Bp Magazine columnist, Melody Moezzi, discusses the distinction between clinical mania and typical happiness.
Hello, this is Melody Moezzi with bp Magazine’s bphope vlog, and today I am talking about the distinction between mania and joy. One is a clinical state. One is an emotional state. One can become problematic. The other one shouldn’t, and we should be excited, and we should be allowed to be joyous and happy. But those of us who’ve experienced mania or hypomania (also known as mild mania), we can get scared when we start getting too happy, what we think might be too happy. I realized after I was diagnosed, after I’d experienced an acute manic episode, I was really scared every time I felt like I was a little happier than most people. I was afraid that maybe this was going to turn into mania again, and I didn’t want that to happen. But I think we need to recognize that there is a huge difference, and that difference is pretty clear. When we’re unable to function in society, that’s when it’s mania, that’s when it becomes clinical. And note I said “within society.” It’s not just with ourselves. We might think that, you know, I may be talking really fast, but I can understand myself. But if other people can’t understand you, or if you’re making other people miserable and you’re unable to function in the society within which you live, then you can think, you know, maybe this is reaching the clinical level, and generally that’s when it does, when it’s interfering with your ability to function in the world and do the things that you would normally do. And there’s another a big difference, and that’s that joy is defined by happiness and a feeling of euphoria—whereas mania isn’t just euphoric. You have euphoric mania, but you also have dysphoric mania, which is a kind of mania that has a lot of restlessness and agitation associated with it and not euphoria at all, and anybody who has ever experienced that kind of dysphoric mania with mixed episodes especially, you know that it does not feel good, and it’s not something you want to pursue. So knowing the difference is great, but not the point that you’re so cautious that you’re not allowing yourself to be joyous and happy, even if you’re happier than other people some of the time, that’s totally fine as long as it’s not interfering with your ability to function. So, let us know what your experiences are with mania, and how you distinguish what mania is and what hypomania is versus what your just basic emotional expression of joy is—by leaving a comment in the section below, and let’s keep the conversation below. And until next month, take care. Bye! CREDITS: All A/V (videography, audio, etc.) courtesy of Matthew Lenard.
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