by Savana Robinson
This year, I had a manic episode that lasted from January to March. During that episode, I got very little sleep. I was burying myself in any work that I could find, and my mom said I sounded different.
Manic episodes can be caused by a number of things. High stress levels, trauma, changes in sleep patterns or lack of sleep, using recreational drugs or alcohol, or the time of year; some people are more prone to mania in the spring. Mania is classically associated with bipolar disorder, and is also known as the “high” compared to the “low” of a depressive episode.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, symptoms of mania include, “feelings of invincibility, lack of sleep, racing thoughts and ideas, rapid talking and having false beliefs or perceptions.” For example, during my manic episode, I would go without sleeping for a couple of days at a time and I was talking everybody’s ears off about how I planned to be a motorcycle journalist, or how that semester’s Osprey was going to be the best magazine to come out of this school (it was a banger, though). It wasn’t until one of my roommates sat me down and told me that I was manic that I realized I had not been my normal self for months. I accepted what she had to say, but the only thing I could think to do to help myself was try to get some sleep and just get back to normal; that’s not how it works. I should have gotten help then, but it wasn’t until a month later that I got help the hard way through multiple 5150 holds and a nine-day stay in a psychiatric facility. Listening to those around me was the most beneficial thing that I did during my episode. If I hadn’t let the university police help me by transporting me to Mad River Hospital, where I was put on 5150 for the first time, I might not be writing this.
If I could go back and do it again, or if I had to get help for someone else, this is what I would do: call 988. That number is not only a suicide hotline, but it’s a mental health crisis hotline. It’s easy to remember in case you can’t find the local number (707-445-7715) and they will give you tips on how to get help for yourself or others. Next, I would make an appointment with a psychiatrist. This can be done through your general practitioner. Students can make an appointment with Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). CAPS can be contacted at 707-826-3236.
Well, I hope this helps. If you have any questions or just want to talk about mental health, email me at email@example.com.
24hr National Suicide & Crisis Hotline: 988
24hr Humboldt County Crisis Hotline: 707-445-7715
Cal Poly Humboldt Counseling and Psychological Services: 707-826-3236