Quote from Kidrn911
When I first became a nurse, I worked with a nurse with Bipolar. For the most part things were fine, until she was in a manic phase and ran the unit topless. After that she ended up on FMLA. I left shortly after, not sure what happened.
People often do things when manic that they would NEVER do in their normal state of mind, and it's absolutely mortifying when they come back down and realize what they've done.
Something I've found rather interesting about mania is how similar it is to being inebriated---you're wild and free, you're soaring, you're out of control.......and if you're not dysphoric/irritable, you're having a GREAT time! Then comes the crash, and then
the hangover, when you're full of remorse for what you did in that feverish rush of activity. And sometimes, you can't even remember everything that happened---just like an alcoholic blackout.
This is why so many bipolar people have substance-abuse problems, AKA dual diagnosis. It's as though we self-medicate our emotions with intoxicants because we can't, or don't want to deal with our mental-health problems. I can remember taking some pretty big risks when I was young that I long attributed to alcohol use ("Hey, I'm gonna moon somebody on the freeway! Watch THIS!"), but didn't all
occur when I was "liquored up", as it were.
I was stone-cold sober when I threw my backpack into the bed of a co-worker's pickup truck and went to Ensenada, Mexico over a long weekend (and without letting anyone
know I was going out of the country). I was dry as a bone when I decided that TODAY was the day I was going to make miniskirts out of all my dresses, and cut six inches of material off each one before I realized that I didn't know how to hem. And I'd been sober for 20 years when I spent $1000 in 2 days at Wal-Mart last summer. And yet, I have only vague memories of those times, just as if I'd been drunk.
Just a few thoughts on how things can go so terribly wrong for people who are usually just fine.