How to Calm a Manic Episode

by Jeffrey Norman

People suffering from bipolar disorder have a range of options available to manage their mood. However, the throes of mania are sometimes inescapable. Experiencing extreme feelings can heighten your anxiety and self-consciousness. If those around you are not familiar with your condition, your behavior may frighten or confuse them. Responsible manic depressives have a thorough understanding of their symptoms and expect to undergo episodes from time to time. Breaking free from the mania requires both calm and patience.

Determine the state of the mania. Look out for warning signs like tensing of the shoulders or jaw, a rapid heartbeat and a tightness in the chest. The more quickly you can analyze and confirm that you are experiencing an episode, the more effectively you can be calmed.

Halt all risky activity. Events that could be contributing to your mania include arguing, physical violence, threats, talking, handling money and driving. Failing to arrest yourself can exacerbate your mood and draw unwanted attention to your current state. Manic states can inhibit your sense of judgment. Avoid making unfortunate decisions by removing yourself from the situation.

Sequester yourself. Find a secluded environment, away from anyone else, where you can be alone and console yourself. If you have a predilection for mania, locate some ideal places of isolation when not in a fit. Knowing suitable locations in advance can help you calm down more quickly.

Collect yourself. Relax by telling yourself that the situation will be under control in due time. Breathe deeply at regular intervals. Massage and stretch tense areas on your body to work out stress. Devise a strategy that will organize your behavior for the next two hours; write it down. Limit yourself to only four tasks at the maximum and potentially a few phone calls.

Take any anti-manic medication if your doctor has prescribed it for you. Contact your doctor to ascertain the correct dosage.

Anticipate experiencing more mania. Two hours can be considered the maximum amount of time you should take between periods of relaxation. Handling your mania is a concerted effort. But that work can result in improved efficiency and a better overall mood.

About the Author

Jeffrey Norman has been writing professionally since 2005. His work has been published in such journals as the "Leland Quarterly" and on the blog, An Apple A Day. Norman earned a Bachelor of Arts in literature and creative writing from Stanford University.

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