Unfortunately, many individuals suffering with bipolar disorder are seduced by the allure of mania and its supposed benefits: boundless energy, inflated self esteem, and heightened creativity. It sounds enticing, doesnt it? In fact, many individuals with this debilitating illness are willing to refrain from taking their medications to experience these elevated moods and feelings of grandiosity. Not only is this dangerous but its an illusion. For example, innovative ideas that take on such a realistic appearance during a manic episode are often met without a specific and detailed strategy for its realization. Achieved energy is never sustainable and causes physical disruption, called mania, and thus offsetting the balance of the body. Its equivalent to a sprinter racing in a marathon and expecting to maintain an unsustainable pace in order to achieve victory. Early on, the sprinter may take the lead; however, this is merely false confidence. Eventually, the pace lessens, leaving the runner without the requisite energy to complete the race. As so often happens, the runner is left exhausted and frustrated and can only watch as the competition steadily passes by. This is symbolic of the manic experience.
Many individuals are attached to these feelings of mania and try vainly to defend it with a theory of false control, believing that calculated management serves as some type of advantage or edge for functionality and creativity. I can relate and appreciate this viewpoint, as my own personal experience with mania was reduced to only rapid and creative thoughts coupled with bursts of energy, causing me to effectively embrace this concept. As a result of being spiritually fit and cognizant of the symptoms of mania, my behavior during manic episodes was controlled, showing no visible or detrimental effects, and thus confirming this philosophy. Until the mania ended, my perspective on this critical aspect of bipolar disorder was completely inverted. When mania ends, the onset of depression begins. A surge of excitatory neurotransmitters (dopamine, epinephrine) occurs during mania, creating a damaging and strenuous effect on the body. Not only is one depleted of these specific neurotransmitters which are necessary for energy and “flight or fight” response, but the body is also flooded with cortisol, which ultimately disrupts hormonal balance. These manic episodes, even when controlled, have the potential to create whats called an adrenal gland burnout”, and is derived from the overproduction of epinephrine (adrenaline). Regardless of the outcome, these results are arbitrary, artificial, and illogical. The true lesson gleaned from these experiences is that when one’s body is fiercely thrown out of balance, it is never positive or should ever be viewed as a beneficial experience.
What is the remedy to the intoxicating effects caused by a manic episode? A true understanding of the body and mind will allow for sustained energy and creativity – accessible at will – without the adverse affects of mania. This is possible – as both my clients and I are consistently experiencing this realm of consciousness. By regulating ones excitatory neurotransmitter flow with the proper amino acid/vitamin/mineral protocol and properly removing the detrimental substances (toxins, emotions, people) from one’s life, we can achieve this heightened state of awareness. This can create a true advantage for the individual with bipolar disorder. Keep the creativity, lose the mania!