Julie A. Fast answered:
The first step is for you to recognize your son’s mania. It’s such a tricky mood swing. I write about mania and know all of my symptoms and it still catches me by surprise!
- Mania comes on quickly. Depression can slowly creep up on a person. Mania can show up in just a few hours.
- Mania lies. It says, “Oh, this feels so good. Keep doing this even though it might ruin your life!” or, “Yes, that guy is acting like a jerk. Make him pay. Beat him up. Set him straight!”
- People with mania either don’t sleep or sleep very little and are not tired the next day. This is the number one sign of mania.
- Mania can be very destructive and must be caught early and managed carefully.
- The number one way to treat mania is medications.
Here is how you can help your son:
- Read related mania posts on this site and learn the basic symptoms of the two types of mania (euphoric and dysphoric): sleep problems, pressured speech, irritation, an extreme sense of well being, anger and compulsive behavior in terms of spending and sex to name just a few.
- Then go back all the way to your son’s first mania signs. Write down his symptoms - especially regarding sleep and talking. Even the most minute sign suchs as a look in his eyes. If he is open to talking, and I truly hope he is you can show him the list and say, “Julie suggested that I write down all of your mania symptoms. I made this list. Does this seem right to you? What would you add?”
You can then talk about which what symptoms come first and which ones you both must recognize before the mania goes too far.
This is how I manage my mania. I know my first thought, (I’m not manic am I?), physical feeling (a wonderful, buzzy sense of happiness) and my first behavior (go to karaoke and get drunk). I never think or act like this unless I’m manic.
- The next step is a plan to stop the mania at the beginning. This includes a med check, calling his doctor, and using any means possible to get him to sleep. (I’ve written many answers on the site regarding mania management.)
My biggest tip is to be honest with each other.
It’s hard to say, “Son, I can see the first signs of mania, let’s get going on our plan.” It’s even harder to say, “Dad, I’m manic and I need your help.” Awareness is the key.
Mania can’t sneak up on you if you’re ready for it!
Julie A. Fast
The first step is for you to recognize your son’s mania. It’s such a tricky mood swing. I write about mania and know all of my symptoms and it still catches me by surprise! Mania Facts: Mania comes on quickly. Depression can... More