It’s called manic depression, and for some odd reason our society leans more so toward discussions about depression. I think about all those commercials about medications for depression, or representations of depression, and usually I find them somewhat useful to better educate the population on depression, but what about the mania?
Hypomania (literally “under mania” or “less than mania”) is a mood state characterized by persistent disinhibition and pervasive elevated (euphoric) or irritable mood but generally less severe than full mania. Characteristic behaviors are extremely energetic, talkative, and confident commonly exhibited with a flight of creative ideas.
Bipolar II aka Chronic Hypo Mania has been my curse, and blessing, since the day I was born. Now, if I were to produce commercials on mania, based on my own real life experience, this is what you would see.
Commercial # 1
- There is a baby in a crib wide awake with a screen cut to show the parents and other family members in the house sound asleep with the caption, “Does your baby sleep?”
Ok, yes babies can be difficult when it comes to bedtime or naptime, but, I’ll never forget my mother telling me that I never slept as a child, and that she knew something was wrong, but didn’t have a name for it. So, a commercial mirroring this experience I had as a baby could be a tool for understanding mania at a young age.
- There is a woman in her early twenties dancing at a club. Her friend approaches her and says she is ready to go. The woman says she is going to stay and ends up closing down the joint. It’s five am, she gets home, sleeps an hour, then gets up and goes to work like everything’s fine.
That was me in my early twenties. I was living in NYC, going out every night, barely sleeping then would get up for work. I have no idea how I managed to survive those years but, I did.
- A woman is in her late twenties, having lunch with some friends. She is wearing bold bright colors, talking a mile a minute, interrupting people, talking about her latest grandiose creative endeavor, and is so wound up she accidently knocks over her water and freaks out about it in an irritable rant.
I like to call it my manic clothes. I can tell when my mood is elevated based on the clothes that I choose to wear. If I’m depressed where are the sweats, if I’m manic, where is the boa. And most of the time people would have to tell me to slow down so they could understand me. And if something minor happened like dropping a plate of food a shock of irritability would take over my mind.
Signs of mania can start at the beginning of a person’s life. If only there were some commercials for people to learn more about mania, and could potentially discover an illness before it gets out of control. I ended up out of control, and I think God was the one that stepped in to guide me to get help, but, seeing a commercial on the disease would have been nice.