Over Thinking.

Over thinking. It’s the nights you spend not sleeping as mistakes you’ve made in the past act as a plague to your mind. It’s worrying about things that might never happen as you dwell over the things that have. It’s every fear you have that paralyzes you. And as you think more you hold back tears. It’s failure becoming your worst reality in your mind. Failing class. Failing at a job. Failing in relationships. People who over think tend to strive for unrealistic expectations which lead to success. But the cost is exhaustion maintaining it. It’s being both physically and emotionally exhausted from a brain that never slows down or shuts off. Over thinking is that pause between texts as you wonder how they interrupt what you’re saying. It’s typing and deleting and sending yet another because your mind is playing tricks on you. It’s the constant need for answers and responses just to keep your mind at bay and calm.

Overthinking is the voice of criticism that is trying to destroy you as it doubts everyone and everything around you. Then it makes you doubt yourself and second guess everything. You never follow your first instinct when you over think things.

It’s following the destructive path your mind leads you down and you can’t make it stop if you want. Over thinking is like some fire you can’t control and it just destroys everything in its path including you. It’s the critical voice that clings to mistakes only to bring them up later. Over thinking feels like you’re constantly waiting for something but you don’t actually know what it is you’re waiting for. Waiting for something to change. Waiting for something to go wrong.

Waiting for someone to get mad. Waiting for something to end dramatically and it is your fault. Over thinking comes bearing apologizes you didn’t need to say in the first place but you’re sorry for questioning them and thinking the worst. It leads you thinking every worst scenario will be a reality. Over thinking leads you to be overly cautious with everything.

Over thinking is like tip-toeing around everything like there are shards of broken glass below your feet and any wrong move will lead to pain. It’s the fear of relationships because you need so much in a partner you wonder if you are better off alone.

Because how do you even explain to someone it isn’t you I’m doubting or don’t trust my mind is leading me to be so cautious? How do you explain to someone you’re interested in that you need to hear certain phrases over and over again like, “it’s okay” or “we are okay” or “I’m not leaving you.”

Over thinking in relationships is accepting you aren’t going to be the strong and confident one ever. It’s  needing that reassurance for every doubt. It’s needing someone, to be honest, all the time and explain things very thoroughly. It’s the conversations that might be awkward but the person needs to be able to communicate.

Tell you when something is wrong.

Tell you when you are mad.

Tell you exactly what they are thinking.

It’s the fights you want solutions to immediately because if you don’t your mind will create ten more problems. It’s listening to scenarios that are very real in your mind even though to a normal person it’s so out there. Over thinking is caring too much and no matter how much, someone else’s opinion shouldn’t matter, or that ignored text shouldn’t even impact you, under the surface, you are wondering what have I done wrong? And what can I do to fix it?

The root of over thinking is just wanting people to accept you and be happy with you because you are still learning how to be happy with yourself. It’s choosing words so carefully because you never want to intentionally hurt someone. Over thinking is the relationships that end, and you always think it’s you that’s to blame. Over thinking is the solutions you want to fix to something that isn’t even a problem. Over thinking is the want and need to control things because it feels like this “thing” in your life controls you.

But you know you learn to adapt to this “thing” that hurts to live with, but you don’t even remember what it was like to live without it. And as you navigate through ramped thoughts you’ll find comfort in others who love you through this flaw and they learn to adapt to having someone like you a part of their life and they are the ones who help you through it constantly reminding you they won’t leave.

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Mania Self Assessment Test.

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Do you Suffer from Mania? Mania is marked by periods of great excitement, euphoria, delusions, and overactivity. Mania is often symptomatic of a variety of mental health conditions including bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, etc. In addition, manic symptoms can be attributed to various other medical conditions.

Answer the quiz questions below to see if you or a loved one may be suffering from mania.

Instructions: Below is a list of questions that relate to life experiences common among people who have experienced mania. Please read each question carefully, and indicate how often you have experienced the same or similar challenges in the past few months.

Your privacy is important to use. All results are completely anonymous.

Do you ever experience a persistent elevated or irritable mood for more than a week?

  • Never
  • Rarely
  • Sometimes
  • Often
  • Very Often
Do you ever experience persistently increased goal-directed activity for more than a week?
  • Never
  • Rarely
  • Sometimes
  • Often
  • Very Often
 Do you ever experience inflated self-esteem or grandiose thoughts about yourself?
  • Never
  • Rarely
  • Sometimes
  • Often
  • Very Often
 Do you ever feel little need for sleep, feeling rested after only a few hours?
  • Never
  • Rarely
  • Sometimes
  • Often
  • Very Often
 Do you ever find yourself more talkative than usual?
  • Never
  • Rarely
  • Sometimes
  • Often
  • Very Often

Do you experience racing thoughts or a flight of ideas?

  • Never
  • Rarely
  • Sometimes
  • Often
  • Very Often
 Do you notice (or others comment) that you are easily distracted?
  • Never
  • Rarely
  • Sometimes
  • Often
  • Very Often
 Do you engage excessively in risky behaviors, sexually or financially?
  • Never
  • Rarely
  • Sometime
  • Often
  • Very Often
If you think you or someone you care about may be suffering from Mania, Bipolar Disorder,  Schizoaffective Disorder, or any other mental health condition, I strongly recommend that you seek help from a mental health professional in order to receive the proper diagnosis and support. For those in crisis, I compiled a list of resources (some even offer free or low-cost support) where you may be able to find additional help at:

Find a Therapist’ Online Directories

Living With Bipolar Disorder.

I have found my bipolar disorder to be exhilarating, dark, and painful. I found that one of the benefits of this disorder was the creativity, energy, and euphoria that came with the mania. For the longest time, I didn’t realize that this was mania. Speaking as an individual who is living with Bipolar Disorder, below are signs and symptoms that I experience and others mays too.

You just failed a big test and are pretty bummed about it. Or, you’re going through a bad breakup and feeling pretty down. We’ve all been there. In day-to-day life, everyone experiences ups and downs every now and then. Eventually, time passes on and our mood becomes better and we become “ourselves” again. Unlike the normal population, individuals living with bipolar disorder cycle through extreme mood swings that cause disruption to daily life.

Bipolar DisorderManic DepressionBipolar Affective Disorder. All three terms are synonymous with each other and the name of a mental health disorder. The classic symptoms of bipolar disorder are the periodic changes in mood, alternating between periods of elevated mood (mania or hypomania) and periods of depression. If you are living with bipolar disorder, you may feel energetic, abnormally happy, and make reckless or impulsive decisions during manic states. During depressive states, you may feel the overwhelming urge to cry, experience feelings of hopelessness, and have a negative outlook on life. Hypomania is a less severe form of mania, where you generally feel  pretty good with a better sense of well-being and productivity.

With bipolar disorder, you don’t just feel “down in the dumps;” your depressive state may lead to suicidal thoughts that change over to feelings of euphoria  and endless energy. These extreme mood swings can occur more frequently such as every week or show up more sporadically, maybe just twice a year. There is also no defined pattern to the mood swings. One does not always occur before the other, and the length of time you are in one state or the other varies as well. The good news is that there are a number of treatments that can keep your moods in check allowing you to live a productive life.

There are many types of bipolar disorder; three of the most common include: Bipolar I Disorder, Bipolar II Disorder, and Cyclothymic Disorder. Bipolar I Disorder is characterized by the occurrence of at least one manic episode, preceded or followed by a hypomanic or major depressive episode. Manic episodes may be so severe they significantly disrupt your daily functioning or may trigger a break from reality (psychosis). If you are suffering from Bipolar I Disorder, you may require hospitalization. If you are living with Bipolar II Disorder, you experience at least one major depressive episode lasting two weeks or more and at least one hypomanic episode lasting at least four days. But, you will not have experienced a manic episode. Cyclothymic Disorder is characterized by at least two years of multiple occurrences of hypomania symptoms and depressive symptoms, these symptoms are less severe than hypomanic episodes and major depressive episodes. During this time, symptoms present themselves at least half of the time and are constant for at least two months.
Because there are many different stages of bipolar disorder, the signs and symptoms vary from person to person and from type to type. Presented below are the most common signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder, categorized by emotional state.

 Manic Symptoms

A manic episode is characterized by a distinct and abnormal state of elevated, expansive, or irritable mood occurring for at least one week. The manic episode is persistently driven by a goal-directed behavior or energy. A hypomanic episode is a distinct and abnormal state of elevated, expansive, or irritable mood that lasts for at least four consecutive days.

If you have been diagnosed as suffering from bipolar disorder, you may experience any of the signs and symptoms during a manic period:

  •  long period of feeling “high” – an overly elated, happy, and outgoing mood
  • feeling extremely irritable
  • being easily distracted
  • having racing thoughts
  • talking very fast
  • jumping from one thought to another when talking
  • taking on a lot of new projects
  • restlessness
  • boundless energy
  • sleeping very little
  • not feeling tired
  • unrealistically believing you can do something
  • engaging in impulsive, pleasurable, and high-risk behaviors (e.g., poor financial investments, sexual indiscretions, shopping sprees)
  • inflated self-esteem
  • feelings of grandiosity
  • increased agitation
  • increased goal-directed activity
  • high sex drive
  • making grand and unattainable plans
  • detachment from reality – psychosis that may include delusions or hallucinations
  • Manic behaviors interfere with functioning at school or work, in social situations, and in relationships. These behaviors occur on their own and they do not occur due to alcohol or drug use, a medical illness, or a side effect of a medication.

 Depressive Symptoms

The depressive side of bipolar disorder is characterized by a major depressive episode resulting in a depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in life. If you are living with bipolar disorder, during depressive states, you may experience some of the following signs and symptoms:

  • feeling sad, tearful, hopeless, or empty for the majority of the day on a daily basis
  • no pleasure or interest in day-to-day activities
  • weight fluctuations – including significant weight loss or weight gain
  • sleep disturbances – sleeping too much or other sleep problems, such as insomnia
  • restlessness or slowed behaviors
  • suicidal thoughts, planning, or attempts
  • feelings of guilt and worthlessness
  • inability to concentrate
  • indecisiveness
  • loss of energy
  • feelings of fatigue
  • psychosis – being detached from reality; delusions or hallucinations
  • loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • anxiety
  • uncontrollable crying

Depressive behaviors can interfere with school or work, family or personal relationships, and social functioning. If you are suffering from bipolar disorder, like I do, and undergoing a depressive episode, it is not the result of substance abuse, medications, an underlying medical condition, or stressful situation such as grieving the loss of a loved one.

If you are living with bipolar depression, it is important to follow your treatment plan. Pay attention to warning signs or triggers this can help you seek additional treatment, talk with your counselor or mental health provider, and prevent the onset of a full attack. Avoid drugs and alcohol, and take your medication as prescribed even on days you feel fine. Following your treatment plan, educating yourself about your disorder, and engaging in prevention techniques will positively contribute to your overall well-being and life satisfaction.

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