What does mania feel like?

As mood goes up, many people go through a period of hypomania which can feel pleasurable at first. If mood escalates into full mania, this can feel very frightening and out of control.

  • High or irritable mood
  • Increased energy
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Distracted by racing thoughts and ideas
  • Seeking pleasurable activity – sometimes risky
  • Disinhibition – behaving ways considered outside the norm
  • The mood impacts on your ability to function

“My early warning signs are that colours seem very bright, particularly reds and yellows, they take on neon characteristics and I believe they have magical properties. I also start to talk much faster and more than is usual for me. If I do nothing about these signs, within a day or two I am highly excited, very active, wanting to run, dance and climb things. At this stage everything seems wonderful and I feel like I am a genius! The next stage is more worrying (though not to me at the time.) I become disinhibited and take off all my clothes in public. Also, I believe I can fly and try to get to high places so that I can launch myself into the air. What seems such a wonderful feeling quickly becomes very dangerous!”

Watch James discuss experiencing the highs of mania