Can Worrying Lead to Mania?

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I have been depressed for the past week. In fact, I had not left the house in a whole week.  It is now 6 am and I have not been able to sleep.  If you know anything about bipolar disorder, you know that a lack of sleep can lead to mania.

My ex-husband told me one time that he thought I worried myself into manic episodes. There is a lot of truth in that.  Because I panic when I am not sleeping and think I am going to get manic, I get stressed about that. The more stressed I get, the less I sleep I get.  This stress and lack of sleep will oftentimes lead to mania.

I would get nervous about not sleeping and having to go to work the next day. My mom pointed out one time that everyone has nights that they can’t sleep. Even though she knows that not sleeping can lead to mania, she tried to assure me that I would be fine.  (She did know that I still could get manic. She was just trying to point out that it could be nothing, also.)

I had a psychiatrist one time tell me that if I can’t sleep after a half hour to get up and do something for awhile and then try again. If I can’t sleep, then just stay up until I crash.  She told me to do this even if it meant I stayed awake more than 24 hours.

I have taken that advice a few times since. There is no reason I should just keep lying in bed with my mind racing when you can get up and accomplish something.  This is where worrying can come in.  If I were to sit here thinking right now that a manic episode is on the horizon, it could be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Yes, I need to take every precaution that I have in my action plan.  If I don’t sleep sometime today or the next night, I need to make an appointment with my doctor.

I know that right now I am in trouble because my medication need to be adjusted.  To be frank, I am sick of this roller coaster since my medications have been changed. I had to switch medication because my insurance no longer covered the medication I was on. Don’t get me wrong, I was still cycling when I was on the medication that my insurance no longer covers. Therefore, I was hopeful that trying something new might be the answer. I have not given up as I have not been on them very long.

I know I will be ok and will stay out of the hospital.  I know that I can do things that will keep me out of there. I need to lay low, eat right, not going anywhere or spend any money.  I need to let the people in my support system know that I am in danger right now.

I have confidence that everything will be ok.  I am not worried because I know that I will be ok.  I have a great doctor, a wonderful supportive fiancee and a loving family.  We have gotten through so many things together in the past.

I am so sick of this. I am sure they are too.

I usually am not so open about my current struggles. I was not intending on sharing my current situation when I decided to write this blog.

Can Worrying Lead to Mania? The answer to my question is yes.  I do think worrying can lead to mania.

If you are reading this and think you are getting manic and worrying about it, I would suggest that you take a second look at your situation.  Worrying and stress definitely can lead to mania.  Try and remove the stress. Even if you have to take work off for a few days, do it. It is better to stop the mania in its tracks before you end up getting full-blown manic and end up in the hospital missing a lot more of work.

There are a lot of cliches about how worrying is a waste of time. However, it is easy to get trapped into the web of worrying.

My suggestion is to realize that you are going to be okay.  I am going to just keep saying that to myself.

The good news is that by writing this blog entry, I have gotten tired enough to go to sleep.

Good night! Zzzzz

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About Michelle Clark Bipolar Bandit

I am a strong advocate for the mentally ill and have been since I was first approached by a lawyer in a psychiatric facility as a teenager. He wanted me to help him fight how the mentally ill are mistreated. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 17 after a full blown manic episode. Before that, I suffered from debilitating depression for 4 years. My goals are to help others by sharing my story and providing tips to deal with mania and depression. I often write blogs related to advocating for people like myself. I want to encourage, inspire, and educate those with #bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses and also include inspirational #quotes. I founded the group Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses and the page Mental Health Advocates United and have several social media sites that are related to bipolar disorder and/or advocacy. If you are an advocate or would like to be, I hope you join our FB group: Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses
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12 Responses to Can Worrying Lead to Mania?

  1. cbt4you says:

    Well written and captures the essence of the vicious worry sleep cycle. If you take a look at my f/b “Your Mental Health Matters” I have just uploaded an interesting blog post on sleep depravation. Would you mind if I uploaded this post too as I am sure it will be helpful With my very best wishes, Steve

    • Thanks for your encouraging words. I just posted your FB page on my Mental Health Advocates United page. Will you please post a message on that page with the link to your blog post? Thanks!

  2. Sarah says:

    I have to admit, I was a little skeptical when I saw the title of this post but after reading it I think you have explained your stance very well! I have definitely found myself in a similar situation before, but I’ve made a lot of changes to my routine (no caffeine after noon, no watching tv in bed, taking a sleep aid if I lay awake for an hour) that have really helped my mind and body both realize that when I get into bed, it is time to sleep.

    It is hard though, isn’t it? Especially when racing thoughts and worrying could be a symptom of bipolar or anxiety anyway, and it all just becomes a self-fulfilling loop! How does one avoid a trigger, when the disorder itself is the trigger?

    In any case, good luck, and I hope you find some relief soon!

    • Thanks for your encouraging words and for sharing your thoughts. It is definitely hard and a daily struggle. That’s a good point- How does one avoid a trigger when the disorder itself is the trigger? Living with bipolar is not an easy thing to do. Stay strong!

  3. Indiana says:

    I’m impressed that you know your triggers so well and are able to maintain employment. I was a born worrier – in the blood. Diagnosed with generalized anxiety and bipolar, I haven’t been able to work in awhile. When I feel my anxiety levels reaching that mania
    apex, I take lorazapam and sleep. Sleep does wonders. It gives me a clean emotional slate. It brings me back to equilibrium, at least for awhile. Is there a reason why you deal with insomnia instead of taking an anti-anxiety or sleeping pill?

    • I worked as a teacher in the past, but am now on disability. When I am hypomanic I take valium, but I don’t really take it for sleep. I have not had success with sleeping pills. It is important to sleep when you are getting manic and I try my best.

  4. Jeanie Eastwood says:

    I feel I must say something else here. I walked alone almost a mile, to Kindergarden, n met a gal close to the still there octagonal shaped. Church, that was my grade K. I potty trained myself age 1 as I saw my elder 2. Sisters do. Even back then I wanted to see n do n not ask for any help. I was middle of 7kids. An oldest, a boy, 2 girls, nthen me the cute daddys BD girl. I felt special. Had he not been an alcoholic but the Dr n Surgeon he was, would I be “Bipolar” now? I was the Class Leader every year 1-5, go to Principal mtgs n report to the class. Not manic. Then 4 yo Nancy drown in our backyard pool then my alcoholic feeling guilty Dad, my BD Daddy, drank himself to death. In bout 1 year. Would I be Bipolar had I not sat by dead sis on couch forever just looking @ lifeless sissy… N I just do not remember being beat badly by my Dad as did others. Did I get beat n block it. Out, or didn’t get beat? Forget or not? Mom swat us yes. So I always tried to be the Best @ whatever I tried to do. Watch, see, do, refine, referee fights, just was a happy go lucky kid old before my time. I’ve shown that worrying leads to mania, I wanna know what else might be learned by my Trurhful confessions. I get my computer tomorrow can’t wait! Today really. So I have always tried to excel @ everything my whole life. N I M now again, but in another way. Gotta create yer own future, don’t think someone else gonna do it for ya! We r ALL CrEative People in some ways! I’ve had no computer. But my phone all winter. I m so excited to get it back! Yes worrying bout that older one w viruses. I deal w that to. Leads to happiness but not manic happiness. Gosh we r so labeled. As former RN I still have too much n not enuff. Knowledge bout Bipolar-less people n myself. Yes.
    But. Actually u have to be bipolar, yah, everyone is bipolar as is life, so labeled as times of great worry. And happiness, so labeled as mania, reminds me of the true history in all those sexy novels I read as. I grew up a niteowl as was/is Mom. Read all her sexy Ottomen Empire King gets girl stolen they fall in love n much much more books. Beatrice Small is best. Ok Bipolar friends, read, n u will feel better. U won’t be worrying, that’s for sure! That’s my prescription of the night!

    • Thanks for sharing your story and thoughts. You really should start blogging. I am sorry about your sister and your dad. I read this yesterday and thought I would share as it says that mental illnesses can definitely be a result of life experiences.

      “Mental health problems have nothing to do with being lazy or weak and many people need help to get better. Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including:

      Biological factors, such as genes, physical illness, injury, or brain chemistry
      Life experiences, such as trauma or a history of abuse
      Family history of mental health problems
      People with mental health problems can get better and many recover completely.”

  5. scrabblinact says:

    This was really interesting to read– I definitely agree with you and have worried (or, stressed) myself into mania before.

    How often do you find anxiety a large component of your mania?

    • Thanks for your thoughts. I really have never thought about anxiety related to my mania before. I would have to say that when I am manic I am not anxious, it is more before I get manic. I think when I am hypomanic is when I am the most anxious.

  6. I can certainly relate to your story. It says something about how you live with bipolar that you can write this as you know you are experiencing the symptoms of your disease. If we all had that self-awareness, we would all be better off. I also know about cycling though different combinations of medication. Until the last 9 months. I was on a 10 year rotation of medications.Luckily I live in Canada and have know insurance issues but the process can be very deflating.
    I have also learned how to recognize when depression is coming or a manic state. On of the best techniques I have learned is to say to yourself that this is how I’m feeling today, accept it and remind yourself that tomorrow is new and possibly different. The worry and resignation can lead to the inevitable spiral. Thanks

  7. Bipolar2what says:

    The worst part of insomnia is worrying about insomnia. I am on temazipam. Sp
    It has been the best sleep med I have been on.

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