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TheSenseiWay Offline
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Mania? - September 29th 2014, 01:55 AM

Increasingly often, I have a week when I sleep really little and have incoherent blurs for dreams, alternate through hating and loving my classmates (between classes sometimes), get really happy (giddy?), and really wired. I usually crash on weekends in this sea of guilt and anxiety that makes it hard for me to do sports or chores. I thought nothing of this, or that it was just me being a weird, spacey teenager, until a friend of mine said something along the lines of "I think you should talk to someone. You are scaring me."

I realise now that all this was excessive and problematic. I have a number of theories ranging from "someone's been slipping Red Bull into my orange juice at breakfast" to "bipolar disorder". I really, really hope that it is not the latter, but seeing my friend so concerned worries me, and I can see why he's concerned; I can see these problems now. It's taken me a couple years to notice. I'm just having a difficult time wrapping my head around this. Advice?

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Re: Mania? - September 29th 2014, 04:30 PM

I guess I understand why this is so weird. I have this thing where I don't see it gets darker until it's really dark if I'm in a room already. And I guess it's like that something that slips between the cracks. I think you should talk to your GP or some professional about it. Or even a teacher, school counselor or your mentor or whatever adult you can turn to to get advice. Talking to someone who can give you a fresh look and in case of a professional a professional opinion might help you a lot.
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Re: Mania? - September 29th 2014, 10:06 PM

The concern isn't the dreams, it's the ups and downs that are creating difficulty. But it hadn't occured to me until he mentioned it. There's also the fear that he just caused the "WebMD effect", and now because I'm self conscious, I'm making things seem worse. But this also stems way back (I didn't actually know what bipolar meant until recently). I almost wish he never said anything, but I know he has a point. I have no idea how to handle this, or if it is even worth visiting the GP.
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Re: Mania? - September 30th 2014, 09:34 AM

Hey John.

From what I've seen, some patterns of behaviour (such as the one you described) are most easily recognised by those around the person who's actually experiencing them. Since your view of what's going on is bound to be very subjective, what feels normal for you may seem potentially damaging to those around you. It's good that your friend noticed these worrying behaviours and brought it to your attention, and I would definitely agree with their suggestion of seeing someone. While your behaviour might not be enough to worry you yet, if your friend's noticed then it has to be reasonably significant.

It's entirely possible that this is just you being a teenager, but if it's interfering with your life, or even if it has the potential to interfere, then seeking help isn't a bad idea. In the meantime, it might help to try to isolate any particular triggers. In these weeks where you don't sleep much and have fluctuations in mood, are there any other shared features? Are they preceded by a change in something else - like caffeine intake or diet? Are there any other signs or symptoms? If there's some kind of obvious external cause, then you might be able to reduce the impact of these periods. Even if you can't find an external cause, it could still be helpful to try to stick to a regular sleep schedule and have healthy sleeping habits (like turning off electronics an hour before you go to bed, and not taking naps during the day), as well as regulating your diet so that you don't accidentally induce one of these manic-esque (I'm not implying this is mania, since I'm in no position to make that call, but it seems like a useful way to describe them) periods.

Since you mention feelings of guilt and anxiety, and the fact that this is starting to interfere with your life, I would again recommend seeing someone. If it's been a regular problem then it's likely to persist, and even if it doesn't get worse then it's still getting in the way, right? So there's no better time than now to seek help. You could spend all day coming up with theories, but the only way to know for sure is to get a proper evaluation by someone in the mental health field. From there you can get treatment if necessary, or even just some ways to help minimise the impact of these periods. So seeing your GP is a good first step, or you could talk to a school counsellor, or something along those lines.

I hope that helped a bit, and I hope it all works out well.

Take care.

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