Mania and anxiety are sometimes even similar. Anxiety can create a feeling of nervous energy, as can mania. Mania is harder to control though and tends to result in marked personality changes in a way that anxiety doesn't and there is a "high" to mania that isn't present with anxiety. Anxiety and mania may also both be characterized by racing thoughts or distractability.
Anxiety is its own diagnosis, but, some people deal with more than one mental health disorder. Unfortunately, a large number of those with anxiety also suffer from depression, and in some cases, bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder is characterized not only by depression, but also by mania. Unfortunately those that deal with mania sometimes find that their manic episodes also involve feelings of anxiety.
Anxiety and Mania - Is There A Relationship?
Many people feel as though they are somewhat "manic" and energized when they have anxiety. But anxiety doesn't cause or contribute to mania.
The reason that mania occasionally contributes to anxiety is because manic episodes themselves can be extremely stressful. During a manic episode, a person feels completely energized to get numerous things completed. They may even be more sexually risky, or have some awkward social engagements. Experiences of mania may also feel out-of-control which could lead to anxiety.
Mania and anxiety are sometimes even similar. Anxiety can create a feeling of nervous energy, as can mania. Mania is harder to control though and tends to result in marked personality changes in a way that anxiety doesn't and there is a "high" to mania that isn't present with anxiety. Anxiety and mania may also both be characterized by racing thoughts or distractibility.
So while they may be similar, and mania can cause anxiety, mania and anxiety are definitely two separate conditions.
How to Control the Anxiety of Mania
Because mania can cause anxiety - especially after a manic episode - there are different tools for dealing with it. But no matter what you do, always listen to your doctor. Bipolar disorder is a difficult condition. It is incredibly treatable, but it's also something that can have setbacks, and many people who skip their doctor's recommendations find that their symptoms get worse.
A few ways to cope with the anxiety you feel as a result of mania are:
- Mania Acceptance Accepting that you experience manic episodes may help to decrease some of your anxiety. Individuals suffering from Bipolar Disorder with manic or hypomanic episodes may feel anxiety during or after an episode. By accepting that this is a separate, treatable, disorder with symptoms that naturally occur as a result you allow yourself an opportunity to let go some of the anxiety that may otherwise be associated with the mania.
- Learn Healthy Coping Strategies As soon as you come down from a manic episode, you should immediately engage in healthy coping strategies. No alcohol, no drugs, no gambling, and nothing that could contribute to further anxiety. There are several relaxation exercises you can try. One is deep breathing, which is a method of breathing that calms the body. Exercise is another healthy coping skill. Exercise both burns off excess energy while also avoiding inactivity, which can be a problem with the depression side of Bipolar disorder.
- Be Honest With Others Another important part of managing the anxiety associated with mania is being honest about your manic episodes. If you can feel less shame and lessen the need to hide from your symptoms then it may take away some of the power that anxiety has over you. Honesty - and learning not to be ashamed of your disorder - can be helpful in reducing the amount of stress, and therefore anxiety, that you experience in relation to manic episodes.
Beyond these tips, you'll need to address both your bipolar disorder and your anxiety separately, because they are, in fact, separate conditions. Regardless of how severe your mania may be, it is highly uncommon for it to be the only cause of an anxiety disorder. The best way to cope with your symptoms of anxiety and mania are to see a therapist who has experience treating Bipolar Disorder, anxiety, and co-occurring disorders.