Advertisement

How is bipolar mania different from extreme happiness?

Ms. Julie A. Fast
Mental Health
A bit of background: There are two types of mania: a dysphoric (agitated mania) that is really awful and an euphoric mania that can feel like true extreme happiness! Woo hoo! (but untrue).
I was manic for over 20 years and though it was the real me. I was just so much happier when I was manic.
Then I faced the truth. Mania is not happiness, ever. It’s a chemically induced mood swing that seems like happiness, especially when contrasted with the unhappiness caused by depression. 
Mania is dangerous and seductive, extreme happiness isn’t.
Here is how to tell the difference:
Extreme happiness is attached to an event. It’s explainable- when someone asks why you’re so happy, there is an answer: I’m in love, I just got my PhD and I’m proud of myself, I finally moved to Spain, etc.
Mania ‘happiness’ is not really event oriented. It just makes you happy about everything! The sky makes you happy, the color of the grass makes you happy, strangers make you happy, the food you’re eating makes you happy, looking at your own face makes you happy! It’s often completely random and usually hard to explain to others. And if someone points out it may be mania, you get really, really mad and say, “You just want to ruin my fun! I’m finally doing well! This is the real me!” It truly feels like people just don't understand that you’re finally happy and they need to leave you alone!
Hmm. That sounds familiar.
Mania is dangerous. Let’s have less of it.
Extreme happiness is great. Let’s have more of it!

Continue Learning about Bipolar Disorder

Medicine Cabinet Full for Many Patients With Bipolar Disorder
Medicine Cabinet Full for Many Patients With Bipolar Disorder
Managing bipolar disorder is a balancing act—and often a difficult one. The trick is to smooth out the highs and lows and treat the flare-ups of depre...
Read More
Can bipolar disorder mood swings be prevented?
Sheri Van DijkSheri Van Dijk
While there is no cure for bipolar disorder, there are ways to reduce your risk for bipolar episodes...
More Answers
What is the difference between bipolar disorder and schizophrenia?
Mark Moronell, MDMark Moronell, MD
Schizophrenia, literally meaning “split mind,” is a disabling brain disorder that causes severe ment...
More Answers
Why Maurice Benard Decided to Go Public About His Mental Health
Why Maurice Benard Decided to Go Public About His Mental Health

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.