What is a manic episode? Alongside depression (complete lack of motivation) and passive suicidal ideation (previously active suicidal ideation), I will frequently have moments when I feel a tremendous surge of self-confidence, and feel invinsible (like I am the King of the world). Since this contradictory state of happiness is so profound, it always feels extremely stable, causing me to assume it will last forever. Unfortunately, a few hours later (after thinking numerous grandiose thoughts and feeling like a supreme God), I will re-enter a state of depression, becoming suicidal once again. Immediately after this uncontrollable 'cycle', I will feel extremely foolish, and even more helpless, because I could have sworn that this 'grandiose state' was permanent. I desire to maintain this 'King of the World' state, but this seems impossible. Signed: From 'King of the World', to Hopelessness
Having manic episodes that alternate with depressive episodes is something experienced by people dealing with bipolar disorder. These intense emotional states can cause extreme changes in energy, activity, sleep and behavior – they can even create symptoms that are so severe a person is unable to fully function.
The National Institute of Mental Health breaks down the symptoms associated with bipolar disorder:
Symptoms of a manic episode:
Symptoms of a depressive episode:
TeenHealthFX does not want you to feel “foolish” that your moods are fluctuating in this way. If you have bipolar disorder, it is not your fault you are experiencing these changing moods and that you end up experiencing lows – that is just the nature of the illness. People with bipolar disorder can lead healthy and productive lives provided they are properly diagnosed and treated, but it is not an illness that will go away – in fact, it often can worsen over time if left untreated. So do not feel badly that this is not something you can just will away or that it’s not going away on its own. You need professional help, as would anybody in your shoes.
Given your fluctuating moods and the fact that you can become suicidal, FX thinks that it is important for you to have a consultation with a mental health professional as soon as possible. Talk to your parents about scheduling a consultation with a qualified and reputable psychiatrist, clinical social worker or clinical psychologist who can meet with you, give you an accurate diagnosis and discuss the best treatment methods for you given your diagnosis. If you have bipolar disorder, the recommendation may be for a combination of individual and family therapy, as well as medical management. FX recommends that whatever mental health practitioners you see, make sure they are experienced in working with adolescents and with mood disorders.
If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with your school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in your area.
If you get to the point that you are seriously considering suicide or are afraid of your impulses then you need to seek help immediately. You can call 911 or go to your nearest hospital emergency room. In northern New Jersey you can also call the crisis hotline from Morristown Memorial hospital at 973-540-0100. Outside this area call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433), available 24 hours a day, or the Suicide & Crisis Hotline, 1-800-999-9999, 24 hours, 7 days a week.