BP Magazine Blog: Letter from a Dysphoric Manic Person

ensor dysphoric manic

What do people who are in a bipolar disorder dysphoric manic episode really think? I wrote a blog for BP Magazine on this topic based on my own dysphoric manic thoughts and the stories I’ve heard for many years about how dysphoric mania turns us into people no one can recognize.


A bit of background- there are two levels of mania- HYPOMANIA and FULL BLOWN MANIA. Bipolar one has hypomania and full blown mania. Bipolar two has hypomania. There are two sides to the mania coin: euphoric mania and dysphoric mania.

Most of us know euphoric mania- active,upbeat, positive goal oriented, inclusive, full of ourselves, but not menacing, artistic, bright and filled with energy that often fills a room. Sleep isn’t needed or wanted. Many people love euphoric mania and won’t take meds because it means losing this incredibly, albeit dangerous body and mind sensation.


Then there is a icky, awful, super dangerous and downright odd mania: dysphoric mania. This mania has the same energy level as euphoria, but it’s a negative depressed energy. This mania is also called mixed mania because the energy is high and the mood is low. A person is goal driven in a nasty way- “I will make you pay for what you did for me last year!” The upbeat turns into depressed negativity. It’s mean and menacing with a lot of facial changes and beady eyes filled with adrenaline and unkindness. Our bodies are PAINFUL and we want to GET OUT of where we are because we are so uncomfortable. We have no reasoning ability and eventually the behavior can become violent, especially in terms of road rage and destroying things. Sleep isn’t needed or wanted. Dysphoric mania is never fun.

My BP Magazine for Bipolar blog takes you into our minds when we are in a dysphoric manic episode. I would LOVE to hear from people who have been on the inside of this mania and those who have watched with horror as this mania takes over.

scream take chargeMy book Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder has a plan to manage this mania. It takes work, but we can get out of this nasty stuff if we use prevention techniques.

Oh man, dysphoric mania sucks!

Click here to read my Bp Magazine blog: Letter from a Manic Person. I’d love to know what you think and if you have experienced dysphoric mania yourself or as a family member.


Bipolar Disorder Overwhelmed, but Taking Action Anyway!

IMG_7524I move to France on Friday. The mood swings are here as expected, but I’m plowing through them. I’m not depressed, but the overwhelm has started. Feeling overwhelmed and anxious can really put a damper on an adventure. I’m working through it – literally.

The only way I can deal with feeling overwhelmed is to ask for help and do all I can to get things done.

Here are some pics from my stay in the midlands of beautiful England. I encourage you to keep going- even a small action makes a difference in the bipolar brain.


HEHEHE. We have to laugh at life.  I know it helps me! Click here to watch my Bp Magazine video on Bipolar Disorder, Travel and Sleep. I believe in you!



Bipolar Depression Arrives, but it Doesn’t Have to Stay!

IMG_7563Dealing with a bipolar disorder downswing? I guess we have to expect downswings if we have bipolar disorder. Life constantly surprises me. Human nature surprises me. A positive attitude about life keeps me going and it also helps me spot depression.

– Crying a bit too much over a TV series.

– Feeling free floating fear when nothing is wrong.

– Waking up at 2:00 AM with no ability to get back to sleep.

All of this reminds me that depression is made up of many symptoms. My goal is to go to bed feeling better than when I woke up. Join me! I’m going to use my plan today – the one in my books- to keep myself stable and happy. 

Depression arrives, but it doesn’t have to stay. My first step- getting up, getting out and getting things done. I’ll keep you posted.

What about you? If you’re depressed, what can you do right now to budge your mood towards stability?

What can we all do to focus on what’s right in the world?


Growing Older with Bipolar Disorder


Growing Older with Bipolar Disorder. Hmmm.

I started writing on this topic ten years ago. I’m now 52 and believe me, learning to age gracefully as a woman who has bipolar disorder is a challenge. I will meet this challenge, but it’s taking a lot of fortitude. My pictures on my websites have to be changed. I no longer look like I did 10 years ago. That is life. I want to embrace life instead of fighting to look like I’m 30 again. Bipolar disorder has been with me since age 17. That‘s my age in the picture below. I was diagnosed at 31. No one teaches us how to age with this illness, so I take on the challenge to do it myself and help others of my age do it as well. I remember being a teen with this illness. I remember being in my 30s and 40s. It was different. Now at 52 I can still empathize with all people who have bipolar disorder, but my needs are changing and my management plan has to change with them. Welcome to reality! 

I wish I had been diagnosed earlier. I encourage teens with a bipolar disorder diagnosis to see it as freedom. The diagnosis absolutely ensures a better future. I lived through my young life having little control over my behavior. I prefer life with the diagnosis.

Here’s to aging gracefully!


Reading the News and Looking for Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder Mania

Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 9.32.25 AMLooking for mania in the news. I’m often interviewed when people with mental health symptoms find themselves in the public eye. Reading news stories and looking for the underlying mental health possibilities of someone’s behavior also helps me hone my intuition for working with coaching clients who aren’t sure what is happening with a loved one. I will give you an example. Read the following article and let me know your thoughts on the situation. I will then tell you mine.

Click here to read the article Pictured: The California real estate ‘millionaire’ who was thrown off a flight after bragging about ‘owning six houses’ and ‘having an IQ of 176’ while he was drunk. 

I mean this seriously and am not mocking this man. I feel that we often look at behavior and attribute it to drinking and ‘arrogance,’ when the behavior could very well be mania. I’m lucky there were no camera phones around before I was diagnosed. One article called him the World’s Biggest Douchebag. Hmm. Misogynistic and thoughtless. I don’t know about you, but I’m a right jackass when I’m manic.

If you’re a loved one of a person with bipolar disorder, how often have you seen this kind of behavior when someone is manic?


I also have to add a comment about travel- we often get sick when we travel. As you may know, I just moved to Europe and can tell you that the stress of airports alone can make us have mood swings!

Can Energy Drinks Lead to Bipolar Disorder Mania?

 (This is one of my top ten posts. Let me know what you think! Julie)

I’ve written many books on bipolar disorder and they all discuss mania extensively- but they don’t discuss energy drinks and how they might affect mania. The reason is that the explosion of these drinks on the market is so new that it wasn’t even a topic of concern a few years ago.  

How did so many products get on the market so quickly? I think it was the success of Red Bull and it moved on from there.  I have to ask:  Are we really that tired?  Or do we just like feeling buzzed?  Who knows?  But I do know it’s a potential problem.

Can these energy drinks lead to mania or exacerbate mania?


But it might not be in the way you think.

It’s not that the energy drinks are bad for you because they directly cause mania. They don’t.  They are not like drugs that go into your system and potentially cause a manic episode such as meth, cocaine, ADHD stimulants or anti depressants.

 Instead, the problem is that energy drinks significantly affect  sleep. Consistent research shows that one of the top triggers of bipolar disorder is a change in sleep patterns.  Thus, there is a link with the energy drinks and how they can rev you up to the point that sleep is significantly impaired or impossible. This is a fire-starter for mania. (Is there a drink called Fire Starter? It wouldn’t surprise me!)  People without bipolar disorder can drink all they want.  I know someone who drinks Rock Star all day and jumps around like a rabbit- but it is her choice.  She doesn’t  have a brain that gets manic.  You or someone you care about probably does get manic.  That is the difference. It’s why you have to make choices that consider bipolar disorder. Yes, it’s a bother and not fair, but it’s reality.  Who thought a little can could cause so much trouble!  The other night I was watching UFC  (mixed martial arts) with my brother at a bar.  The woman next to me ordered her second can of Red Bull. I thought- there is no way you could get me to drink that. I’d fly through the roof!  Here is what she said when it arrived:It’s not alcohol, but it gets me plenty high!

Another example:  I go to karaoke regularly and see people order a Red Bull and Guinness.  I am no prude and have had way, way too much to drink in my lifetime to judge, but this just sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.  And very few people stop at just one.

To be honest, having one energy drink early in the day may not affect your sleep.  You will have to experiment. Problems start when you drink them at night, all day or have more than enough at a bar and then can’t sleep.  Please think about it.

Energy drinks may be over the counter- but so are cigarettes. If you have trouble with mania (or anxiety), energy drinks are not your friend.

It’s as though the energy drinks lull people into thinking they are not really a problem as they are sweet and a pretty color in a vibrant can. But beware!


– For more information, click here to read an excellent article called Are Energy Drinks Safe?

– If you’re a parent of a child who feels that energy drinks are no problem- feel free to pass this on.

– My books that best explain mania the best are Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder  and  The Health Cards Treatment System for Bipolar Disorder.

– Information on my family coaching can be found here 

Note: I just received this excellent question:  What about coffee?   The first difference is the amount of caffeine. Some of the drinks have the same caffeine as a cup of coffee.  Some have quadruple. Another difference is sugar content (one has almost the double of a Coke) as well as other ‘natural’ stimulants used in the drink.  (Sugar free versions are available, but their stimulant content stays the same.) And finally, it’s simply rare for someone to drink espresso all day or all night. Can you imagine seeing someone with a big coffee mug of espresso and drinking it even while singing karaoke? Whew!



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