Mania: A Forest Fire Out Of Control

Quenching The Residual Flames

When a person becomes manic, their world flips 360 degrees. Many patients with mania love the experience because they feel energized, on top of the world and feel like they can accomplish anything; imagine being on an ultimate adrenaline rush while feeling high. This high doesn’t go away without medications and can last even weeks to months at a time. But as with any high there comes many potential negative consequences; mania is nothing more than a forest fire out of control.

The reason why manic patients can’t remain in their mania is that because they start to get out of control. They may unexpectedly leave the house in the middle of the night and put themselves in danger by interacting with strangers. They may try new activities based on grandiose ideas, thinking that they will be able to accomplish something great, resulting in potential embarrassment, humiliation and trouble with the law.

When someone is manic, they are no longer themselves. They may become irritable, vulgar and physically aggressive, swinging for no good reason. They may see you as a threat when you’re just trying to help calm them down. You cannot allow a forest fire to burn indefinitely; it will destroy everything in its path. The same applies with a bipolar patient who is in a state of mania.

There are reports of manic patients spending 2 months in an inpatient psychiatric unit, only to return 5 days after their discharge because they became noncompliant with their medications, resulting in another full-blown manic episode. Can you imagine spending 60 days in the hospital only to return back 5 days later? That’s when you know that your mental illness is out of control.

Mania is like the UFC of fighting; the ultimate potential aggression is at play. The difference is that this aggression is not enjoyable to watch because it’s sad to see a person suffering from a mental illness. Manic patients tend to lose their jobs because they become very disruptive and disorganized and they also have the potential to become psychotic, such as hearing voices in their head. Their hospitalizations are often lengthy because it takes time to get them back at their mental baseline; a premature discharge will likely lead to the reemergence of manic symptoms.

The residual flames of mania must be quenched for good before a patient can return back home.

Do you know anyone who is diagnosed with bipolar I disorder?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)


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