and anything I want to do, I just do. I feel confident about my decisions. Nothing is problematic – I can fix anything. I feel good about myself and I’m happy. I have the best of all possible lives.

This is like the feeling you get when you’ve just successfully pulled off a great project. Except it stays with us all the time. And it’s wonderful – if I could have this feeling all the time, I would.

2. I’m charismatic.

I can persuade people to follow my lead. I can see what needs to be done and will take charge in a group. I have no problems being the chair of an organisation or committee – and will volunteer for the post.

If I’m out partying, I’m a centre of attention. I have no problems chatting with strangers, and I can always pick up someone if I wanted to (well, at least before I added on an extra 20lbs).

I’m your best date – thoughtful, funny, romantic, willing to do unusual or wildly silly things for you. You’ll probably get poetry too – I have a way with words. My world revolves around you.

3. I’m extravagant.

I want the best things, and I’m willing to pay for them. Show me the newest shiniest baubles and persuade me to buy them. I will. And price doesn’t matter.

The Physical Signs

4. All my muscles become tight and tense.

It is particularly noticeable in my jaw muscles and in the shoulder muscles just below my neck because they can become painful, but I often also feel as if my chest muscles are tightening up as if I am getting ready to hold my breath. The jawline tension can also feel like a nasty headache.

My other muscles are affected too, in fact before I was diagnosed, my muscles used to be so tense so often that I never realised that they were tense. When I took medication for the first time, they all relaxed probably for the first time in years.

This is not a stress reaction – I will get tense even when I’m doing exactly the same daily things that are not normally stressful.

5. My heartbeat feels as if it is racing.

Though the one time that I used a heart rate monitor to check, my heart rate was the same as normal. The apparent increase in heart rate combined with the tense muscles can be mistaken as feeling excited, or being enthusiastic, or feeling that something you have to do is urgent.

In all cases, the level of excitement / urgency is out of proportion with what is happening to me or around me or what I have to get done – the stuff is not so exciting, or so great, or so urgent.

Alternatively, the sense that your heart is racing plus the sensation that you chest muscles are tense so that you are holding your breath can make you feel as if as if you are panicking. Unfortunately, depression can cause a real panic attack so you need to be able to distinguish between the two. The way to do that is to compare the other sensations you are having to see which matches up better.

6. I get twitchy.

I shake my feet or tap my hand on the table if I am not paying attention. I may get spasms in my shoulders for no reason, or feel as if my chest area is clenching for a second or so.

7. Driving becomes difficult and hazardous.

I overreact to oncoming or overtaking vehicles and often overcompensate by swerving out of the way. I am distracted by all the cars whizzing by and by things that I pass by.

My memory failure (see item 26) makes it difficult keep a mental picture of traffic around me. At intersections, if I look for cars in one direction, by the time I check the other direction I have forgotten if there are oncoming cars from the first direction.

8. I don’t feel like going to sleep.

I have all this energy and I can go until 3 am without feeling drowsy or muzzy headed. And then I’ll get up at 6:30 am feeling perfectly refreshed.

9. Physical activities become easier.

All exercise requiring full muscle movements (cycling, running, swimming, lifting weights) becomes much easier. When I am manic I have lifted weights weighing nearly one and a half as much as I usually can, swam twenty lengths more than normal, and ran a circuit 15% faster than my standard best time.

In addition, while I am doing all this extra exercise, it feels easier than when I am exercising normally. And any usual aches or pain from accidents don’t bother me as much – they are just not important.

However, the manic edge in exercising will only last for about two or so hours of continuous exercise (so it’s no good for marathons or adventure races).

10. Activities requiring fine motor control in my hands become difficult.

At the same time as physical actives become easier, things like tying shoelaces requires lots of concentration and so I tend to prefer stuff without laces. Shaving becomes difficult, so I used to leave my beard to grow (until I started getting grays, then vanity become more important). Picking up or putting down stuff can become a bit spastic, and can be really irritating.

Handwriting gets erratic and I have difficulty signing my name. In fact I have four separate handwriting styles, normal, slightly manic, pretty manic, and depressed. They don’t look too much like each other. I do get called into the bank frequently to update my signature.

I tend to feel jittery, as if my hands are shaking, but if I hold them up to check them, I seem to be able to hold them steady.

The Verbal Signs

11. Speech speeds up.

And it often can become unintelligible to others (as noticed usually by people asking “what?”). The speech also gets louder – I’ve often been told I’m talking too loudly.

I also get verbally twitchy. I talk to myself, repeating the words to myself. Usually it is quiet, but it’s also fairly common for someone to ask me if I was speaking to them.

I’m making this sound like the mad people you see on television. But isn’t like that. Really.

Usually both the physical twitchiness (item 6) and verbal twitchiness are not intense and I can damp them down when I recognise it is happening.

12. Language becomes a toy.

It becomes something to play with rather than a workman’s tool of communication. I can churn out limericks within minutes on anything that is happening around me.

My poetry comes out fully formed in a burst lasting from two to less than twenty minutes and needs no fine tuning or rewriting.

13. There is a tendency when speaking to have sentences trail off without finishing them.

More frequently, I would be in the midst of a sentence and forget the next word or phrase I wanted to say.

Indeed I forget all the words I need to use to show the point I was trying to make. I would be able to visualise what I want to say, but not be able to think how to say it.

The Social Signs

14. I get the intense urge to do stupid or silly things to people.

Even if I know it will irritate them. I will say inappropriate jokes or comments, or try to poke / tickle people, or interrupt others in the middle of their conversation, or butt into conversations I am not a part of. This seems to be a variation of the twitchiness – social twitchiness, as it were.

I am known as a nice guy but somewhat socially inept on occasion.

The hardest part is that I know that these things are not socially acceptable, but I won’t be able to help myself. In one case I sent an e-mail to someone apologising for rude limerick I was sending, even as I sent it. But I couldn’t stop myself.

15. I may get very expansive and generous to all people.

I happily say hello to strangers in the street. I smile at the things people do. I go out of my way to be helpful, even involving myself in conversations that I am no part of.

It’s a bit like the bonhomie one gets when one is somewhat drunk.

16. I have difficulty being in a crowd.

Every thing that happens catches my attention and I get so confused trying to see and listen to everything simultaneously that I can’t focus on the conversation with the person in front of me.

If the crowd is in good spirits, I pick up the mood and magnify it so that I may become to the most boisterous, funny, witty, daring, person present. I can be either the life of the party or the clown. A family gathering is a big enough crowd for all the problems to appear.

The Anger / Overreaction Signs

17. I react to incidents way out of proportion to what is needed.

I become too excited, or too angry, or too happy, or too anxious.

This is perhaps not a bad thing with the good emotions, but with the negative emotions – particularly anger and anxiety – I can escalate arguments or turn simple incidents into major ones. Not a good thing.

18. I get irritated about the smallest things.

I argue with waiters. I get annoyed with store clerks. I quarrel with the telephone operators. I get short tempered with my friends and my family. I argue about truly petty things at home. I even quarrel because I may find things aren’t being done quickly enough to suit me.

Combine this with the tendency to escalate incidents and I am not pleasant to be around when I’m manic. I seem to be involved in an argument all the time and I can easily become loud and vicious and say mean and cruel things.

Although I rarely get physically abusive, the threat that I will hit or do something mean frequently seems to hang in the air.

The Mental Distraction Signs

19. I get easily confused or distracted if I have more than one thing to do.

Everything become equally urgent and I find myself swapping between doing 5 things at once (and getting none done adequately). I cannot concentrate enough to do one thing because I feel I need to get everything done now!

One of most obvious ways I notice this is I start walking back and forth between two locations to get two things done simultaneously (for example – trying to change on a morning and trying to get breakfast organised).

The actual urgency of the tasks or the amount of time I have left to do the tasks aren’t important – I just feel as if I’m not going to finish in time.

And often, when I finish them all and I realise I still have three hours left, I feel odd, as if I was pushing against a hurricane wind and it has stopped and I’ve fallen flat.

20. Productivity can soar as I think more clearly, move faster, get more things done.

This happens in the early stages of mania. Unfortunately, as the mania becomes more pronounced, this feeling degenerates to…

21. I get ideas on all the things I want to do.

Good ideas. I think this is what the standard texts mean by grandiose ideas, but it doesn’t manifest as “grandiose.” Just good ideas and lots and lots of them.

The number of things I am thinking of can get so numerous and intense that they can halt any functionality I have as I sit down and think on them instead of getting ahead with what I have to do.

22. I will suddenly decide to start a lot of projects.

In a one or two day period I want to put into action all the good ideas I am having. However, very few of the projects I start will be followed through or finished.

There is a strong tendency to volunteer to be in action groups, committees, or to be take a key role in some project.

23. Studying is difficult.

I cannot read documents or write papers because I cannot concentrate. After a few minutes I want to get up and walk around, or I sit and think of unrelated things, or I get excited and head into grandiose ideas (see item 21).

It’s not that I don’t want to study, it’s that I can’t.

24. Alternatively, I can get focused on one project almost to the exclusion of everything else.

I visualise with crystal clarity what needs to be done and I can’t wait to get back to working on the project.

I may even stay at work until late hours or at home until the wee hours of the morning to work on the project.

I take time off other tasks, even important ones, to finish the project. Other work suffers and paperwork from them pile up on my desk. Activities outside work and relationships may suffer.

25. I become impatient with other people’s slowness.

I quarrel with others. Given half a chance I take over even though this might not be the most diplomatic thing to do.

26. Memory about facts or items fail.

I can’t remember dates, names of things, or when I met people, or telephone numbers. I often can’t remember activities that I have done unless strongly reminded. I forget things I have to do, appointments, etc. I am famous among my friends for this.

This also happens when I am depressed, and may be a general bipolar problem.

Miscellaneous Signs

27. When I do sleep, I get vivid realistic full colour dreams.

I feel as I am actually living these dreams as if they are real life. In real life, sometimes I’m not certain if my memories are from real life or from one of these dreams. (I can never remember these or any of my dreams in detail).

28. My hands and skin feel warmer and I seem to radiate more body heat.

I don’t know if this is because my body temperature (or metabolism) increases, or if circulation in my skin increases.

The rise in skin temperature is so consistent with hypomania that C., my brother, and my friends can simply hold my hand or touch my neck to determine if I am hypomanic. C. likes it because it makes me more cuddly in bed.

If this happens to you as well, please let me know.

29. It appears that I become more resistant to becoming ill.

This is mostly anecdotal as it is difficult to document.

30. I get major carbohydrate (not sugar) cravings.

Bread, rice, and pasta are wonderful. Or, I don’t feel like eating at all.

Related Points

I thought a lot of these things above were my normal behaviour until I went on medication. After all, most of them aren’t so far out of the ordinary and they can be easily be mistaken for quirks of behaviour.

However, the first time I took an anti-manic, they all stopped. And I don’t mean kinda stopped. I mean the behaviours stopped cold, stopped existing, disappeared from the way I acted.

It was so noticeable that even people who didn’t know there was something wrong with me or that I was on medication commented on the change in my behaviour. They thought I was calmer, and that my speech was less rushed.

It’s a bit scary when qualities that you thought were part of yourself simply disappear. But most of the things above are nuisances and irritations, or make me less well liked by other people, or interfere with my ability to deal with people, or make me less productive.

Quite frankly I’m happy not to have the manic symptoms. They get old when you have to apologise to people everyday for how you acted the day before, or when you realise that you can’t coordinate well enough to untangle your mp3 player’s headphone cables, or when you can’t read more two pages of your class textbook before becoming distracted.

There are benefits too, yes. Because of either my cold logical manic anger or to my super sunny charismatic bonhomie, I have a reputation of being able to get things done when no one else can make them happen. And the manic “feel good” feeling is something I miss when I am normal.

But overall, my productivity is higher when I am closer to normal than if measured over my whole manic cycle. And I’d rather be able to get more done.

To be fair, my ideal is being ever so slightly manic all the time. So I feel good and have slightly higher productivity than normal, without all the nuisances. Or at least with the nuisances at a manageable level. But it’s hard to balance my moods at that point.

78 thoughts on “Thirty Symptoms of Mania

Add yours

  1. You are really prolific today. Hope it’s not a sign that you are becoming manic. Thanks for all the great information. Hope you get the chance to try the Ketamine again. It sound great.


    1. Not so much prolific as transferring old articles from my old webhosting site to here at WordPress. It’s gotten too difficult to manage content otherwise. Expect me to be cluttering your inbox for a while again. Sorry about that. Should be done by Wed 14 Nov 12. Hope you are doing well too.


    2. Where was ketamine mentioned sorry? I feel this maybe a subject relevant to me that I wouldn’t want to miss. I can relate to almost all of this and an undiagnosed


    3. Heat. Always the heat. Bipolar here and always feels like my body’s going to spontaneously combust. Mid winter is my dream, a dream where i wear shorts. The heat the heat!


  2. Ditto on the heart rate bump, actually I’ve measured a +10bpm difference using my iPhone or heart rate monitors… also same with the exercising, I can lift more, run harder, with more intensity and volume. It’s not something that I’ve really seen other people mention, so it’s interesting that we both share this and the recovery periodicity. I spent time reading textbooks on manic-depression/bipolar and such rapid cycling isn’t really that well documented elsewhere.


  3. My temperature rises too when I’m hypomanic. In the summer it has proven to be very annoying to my boy/girlfriends when we went to sleep. Some nights they would sleep on the couch. But they would always make up for it during winter where they would just kinda stick to me all the time. Or tell me to get ready for bed first, so I could warm up the bed quickly.

    I have two different duvets. One is very thin and not very warm for when I’m hypomanic. The other is thicker. I change to the thin one whenever I start to get manic symptoms, or else I will feel too warm. I got diagnosed recently, but have been doing this for about 8 years.

    I’m very glad you have this site and it has really helped me alot.

    Best regards from Denmark!


    1. LOL. “Bipolar people are hotter!” – there’s a good T-shirt slogan.

      Thanks for the information and glad that you like the website. Hope things are going well with you.


  4. Corroborating the body temperature correlation – absolutely hot when manic (jogging outside in shorts and a sleeveless T-shirt in zero-degree Minnesota winter); versus wearing a pea coat indoors when on depressive end of the spectrum (in the spring). Lab tests show I dont have a thyroid problem.


  5. I just stumbled in….boy I’m glad I did. Everything you wrote is me in a way I could never explain it to anyone if I tried. Thanks. I feel better just for reading it


    1. amen to that. I’ve read a lot of bipolar books, being bipolar myself however this was an exact replica of how I’ve been feeling lately


    1. I swear I though it was just hot flashes. I am onb a downward spiral right now. I cant stand to be near me. I got up this morning and as much as I know what was coming out of my mouth was wrong, I just cant stop myself. Just made an appointment with my Dr and a therapist I used to see My heart med interacts with the simple antidepressant I used take that seemed to keep me at an even keel


    1. Constant anxiety. I am learning to keep it in check. I recently started on a med to regulate my heart beat and it really helps with the anxiety…check it and sure enough it’s used off label for that.


      1. Well there’s things like beta-blockers and then there’s things like Clonidine (trade names Catapres, Kapvay, Nexiclon and others) is a sympatholytic medication used to treat high blood pressure, ADHD, anxiety/panic disorder, and certain pain conditions. It is classified as a centrally acting α2 adrenergic agonist. An alternative hypothesis that has been proposed is that clonidine acts centrally as an imidazoline receptor agonist.


      2. I was on an anxiety board and someone mentioned taking propranolol for their anxiety. I was put on metoprolol for an irregular heart beat and saw the similarities in their names…..I found that they were similar and realized since I had been on it I had really stopped projecting and worrying about what could be, what might be, etc.


  6. This is one of the best posts related to bipolar mania that I have ever read. I relate to almost every single line item and yes, I can also confirm the rising body temp. The more hypo I am the hotter I am and so on…also the same about being cold when on a major down. And thank you for verbalizing something I had not seen anyone else talk about…the inner trembling. I hate it and find the worse it gets the more tense my muscles get, especially in my arms and shoulders and neck my legs just above my knees.


  7. I don’t know why but during this particular episode I have been burning up. As in I feel super warm. I just feel like taking my clothes off bc it’s so hot! Is that same warmth you feel as you mentioned in number 28?


  8. I experience the heat thing too. My partner always tells me I’m like a radiator at night and I’ve only just realised it’s during mania now you’ve mentioned it!


      1. Oliver – What I was referring to is an all over increase in skin temperature. What you were referring to sounds like a localised increase in temperature in the genital region. I’m not sure they are quite the same thing.


      2. Why thank you for reminding me how a jilted lover can trigger a break. Gonads aside, typical body heat increase is all over the body or arms, legs etc… because the heat is somatically based, blood pressure would have some part to play, though the cognative elements can create quite a heat and indeed chill effect dependant upon all kinds of mood, affective, related factors….


  9. You’ve finally made sense of the the heat thing for me! I thought it was random and just a weird “thing” that happens to me.


    1. I’m not bipolar as far as I know, but since I was very young I’ve had “funny moods” (hard to describe, only really opened up in full with close friends as I’m a bit of a sociophobe so not around many people – mind zipping along, everything is funny/fun, and so am I) and something I’d describe as late night overreactivity – always accompanied heat. Building things, moving furniture, reorganising, taking things to bits, fixing things, time seems a bit irrelevant, resilience increases.
      It’s not something that only happens at night, just more noticeable. I had my first dose for a while earlier, I felt (but didn’t recognise) the heat start around 5pm while out shopping. It’s just gone midnight now – I’d been building IKEA furniture, rearranging stuff, assembling Xmas decor etc. for 2 or 3 his when I got home. I recognised the fact in the middle of a furniture build and managed to temper it with the imagined voice of someone I used to know, reminding me I have work in the morning.

      It’s now just gone midnight here, and my mind is reasonably free, but body still warmer than normal. I’ve no clue how rested I’ll be in the morning (that varies for me), but hopefully my brain will work as I’m gonna need it pretty intensively tomorrow!

      Anyway, reading a few people’s experiences, it does sound similar to hypomania, but, it’s been rare over the past few years as I’ve been mostly low, periodically actually depressed, but these hot bits (which I quite enjoy as for me it’s mild and manageable through me not socialising that well when”normal”) just weren’t happening. I wonder where I’m heading, but hopefully I ether stay sub manic, or get help like you did. I realise this is a few years old, but I hope you’re still doing well 🙂


      1. 24hrs later, I’m still a fair way up, but energy has warn of a bit this evening. Still warm, still high mood. TV seemed to dull me a bit earlier (opium for the masses and all that) but I kicked out and built the last bit of IKEA stuff from yesterday.

        Work today was reasonably productive, but both brain and body were racing and my minded flitted about a bit, but was (mostly) working fast enough that it wasn’t a problem. I’m riding the wave at the moment, so enjoying it. As it’s not disruptive, and I don’t *think* anyone’s noticed in a negative way, I don’t think I’m manic, so I’ll stick with this just being a quirk of me for now.

        (I’ve been more chatty than usual and did have some moments of sort off verbal overrun where things got mashed together, but I want speaking, or managed to recover enough before the words came out that I think I got away with it & did have/notice[/imagine!?] some attention from the opposite sex in unexpected contexts, plus a cat followed me to my door – is a car I see around, but it’s not normally like that – likely coincidence, but it didn’t feel like that at the time!)

        Anyway, thanks for posting this a couple of years ago. Even though I’m not suffering with the more extreme manic side, your post did help recognise these things in me, and not feel as weird/guilty/isolated and believe there is help and support if things do go off the deep end, so genuinely, seriously, thanks for sharing, your helping a lot of people still.


  10. wow its neat that you pretty much nailed all the symptoms of bipolar mania. Ive never actually seen someone put it all down on paper of exactly what its like in the mind. You did well. I know it is not an easy thing to live with. Im just happy to know im not the only one feeling the same way.


  11. Yeah, you nailed everything to a tee. The entire time I’m reading along, its as if I’m following myself.

    The “ever-so-slightly manic phase” was always my idea of what my “normal self” was. It took me a few years to realize its only a piece of the bipolar pie.

    The carbohydrate cravings are something I also noticed.

    As far as the the illness resistance goes, I very rarely get sick anyway (maybe once a year), so Im no help there.

    It has been a breath of fresh air reading your posts. I thought all of these symptoms were specific to me alone. Its always nice to know you aren’t completely alone in the world.


  12. I just found your website earlier today, and I’m very glad that I did. I haven’t found a single place where there was so much useful information on being Bipolar before. I also get hotter, but only in the early stages of mania.

    I do not crave breads anymore, though I once did, but discovering Celiac’s disease helped stop that : ) Instead I crave massive amounts of sugar in the form of gummy candies and soda. I will occasionally eat them to the point of feeling sick, but I have learned that if I don’t keep more than a small bag in my home that I won’t over indulge.

    I don’t know if this will help anyone, but I tense very badly and grind my teeth, while I cannot help the tensing, when I do sleep, I wear a mouth guard. I decided to get one after my significant other kept saying I was waking him up with how loudly I would grind during the night. It has helped immensely.

    Reading all of this information has been wonderful, I have been trying to figure out ways to explain to those around me what goes on with me, but I can’t seem to verbalize it correctly, all of this information will help, not to mention it is reassuring to know that I am not the only one who gets these symptoms, especially the motor skills involving your hands.


    1. Thank you for your story. My ex told me of my grinding teeth. I got two different expensive dentist mouth guards but they don’t work. Couple chipped teeth and a chewed through guard. I ended up just breaking up with her and sleep alone. I also have Celiac and Chron’s. Makes for a horrible roommate or partner, and people ask why I love cats??


  13. I also get the heat things, although I have not been diagnosed w hypomania I think that may be it, altho its often marijuana induced hypomania which may be distinct. I was actually looking up mania and heat and found this to see if that was normal. Thanks!

    My next question is WHY this happens? What is the physiology behind this? Does anyone know of any resources ab this? Thanks!


  14. I get the heat thing, too. People have remarked how unusual it is that sometimes I don’t get cold, don’t need a jacket in the cold. Teddy Roosevelt was hypomanic usually, and he used to enjoy riding horses for hours in the rain or snow.


  15. This is an excellent post, btw — thank you for sharing. I second what someone wrote about this being the best concise account of hypomania symptoms I’ve ever read. I’ve never been diagnosed, but probably because I’ve just identified it myself and learned to reign in the upside to control the downside.

    I’ve noticed using plain SSRIs triggers the hypomania, especially when I first go on them — or if I skip a few doses and come back on. Prozac was worse for this than Celexa, but I notice it on Celexa, too. I do feel the inner twitchiness consistently on Celexa. I don’t like it, but it’s better than the depression I had without the drug.

    What drug is the anti-mania drug you’re talking about? I’m a little scared to try something new, but I’m also intrigued by what you said about things that you thought were part of you — annoying things, actually — vanishing overnight. That might be nice.

    Thanks again for the great post.


    1. Hi El Duderino – thank goodness you mentioned the SSRI’s and triggering the hypomania. I had the same experience. I started on Prozac last year and initially when I went on them I got regular bouts of hypomania to the point I went to the emergency department as I was worried I was too high – I called a few friends on the way to the hospital and they could tell I was a different person, it was bizarre and scary as it was completely unexpected – a way too happy / positive one – like I had taken 10 pingas. It was an experience, not something particularly I wish to repeat. Thanks for your post 🙂


  16. What I found most captivating in your post is about your grandoise ideas. I get super excited about my great start up business ideas and I want to get started working on them right away. I have bought so many domain names for my business ideas’ websites that I coulda paid Danica Patrick’s salary for a year!! LOL!! Just kidding, but seriously there are thousands of ideas!! My dad said to my mother that she should be more supportive about my ideas because some day one of them might actually work. Go Daddy! LOL!!
    However, if I am at work on my manic days, I do NOT do more work. I wish I could concentrate more on work, but I end up doing a ton of stuff for my ideas and nothing really gets accomplished or I take off work or leave early to go to the casino. It’s not that I don’t want to complete my work, it’s just that I can’t and nobody understands that!! Funny thing is that even with my roller coaster like focus and concentration, I am still the most productive in my department.


    1. Heather I hear you!!!! Especially the domain names part lol – Ive bought over 1000 domains over the last 10 years with exactly what your going through. Can I suggest you get and list all your ideas in there for future reference – that’s what I do 🙂 Also agreed I dont do as much work when in that state, I get distracted and walk from one room to the next trying to achieve multiple things or burn off the excited energy. What I’ve found helps is taking 1/4 or 1/2 a valium to take the excited edge off and then focus on one specific task on my computer for 25 mins (the pomodoro technique) and then I usually find I can harness my concentration. Thanks for sharing your story. Oh and one of your ideas will work! Back yourself 😉


  17. Hot skin… YES. I also have a thyroid disorder, and my basal temperature is quite low, so I know I am manic or in a mixed episode instantaneously from the temperature of my skin. So glad it’s not just me!


  18. I was diagnosed at the tender age of 14 after going manic on Prozac at Broading school.

    My maina symtoms have changed over the years in my teens I would get very religious then around 25 I started slight experiencing hyperseuxality and by 26 it was in full swing. I lost my Virginty at 24 it was complete 180


  19. Well this is an awesome post! Was diagnosed about two years ago at sixteen so I’m finally starting to get a handle on all of this stuff. I started sleeping only a couple hours a night again and have been getting super agitated. Woke up today with a blaring, deep pain in my head which always seems to come about when I’ve been thinking too much. One simple indicator for me that warns about ensuing mania is however many tabs I have open on my web browser. When I’m normal I’ll have about 3 pages open that I browse, but when I start to get manic the number quickly swells to 50 within a couple of hours. The grandiose ideas just seem to swallow me up and before I know it I am fiendishly googling the most bizarre, random things and darting back and forth between all these subjects. It’s exhausting! (But of course I don’t realize that until after I get burnt out!)


    1. I am so much like this too! I was a web developer by trade and didn’t think much of it. Than I started losing focus. The tabs became disorganized bookmarks. Than I just started dragging them to the desktop and organizing them in order to read next. Until the desktop got so unorganized to hold another web link, started dragging those tabs to the downloads folder! Still trying to clean up the mess.


    2. This is too good! Right now I have over 50 tabs open haha. Can I suggest trying the following – download an extension called ‘OneTab’ – it shrinks all the tabs to be viewed later (and usually if they are random ones I can delete them quite quickly when I reopen them at a later date..sort of like ‘what was I thinking needing that webpage open’ – a good way to stay productive. Also look into Virtual Desktops – you can theme your workspaces. I have several open at any one time – the first one is ‘social’ desktop, the second is my customer relationship software and leads desktop, the third is my planning etc. Everytime you switch to a different virtual desktop you can focus on that theme and not get distracted 😉


  20. Thanks jinnah, like others have said, it was like reading about myself. There is nothing in your post that I can’t relate to


  21. Almost every point goes with me. Until today i thought i am only one whose hands and skin gets so hot even in winter. Got many of my answer thanks for the post.


  22. I really like this article. I am exactly the same way. It’s inspiring to hear someone else feeling the same as well, recognizing the symptoms and sharing it.

    Having been diagnosed with Celiac, it’s crazy my cravings for bread and pasta. Or pizza, or toast, or more bread can get! I can’t eat any of that now, so the not hungry at all sets in. I can go days without eating. I’ll cook food to put in a Tupperware. I’ll pace around and open the fridge thinking about food a dozen times a hour, but won’t eat.

    My anxiety or manic racing is uncontrollable at this point. My left shoulder and chest is always tight, have even gone to the hospital thinking I was having a heart attack, but just manic. The last three times I went to the ER they asked me why I was off my meds. I’m not on meds though. I take benzos for anxiety to the point I’m a junkie. Labeled a doctor shopper even. No real diagnosis until this year and so many wrong drugs. It’s been a struggle, but I’m finally seeing it as it truly is. I am stuck on manic and it has ruined my life.


  23. Im seventeen and for last year I’ve been wondering what was wrong with me. Only recently have I been diagnosed as manic. My body temperature seem to escalate at really a high rate to the point of nearly burning and yet still be dosed ingoosgoosebumps. My shoulderblades, arms and hands are where my body tenses the most. The next day of this I can barely lift my arms from all the pain. Im wondering if others have had experiences with small waves of unbearable heat move through body. It seems to mostly reside in my lower back


  24. Thank you very much for this post. It has helped me determine what was wrong with me.I was so happy when I finally was able to stop my year of suffering. Only recently have I been diagnosed as manic. My body temperature seem to escalate at really a high rate to the point of nearly burning and yet still be dosed ingoosgoosebumps. My shoulderblades, arms and hands are where my body tenses the most. The next day of this I can barely lift my arms from all the pain. Im wondering if others have had experiences with small waves of unbearable heat move through body. It seems to mostly reside in my lower back.
    I can only sleep when exhausted am emotionally unstable.


  25. I read something about bi-polar being related to light exposure, including anecdotes of mania/depression being completely normalized by simply sleeping in complete darkness (no streetlights, nightlights or any sliver of light being allowed in the sleeping chamber from electronics or alarm clocks etc.) Most people are familiar with SAD, seasonal affective disorder, but most have not heard of the effect light has on manic/depressive disorders.

    Manic depressive behaviours ruled by changing light conditions makes evolutionary sense. As the days grow shorter and winter comes on those with genes that allow them to face the winter conditions of killing cold, less food, more danger from hungry predators and treacherous ice and snow when hunting would survive more easily. So being hyper alert, a super heater, having super strength and the ability to talk fast and loud, think fast, start a lot of projects, lead others and maybe even feeling euphoric and hopeful about future projects would all be very good survival traits in a world that grows darker and colder periodically. Flip side – depressive states save a tremendous amount of energy allowing the individual to expend energy in bursts as needed according to conditions. Which is what you might need as the days start to grow longer and food stores are even lower than they were at the beginning of winter when days were growing shorter.

    So… light affects people much more than was ever suspected and the ones with “bi-polar” today may just be super sensitive to light changes – add our crazy making artificially lighted industrial world and voila…

    a snarled mess for the brain. Is winter coming? Or is it perpetual summer?

    just a few thoughts


  26. Has anyone checked their magnesium levels? one of the most important nutrients and people with bipolar , immune disease and other problems always have low levels, Soaking in 2 cups of epsom salts a day or a for spa, brings levels to normal and helps with symptoms naturally.


  27. Disabling Pain from non-activity: I really hope this helps anyone told their physical pain is due to depression. I am rarely manic and have lived in bed for a decade cuz no doc realized I atrophied my muscles because I remained thin (500calories a day) and have natural former athlete muscle tone. I wonder if anyone else suffered from the immense pain from stiffness and weak muscles. I didn’t need to suffer. 10 doctors and Mayo Clinic didn’t realize it! I’ve begun exercising and stretching. It was the pool that I fell in love with after finding baths helped with pain. If I avoid it exercise or stretching, in less than a week I’m right back to pain that I can’t believe I lived with every day. I’m in debt and repairing my marriage since he carried this great burden. We met and I became manic that week first time. He loves helping others and didn’t turn down my early proposal. Married 3 weeks later.


    1. Other pain reliever was VIt D! Majority of all people have Vitamin D deficiency. Have yours checked and consider a supplement. I do tummies and take a high dose. (6000 IUs/day) until I reached proper levels. My husband is in construction and his was LoW!


  28. I had most of these “symptoms” as well before I finally got on the right medication “Lithium” helps for the most part I’m up to 1,200 mg a day but my manic depression never completely goes away even with my anti anxiety meds as well. Does anyone else that is manic depressive have severe anxiety? Thanks -Brittany T if anyone wants to email me @


  29. My dad is bi-polar and the doctors put my on anti depressants for social anxiety, turns out I should not have been on anti depressants because bi-polar runs in my family and anti depressants can make you go manic. The anti depressants ended up making me go manic. I experienced some of the things you were explaining. The ability to stay up late, no sleep and feel great. Start new projects however not finish them. Do many things at once.I would forget a lot of things and try to multi task all at the same time. Talk a lot and fast, the ability to rhyme and come up with word play very easy. I also felt like I understood the world and how everything worked. I felt as though I was on a higher level like a had a connection to God and I’m not really that spiritual really, however when I was manic I became very spiritual. It was almost like god was talking to me, sending me signs, not though speech, but though the things that happened day to day in my life. It almost felt like it opened up a part of the brain you don’t normally use. And I know what you mean about the drunk part I was going around talking to people in my neighborhood that I never talked to and I was doing shit I would have never done if I wasn’t manic.


  30. What a brilliant read! I am so thankful I came across it after hours of searching. I can related to all of the symptoms and a lot of the comments! In fact I’ve never commented on ANYTHING before but I had to reach out to some of the people on here to agree wholeheartedly that I know the feeling and I get it. I’m 31 and I’ve only just been diagnosed in the last week with hypomania (something I’ve never heard of before) and can see how much I relate to it and how it explains a lot that’s happened in my life, that I didn’t know if it was just me or everyone went through it.

    I don’t like labels but this time I actually feel comforted to know what it is I’ve got and it’s heartwarming to see the lovely discussion on this page and other sites about what we are experiencing 🙂

    I will say that I won’t be taking the medication route as I can control most of the time the state I am in (I’ll still use valium when I know things are getting out of hand), and I think of it as a gift. Without it I certainly don’t think I would be the crazy creative type I am today and wouldn’t have gotten as far. I don’t want to lose that. Humans are all unique, however our tribe is not only unique but also more special.

    I now have answers to questions I’ve been asking all my life 🙂 Once again, many thanks, Aaron.


  31. Thank you for this post. My husband and entire family have a hard time understanding what I go through and I have a hard time explaining it. When I try they think it sounds “great” and they tell me they like me better this way (thoughts that cycle on the “down” episodes of bipolar and circle me into a further depression). This can clearly explain what I go through and why it isn’t so “great.”
    I have noticed that I sweat in my sleep when I’m manic- that’s actually how I found this post (yay for google at 4:45am!). I wake up and am soaked in sweat which doesn’t happen unless I’m manic. I would agree it must have something to do with elevated heart rate?
    I am only medicated with Zoloft due to recently being pregnant, but since my baby is now two months I hope to be put back onto medicines that better control these episodes. I do wish to never be on lithium again as it immediately stopped the mania but seemed to make me very dull which spiraled into depression. I’m not sure yet. I’m still “young” in this bipolar journey.
    Anyway I realize this post is 5ish years old so who knows if you’ll see this.

    Thank you for sharing.


  32. Have you ever had the urge to read all your books or watch all your movies or listen to all your music albums at once but end up hardly reading or watching or listening to any of them at all and so become despondent over your (perceived lack of progress)? I get that a lot (along with a lot of other stuff in this post)


  33. Yes. Holy crap. Yes. I can relate to each and every one of these symptoms. I am hypomanic now and am having crazy night sweats. Definitely think it’s an increase in metabolism because I’ve lost a lot of weight recently. I also can’t concentrate on my work so that’s a major problem. Reading something uninteresting is nearly impossible. How do you recover?


  34. I get so hot sometimes that my boyfriend will not touch me. He cannot sleep next to me at all and we will use seperate blankets because the heat is to much for him. All the while im freezing and craving physical affection. I want to tell him all about the awesome week i had (we both travel for work amd are only together on saturday and sunday) while he holds me. I then feel rejected. I get overly depressed. I will cry myself to sleep sometimes but i make sure he doesnt notice. I dont want him to feel bad. Weve talked about it before and if he notices im upset he compromises and will place his hand on my back. Its just enough for me to sleep. But my next day is always a terrible one


  35. About the feeling warm. When I get manic I find myself running around naked in the snow. I have been in Canada in march at night , naked, and do not feel the cold. like my furnace is on high. This feeling seems to be abcent in the warm weather , i do not feel hot, however I have never tried to see if I was actually warm to touch, I will pay attention next time. Also, I wanted to say that the symptom of using language like a toy is described as the most accurate I have ever read.


  36. This just hit the nail on the head.. I’ve always thought I was bipolar but never thought I needed help until I felt like this. But when you’re having a manic episode does it almost feel like you’re high. Like the focus is so bad you almost can’t do anything. And I mean I can’t even finish sending a text message until my friend reply’s with hello and then I go on the message and see that I was half way through typing. So does this happen? I definitely need to talk to my doctor about it becuse I need medicine


  37. Okay, so i relate to most of these right now. Currently I am in an intense manic episode almost at three weeks in length. It varies between nuetral, hypomanic, full blown manic, and downright psychotic at times. I definitely need to go to the mental hospital next week if I last that long. My psychiatrist won’t take me seriously at all right now on manic episodes because it’s just “teenage mood swings,” but I have gotten diagnosed by someone else as having something like schizophrenia, depression, or pf course, bipolar (recently I discovered that so many times in the past I was manic but didn’t recognize it as such for many reasons, such as not knowing about hypomania, or attributing it to paychotic episodes).

    I know that my friend says I am warm sometimes when I’m manic, and I definitely feel warmer.

    I get pissed off at everything in full blown mania. So much that I will punch or slam computers that aren’t mine.

    I get told I yell too mich and to slow down a lot. And I try, and still talk too fast to be intelligible.

    I’ve gone catatonic for a few hours at a time before when manic. I just go numb, and then slow down, before completely freezing and being really tense and being unable to move or talk (minus quiet mumbles) without extreme effort that i don’t really feel like doing. Plus the weird rubber limbs. 😆 I have only once had anyone really move me and leave anything in the air, but once that happened, and I was so satisfied afterwards for no reason. The only problem is that a lot of people confuse it for extreme depression and say, “What has you down? You were so happy just a minute ago!” And I can’t respond to say what’s really going on.

    I definitely get more vivid dreams that can last days, weeks, or even months, though, this happens a lot when not manic, but definitely psychotic every time. This can have me confusing reality and dream, and not really knowing what was what, or what day it is. The most terrifying thing you can experience is when you experience a really dark dream that lasts months, and when you wake up, you are really worried, and will check with someone what had happened recently to find out what was what. For example, one time I had a dream that my partner was murdered, and I seeked out revenge where I brutally murdered them, and this was over a course of weeks, BTW, and I really felt their blood on my body and the rush of endorphins with a head buzz, and it felt so realistic in every way. By the end, I was really depressed and suicidal, but when I woke up for real, I had a text from them, and said, “Wait, you’re alive?!” and they were understandably very very confused. I was SO happy that they were alive, obviously. It was a strange experience altogether. Nobody should ever experience that.

    I currently should and want to work on homework, but I can really only be productive when hypomanic. Yeah. I hate that part. I just want to do other things, as well as not being really able to stay focused. I can get distracted by even the texture of a sticker.

    TL;DR- I have almost all of those, and some of them that seem minor are really debilitating to me.


      1. Yeah. Recently I got a new psychiatrist and am now on Seroquel (but a baby starter dose that’s like a sleeping pill [50 mg IR] to see if I react well), but it’s not doing much. I can manage to sleep about 5 hours on it in my current state. I’m something right now. I think it’s a manic episode (manic or hypomanic, because most of the time I’m hypomanic with random peaks where I just go insane) again (but a different one, because I’m rapid cycle and have it over the case of weeks usually, sometimes days, but definitely between full episodes are like mini cycles [semi-mixed state probably]). I realized it (I was wondering for a bit, though, but denying to myself) when people told me to slow down my talking and less energy.

        I can never tell if I’m better at instruments when manic or if it’s just higher self esteem and confidence.

        And the best part I guess is that people at my school think I’m a meth addict. Doesn’t help to be a thin white girl in the midwest. But I like it because it makes people unnecessarily (debatable) fear me, so nobody messes with me. It’s great. Minus the fact that I hear people talk about me behind my back a lot (or I’m just hearing voices like usual, haha).


      2. I love your comment that you look like a meth addict – too funny. Though I agree with you that it’s not the best rep either. I hope that you at least have a few friends who know who YOU are and who you can hang with comfortably.

        I also hope that there is at least one teacher (or the school) who know that you aren’t on meth and that you just have mood swings. It’s handy to have the admin on your side if things go wrong.

        About being better at instruments – the mania adds higher self esteem and confidence as well as energy, so there is that. But it’s all you, so just run with it. I AM amazed that you can be better with them – my mania / hypomania adds sufficient, er, twitchiness, that I can’t be coordinated and I’m a kludge during those periods.

        In case you were wondering about which part of all this is the real you – it’s ALL the real you – the good stuff as well as the bad stuff. It took me a long time to accept the good things I did while manic (and there were a lot of good things) were really part of me because I was so ashamed of all the stupid things I did while manic or depressed. But I wouldn’t have been able to do those good things is they weren’t already part of me. Don’t make my mistake – enjoy the good things that you do / can do.

        Hope your mania / hypomania isn’t too intrusive this time around. Don’t be mean to anyone, and have a good night, fearsome thin white Midwestern girl.


      3. Thanks. That was a fast reply, too.

        The school knows that I’ve never done meth, because my problem used to be opiates, not stimulants (my first time taking a Percocet was the first time I hadn’t been suicidal in over a year)! But I’ve been clean for a while, so that’s good I guess. I do have an assistant principal (the one who gave me a talk when i was caught with needles) really likes me, thankfully.

        I’ve got friends where we joke about me doing cocaine or meth a lot (and pretty much any drug when I’m acting abnormal), but we’re friends and it’s not serious, but other people hearing it probably continues the rumor.

        I don’t know if I really am better at instruments, because I do know that my brain works on hyperdrive so I can do things a lot faster although my handwriting is not legible at all, so… people always compliment my playing at school in orchestra, so it could just be better confidence and nothing else. Maybe the confidence makes me play better. That may be it.

        One of the things i hate is how I can’t go to bed, yet I get super delirious after being up to about midnight, like, hearing voices and seeing shadow people (it’s normally like that, but not to a delirious stage quite yet). I go full paranoid schizophrenic at 5.

        I may actually have Schizoaffective Bipolar Type, or have Schizotypical Personality Disorder and Bipolar Type 1. My psychiatrist hasn’t decided yet (but my dad was the one who was there and said he didn’t notice any weird mood things so she’s also wondering if it’s Major Depressive Disorder with Psychotic Features, despite my mom and I knowing that there’s some kind of bipolar depression going on, and my mom will be there next time). Time will tell (because if it is a psychotic disorder then it will get a lot worse, although it is getting worse, but not quite to the threshold yet, but it might in the future).

        I’m probably meanest when I’m at full blown mania. A few days ago I had physical sensations telling me to beat one kid to death (I know that sounds crazy, but it happened) that I don’t like, but I didn’t. Again, yesterday I considered it, but didn’t (wasn’t as elevated, though).


  38. Hey I guess this may be a old article and not sure if you still read comments, but my skin and body heat radiates with warmth when I go a weee manic. I actually took a cold shower yesterday and it felt magical. Well everything just has a touch of a magical sheen.


  39. I related to literally everything you said but what really got me was the dreams. When you said, “sometimes i cant tell if the memories in my brain are from my dreams or reality” i felt my heart stop for a split second. The mania can be EXTREME to the point where im fast pacing in circles, chain smoking, jumping around, and I have to touch everything. I always mentally wince when i do stuff like that but, y’know, i cant really help it.


  40. Omg! The vidid dreams… I didn’t realize that was something other people experienced. What worse is when I have nightmares, it’s like I’m living the nightmare and I always wake up in a panic, there’s deep guilt and an urge to be sure that my dream self gets to safety… and then am SO awake! Ok wow, the HEAT INCREASE? It kills me, I’m constantly hot or sweaty when I’m manic, I didn’t realize other people felt this too, as well as the PASTA craving!
    I also have hypersexuality when manic, it sucks, makes my relationship hard because my manic self is a totally different person it feels like. Hopefully will have meds soon to help me deal with all of this.


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