Feeling Manic -- How to Overcome It?

January 24, 2010

Lately, I have been feeling very manic.  I am either happy or sad.  Active or depressed and slothful.  There is no in between.  I can force myself to do what I have to, when I am down, but later, I don't remember having done it. 

This has been going on for the better part of a week.  While I had realized it, I had not identified it, until last night. 

My husband and I were sitting on the couch, talking and laughing.  Enjoying a good evening together.  Then, he asked me a question.  A question that required my opinion for the answer.  I began to think, then to cry.  He could not understand what what was going on, and neither could I.  All I could tell him was, "I can't think."

It was then, that I realized there was a scene playing in my head.  A picture I had seen many times in the past few days.  The picture was of a man speaking from a platform.  He stood behind a podium, in a room that looked very much like the lecture hall at the college I attended.  He was speaking on the same subject that I was trying to form an opinion on.

It reminded me of seeing a disaster on TV.  Of noticing something very unusual, and as you are trying to identify just what you are seeing, the reporter steps in front of the action and begins giving her point of view.  She becomes the focal point, not the disaster.  You keep watching, trying to figure out what was triggered in your mind, but her voice and thoughts override what you are seeing.

With a television, one can turn down the sound, find another station or simply turn it off, and decide that it is of little importance for the time being, knowing that there will be plenty of footage available to watch later.

With my mind, it is not so easy. 

What is Manic?

  1. The high moods which can make you feel overly happy, irritable or restless.
  2. An extended period of intense mania that usually begins and ends suddenly and causes a radical change in an individual's social functioning.

Swinging from one extreme to another.
Swinging from one extreme to another.

In My Mind

For me, understanding goes a long way towards a cure. First, I wanted to know, "Who is that man, and what is he doing in my head?"

While I have not currently come up with an answer to either question, I do know that the platform and podium represent a place of authority. The position he is holding is one of authority. That is the most likely reason I have been listening to him. But what does he have to say?

This is another area, where I could not pin anything specific down. I do know that he is speaking on the subject at hand, but his words are unintelligible. They come through just loud enough and clear enough, to keep me form forming my own opinions.

What is My Course of Action?

While my inclination to is to completely through this guy out on his ear, I have not yet figured out how to get my hands on him. So I took the next option available. I took away his authority.

  1. I am no longer in college. What is said from that platform is of no consequence to me.
  2. I do not accept any person's voice on a subject, until I have studied it through and checked sources. At that point, I will compare what a person says with what I know to be truth.
  3. I am taking every though captive. No thoughts are allowed to run free in my head, causing havoc. All thoughts are placed in a holding cell, until they have been examined. Then they are either allowed to be part of my thinking or thrown out.

I realized that these thought running free, were having the same effect on me that ten hungry, badly behaved dogs would have on my house, if they were let run free.

To mentally deal with the speaker, I very deliberately pictured myself putting away the notebook I had been taking notes in, and the pens. I got out a book, and in my head, I am reading it. I don't care if those around me see that I am not being a 'good' student. I have decided that this speaker holds nothing of value for me, and should be deliberately ignored. Hopefully class will be out soon, and I don't care if I am expelled for bad behavior!

Ivorwen, 2010.

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How do you handle such things? 33 comments

ButterflyWings profile image

ButterflyWings 6 years ago

Ivorwen, I have occassionally had something similar to what you describe happen. As soon as I recognize that I am being influenced by something or someone I know I do not agree with, I leave my seat in "class", walk up to the speaker, and tell him why I have chosen not to listen to him, and also any holes I see in his message. Sometimes it requires telling him personal flaws I have noticed in his dealings - unethical or irresponsible or terribly hypocritical things. These actions usually shut him up, and sometimes induce him to leave my presence altogether.

I suppose you have checked whether this person is an idea, or if he is a real person? Ideas can often be walked to the door and locked out. Another thing you might do is get up and walk out yourself; see where the exit leads you, and this may be a clue how to deal with the speaker.

Alternatively, if you need to know what he's talking on, ask to see his notes. If he won't share them, he's not being as honest as he should be, and should be evicted.

I hope you write a follow-up on this.

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Thank you for your thoughts, ButterflyWings. I have tried to leave my seat, that was my first inclination, but quickly realized there were no doors or windows in the room. I have no idea who the man is, or what he is. I have not been able to determine that yet. Also, I don't think a need a word of what he is saying, as I can't hear enough of it to understand it anyway.

His voice is affecting me in the same manor that someone talking to you, while you are transcribing does -- you type their words, instead of the words you are meaning to type.

TattoGuy 6 years ago

I always feel like that in January, tis the most depressing month of the year. But for red wine and my insanity I have no idea how I wud cope with it, but in all honesty I wud miss the man in my head. " He wud ya know "

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Captain, we would all miss the man in your head! I always find February hard, because I know that once it is over, we still have two months of winter, no matter what the calendar says. Maybe my problem is that I do not enjoy the red wine or feelings of insanity. :)

2patricias profile image

2patricias 6 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

Pat writes: the last part of January is the gloomiest part of the year for me. There are a number of good reasons why this is so, and somedays I cannot stop thinking about them. I do try to visualise concepts such as breaking an old-fashioned LP record, turning off the radio, anything that relates to stopping the flow of bad thoughts.

Doesn't always work but sometimes it helps.

What helps most is turning over the calender. Roll on Feb.

VAMPGYRL420 profile image

VAMPGYRL420 6 years ago from The Eastern Shore of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, U.S.A.

I just want to give you a big hug!!! :( I know all too well how painful it can be dealing with this disorder. Meanwhile, other people are coming up with their own ideas as to what you are doing...Usually the worst case senario. I retreat when others get into my head telling me things; because what truly matters is what I think. Use your powerful mind for you, honey, and everything will be just fine :)

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Thank you Pat and Vampgyrl. Yesterday the sun came out for the first time in several weeks, and it did make a huge difference for everyone in my family. The children were so happy, it was impossible to contain their energy.

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

Dear Ivorwen - you just solved part of your puzzle for yourself when you mentioned the long-awaited sunshine and how it made you and your children feel.

No one else in the world can feel exactly as you feel or think exactly as you think, and somewhere within you is the clue to your depression - perhaps even in your dreams. Until you find it, keep writing and reading and enjoying your family.

For myself, I love the sun, hot weather and the ocean - which is why I moved to FL from IL.

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Thank you drbj. I suppose it is the things that we do instinctively that need to be taken most note of, like clinging to sunshine.

Lynne1110 profile image

Lynne1110 6 years ago from Somewhere inside my head

I think my problem is the man in my head has no face, no body, nothing to which I can face him to make him go away. He steals my thoughts. Wow, wow. I too got on this website to write hoping to find an outlet for my disorder and already on day 2 I have had a revelation. Thank you, but what do I do with THAT now? LOL

BTW lack of vitamin D can cause serious sadness as well as memory loss. If you live up north you might want to consider taking extra during the winter months.

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Thank you Lynne. I do live up north, and recently started taking vitamin B12, as it is said to help with depression. I also have a sunlamp that I have been making a point to use for at least 2 hours a day, plus getting outside some everyday.

I am so glad that you have had a revelation! I pray that you figure out what to do with it. I find it interesting that we are both dealing with an inability to be fully in control of our thoughts.

Lynne1110 profile image

Lynne1110 6 years ago from Somewhere inside my head

B12 is also good to take but the Vit D-3 is what my Dr. recommended most. Plus using the sunlamp will help your body to use the D better.

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Thank you for the suggestion Lynne. I will look for a different brand than what I have tried, because the vitamin D-3 I tried was absolutely useless. I have actually been looking for a natural source, besides the sun, so I can tincture some. I don't trust much of what is sold.

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

I'm stepping outside the advice given here, and probably outside your own thoughts about what to do to overcome these manic thoughts.

These feelings and the man / authority figure who represents them are there for a reason. Perhaps it would be a good thing to figure out what that reason is...not an easy task!

Thoughts sometime run away like a brake-less freight train speeding down a mountain. It is terrifying, but it can also be enlightening, even exalting. Sometimes, it's like meeting someone new, a new part of you, that you didn't know was there, from whom you can derive enormous energy. At the same time, this energy you feel can be terrifying and thus counterproductive.

Thank you so much for sharing this very personal description of manic thoughts. You are not alone; you have lots of company.

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Dear Sally,

Thank you for your advise and insights. Not being in control of my thoughts is certainly unnerving. Finding out who or what this man is sounds like a good idea. Someone else e-mailed me, suggesting that I take a look at his notes for proof of true authority. I think both are excellent ideas, now, if I can only figure out how. :)

I am encouraged to find I am not alone in this, and that these type of situations are fairly common. Sometimes I wonder if it is not the subconscious speaking, telling me something I already know, but have forgotten. This would fit with meeting a new part of myself, that you mentioned.

Thank you once again,


TattoGuy 6 years ago

Hope yer feelin a bit better, I will cheer ya up soon as I am starting my new Forum in the middle of March, you will like it ; )

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Thanks TattoGuy! I am feeling better, and looking forward to your forum. :)

Margaridab profile image

Margaridab 6 years ago from Lyon, France

Well.. I'm not alone in the "depressions Land"

I'm 52 and since I was 22 I have depressions. I have the so called bipolar disorder.It´s not easy to live with other people and it's terrible to live with another bipolar person, my husband. But at this age I accepted that I can't be different, that sometimes I have to shut my mouth so that I can have some peace. But it's not only the issues with my husband (that I really love). I think that much worse than that is not being able to explain to colleagues and family that I'm different, just that, different.

Because I can see in their faces that they judge me as an equal, what I am not.

But now I feel better than when I was younger, now I'm sure that I feel life in a different and more savoring way than them. There are things in my life that they will never understand and feel.

As a bipolar I am also a maniac, but I have to accept me as I am. And when I feel happy, it can not to last much, but when I look at my past I'm sure I had a lot of small happinesses and that feels good. I'm not telling you what you have to do or not to do. It's you that have to discover what is better for your depressive times :)

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Margaridab, thank you for sharing how you feel.

Depression causes one to feel so isolated. So alone and cut off, that it can be hard to remember that one is not alone. That what one is experiencing is not new.

The other day, I started to head down, but then looked around me, for ways to make fond memories with my children. As soon as I took the focus off of me and how I didn't like the circumstances, things got better. I know it is not always that easy, but it is times like then that let me know there will always be a positive way to deal with it.

Faybe Bay profile image

Faybe Bay 6 years ago from Florida

Wow, I wish I had found this sooner. With me it was always a TV show. An Aunt Bea or Julia Child type person telling me how to behave, and that I shouldn't do this or that. She's still there, but often times I would just stop listening. Now we have remotes, and I can mute the sound.

I remember in school thinking that I was just on television, and as soon as I could find the camera, I could fix that problem. Then I realized we are all on television, and decided to be part of the supporting cast. Later, someone told me she decided to be the star, and that we are all superstars in our own show. I forget that sometimes. Ivorwen, you are the superstar, you call the shots in this production; whatever you want in life, just put it in your contract.

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

"Ivorwen, you are the superstar, you call the shots in this production; whatever you want in life, just put it in your contract."

I like that idea! First off, not more lectures from faceless men!

Faybe Bay profile image

Faybe Bay 6 years ago from Florida

Right and plenty of chocolate in the dressing room! :)

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

That works for me!

12345 6 years ago

This is amazing! I have felt this way for years and just this morning I was trying to describe to someone what that "voice" or whatever it is does. It is my worst nightmare and almost led me to suicide.

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

12345, I was amazed to find out how many others struggle with that "voice" drowning out their own thoughts and making them feel helpless. I think recognizing what is going on, and taking control, even if it means walking away from the conversation is very important. I also think knowing when you are facing triggers is important, for maintaining control of your emotions. I know that it has really helped me. :)

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

A very good hub on this dis-order which affects most of us. Its good to share how difficult this mood swing can be and to know we are not alone. Thanks so much. Thumbs up!

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Thank you Vocal Coach. Feeling manic can cause such dishevel in our hearts, it is hard to know how to respond, and it certainly confuses those around us.

Jean Bakula profile image

Jean Bakula 5 years ago from New Jersey


My brother is bi-polar, and I only hear from him when he is manic. He gets in legal troubles when he's depressed, he has drug issues too. Sometimes meditation can get you in touch with whatever thoughts you have, or what this man you see is trying to tell you. Even though it seems to bother you, he may have something to say that will be a key to another "door" to yourself. All the best.

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 5 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Jean, Thank you for your input. I'm sorry to hear about your brother. I hope he finds the help he needs.

For a long time I tried and tried to figure out what this man was saying, though many realms, but finally gave up. Giving up is what led me to the above decisions. Interestingly, since I recognized the trigger and made my decisions, I have not had a single episode of feeling manic.

It has been more than 18 months, and without the constant mood changes, I have been able to make many decisions that have helped me move forward in life. I no longer feel the need to hide from confrontation or just follow. It is very freeing to be my own person and make my own decisions, with only outside voices to question me.

Now that I have a handle on things, it may be time to see if the man is approachable. I am curious to know what he had to say or if he was only there to confuse.

Silver Poet profile image

Silver Poet 5 years ago from the computer of a midwestern American writer

Thank you for relating your colorful experience. I like the phrase "taking every thought captive."

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 5 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

You're welcome Silver Poet. That phrase has really changed the outlook I have on life.

Jean Bakula profile image

Jean Bakula 5 years ago from New Jersey

Hi Ivorwen,

It's good to see you are feeling better, and I hope it continues. My brother went on meds for a while, but he says they make him feel numb, and that's worse. When he feels good, he's the life of the party, but that can go too far. When he feels bad, sometimes I don't even know where he goes for months at a time. He doesn't live close either, though from time to time he will come stay with me if he feels he wants to. He's running from things in our state (not just legal, but emotional), and I think it would help him to come back. He calls my house "home." The next time we talk I'm going to ask him if he sees authority figures in his mind, or visions of them (we're all half Irish, psychic, and probably a tad loony too)!

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 5 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Thanks Jean!

When you talk to him, another thing I would ask (because it may be easier to identify than the authority figure) is if he has a hard time accessing his own thoughts or making sense of things he *knows* he understands.

For me, it was a constant feeling of *almost* getting something, like when a name or a thought is on the tip of your tongue, but you can't quite spit it out. I think it is impossible to really face things when you always feel out of kilter and like you are missing the main point of everything you see.

From people I have talked to, I am guessing that the manic feelings and psychic abilities are not too distantly related, because both seem to have to do with an ability to access the subconscious. The voice I heard served to mask the subconscious and kept me from making sense of what I knew what going on.

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