When I’m having an episode, I suffer from intense lows and highs. I was going to write “devastating lows”, but then I realized that the highs are just as devastating, in a different way. Mania is wonderful, until it’s not. You feel like a million bucks, like every idea that you have is a good one, and like nothing can touch you.
Spending thousands of dollars you don’t have seems like a fantastic idea, and nothing can stop you. You talk a mile a minute, and the ideas come even faster. It feels like a jar full of fireflies all going off in your head at once. Bright, sparkly, and full of life. While it’s going on, you have almost no sense of anything bad happening, and you never want it to end.
Inevitably, it does. In my case, it tends to deteriorate into a mixed state, which is a dangerous combination of depression and dysphoric mania. As opposed to euphoric mania, dysphoric mania is the bad mania. In a mixed state, everything is negative.
The thoughts come just as hard and fast, but now they’re extremely negative. I relive all the mistakes I’ve made, over and over. I continually think about what a horrible person I am, and emotionally beat myself up over and over. I’m ugly, I’m stupid, I’m fat, I’m crazy. I get overwhelmed almost immediately, and it snowballs from there. I don’t want to go to work, I’m overwhelmed by the thought of work, of dealing with people, of leaving the house.