Managing Mania

By O'Connor Professional Group

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In order to understand how to manage mania we must first understand what mania is.  Mania is typically associated with Bipolar Disorder 1 but can present itself in other mental illnesses, as well, such as Schizophrenia.

A “manic episode” is an episode wherein someone with mental illness will experience an abnormally elevated mood, a persistently irritable mood and/or it may be accompanied by an unusually energetic mood.  The current version of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual “DSM-5”, a diagnostic healthcare code book accredited by the American Psychological Association which governs diagnostic criteria indicates a person must experience these symptoms for at least one week at a time.

Preparation and self-awareness is 9/10’s the battle in managing mania.  While some can recognize when they are heading towards a manic episode some cannot.  The best way to self-identify having a manic episode is by recognizing its’ onset. Those who can identify the warning symptoms have, most likely, experienced such a state and are thus, able to identify it.

The following are precautionary and actionary steps you can take towards managing mania:

  1. The most important thing you can do immediately if you feel the onset of a manic episode is to immediately contact a mental health provider.  A mental health provider includes a Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Social Worker or other mental health professional.  If the onset of the episode is too overwhelming and you are unable to contact anyone you should head to an Emergency Room where you can hopefully immediately attain medical assistance;
  2. Avoid triggers like alcohol, illegal drugs and mood-altering prescription drugs that can manifest the onset of a manic episode if you have a mental illness.
  3. Get plenty of sleep and maintain a healthy diet;
  4. Beware of sudden, excessive compulsive tendencies such as over the top shopping or spending sprees;
  5. Learn to identify emotional highs and lows over and above what your diagnosis usually dictates and immediately reach out for help should you identify “over the top” behaviors.

Living with a mental illness though often arduous can be simplified by educating yourself about the warning signs of the onset of manic episodes or “decompensation” which will often give themselves away in the forms of sudden outbursts and extreme tendencies which you ordinarily do not endure.  Above all, be certain to take any medications you are prescribed consistently and on time and if at any time you experience new disturbing symptoms on your medications you haven’t previously experienced be certain to reach out immediately!

Let the O’Connor Professional Group take the guesswork out of putting a treatment plan together. Our combined personal and professional experience empowers us to empower you with a private consultation and customized plan of action for getting the help you need. Call us today for information: 617 910-3940

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