I don’t drink coffee and I’ve never taken cocaine.  I don’t suffer from ADHD, bipolar disorder, or severe depression.  I’ve been in pain for most of my life, and although I know caffeine is used in combination with pain relievers, I’ve always believed that taking powerful stimulants would only… stimulate my pain.  And my pain is stimulated enough on its own, thank you very much.

So I have no idea what it feels like to be manic or hypomanic.  And after reading a little bit about these conditions, I can pretty much conclude that they’re experiences I’ve never had and probably won’t ever have.  (Or have I?)

Mania sounds pretty painful to me — and it reminds me of a time, decades ago, when I (sometimes) had access to prescription medications.  My pain levels were still manageable back then, but the drugs were the only thing that lifted the pain. And when the pain was lifted, I was much more physically active than my body was used to (as someone who was in constant pain). In other words, I pushed myself while I was “high,” and then suffered the resulting added pain afterwards.  (Were these manic episodes?)

But I can sure understand the lure of being manic, especially the bursts of creativity… Every American longs to be an artist or a writer, mostly because they think it’s easy money. Of course that’s not true… being creative is hard work.  You have to use a part of your brain that few people have access to, a part of your brain that can be dangerous.  A part of your brain that knows both the depths of despair and the joys of… flight.  And once you find that creativity, it’s hard to turn your back on it, even if it kills you.  (Thinking of you, Philip Seymour Hoffman.)

And for pain patients, especially those who are forced to work, the bursts of energy that come from a manic episode sound like a really good thing.  One has to wonder if such states can be habit-forming, just like the drugs that can artificially cause them.  Cocaine is an addictive drug, although it’s not one of the most highly-addictive.  So if mania feels like taking cocaine, if that’s what it feels like in your brain, then it’s just logical that these manic states are also addictive. Especially when you consider the pit that you fall into once the manic episode is over.

Man, if you’re bipolar, you should learn to love roller-coasters.  (I hate roller-coasters, they make me nauseated.  Perhaps if I had more willpower, I could overcome that…)

6 thoughts on “Can you become addicted to mania and hypomania?

  1. Now that my meds have me more consistent I must say sometimes I do miss the hypomania…but not enough to go there again. Thankfully I’ve discovered I can be just as creative now as I was then ☺ point being I believe the manias are addictive and why many often go off their meds. Maybe i would too if i didn’t have a family? Hard to say because i do. Without them i wouldn’t be here.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have always enjoyed roller coasters… the fear that builds while creeping to the top of the first hill, the rush of every plunge thereafter, knowing your life is in the hands of the brown-shirted man who last checked the hardware on the tracks… and deciding to throw my hands in the air and enjoy the thrill.
    ~Your analogy of mania to a roller coaster is brilliant. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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  3. Everybody is different but I cant say that i would compare mania to a roller coaster. I would say i was hypomanic for years and it made me excel at my job. Full on mania is something i really dont care to describe because it is a darkness that filled with light.

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