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 they may suffer from bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder is characterized not only by depression, but also by mania, and unfortunately those that deal with mania sometimes find that their manic episodes end up leading to the development of further anxiety.
Controlling Separate Conditions
When you have two separate disorders, you need to treat them separately. Talk to a doctor about your mania, and learn more about your anxiety starting with my free 7 minute anxiety test.
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. Anxiety is a separate condition, which you can learn more about by taking my free 7 minute anxiety test.
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.
Mania and anxiety are sometimes even similar. Anxiety can also 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 do. There is a "high" to mania that there isn't with anxiety - almost all nervous energy with anxiety is negative, and causes distress to the individual.
So they're similar, and mania can cause anxiety, but 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's incredibly treatable, but it's also something that can have setbacks, and many people skip they're doctor's recommendations only to find that their bipolar disorder and mania get worse.
So keep in mind that you need to do what your doctor tells you, no matter what. It's your best chance for beating this treatable but powerful disorder. However, you can control some of your anxiety with the following:
- Mania Acceptance You need to accept what you do during a manic episode. The last thing you need is to regret the decisions you make while you're suffering from mania. Acceptance is one of the most important keys to fighting the subsequent anxiety, because unless you can accept what you do as a natural part of the disorder, you're going to have a hard time controlling your anxiety.
- Learn Rapid 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 can 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. But a great one for mania is simply jogging. Jogging both burns off excess energy while also avoiding inactivity, since inactivity and fatigue are a problem with depression. Jogging is a great tool to provide some immediate relief.
- Be Honest With Others Another important part of controlling the anxiety of mania is simply honesty about your manic episodes. A huge part of controlling anxiety is to feel less shame and less need to hide from your symptoms. Honesty - and learning not to be ashamed of your disorder - can play a big role.
Beyond these tips, you'll need to control both your bipolar disorder and your anxiety separately, as if they're separate conditions. That's because rarely is there any one thing that causes anxiety. As severe as mania is, it's highly uncommon for it to be the only cause of an anxiety disorder.
So learn more about your anxiety to help cure it. I've helped many people that suffered from bipolar disorder with their anxiety. Start with my free 7 minute anxiety test, and learn more about how it helps your anxiety.
Perugi, Giulio, et al. The temporal relationship between anxiety disorders and (hypo) mania: a retrospective examination of 63 panic, social phobic and obsessive-compulsive patients with comorbid bipolar disorder 00433-5/abstract) . Journal of affective disorders 67.1 (2001): 199-206.
Grant, Bridget F., et al. Co-occurrence of 12-month mood and anxiety disorders and personality disorders in the US: results from the national epidemiologic survey on alcohol and related conditions . Journal of psychiatric research (2005).
Levy, D., et al. Antidepressant-associated mania: a study of anxiety disorders patients. Psychopharmacology 136.3 (1998): 243-246.
Author: Micah Abraham, BSc Psychology, last updated Sep 28, 2017.