When patients are experiencing mania they describe tremendous activity and energy levels, rapid flow of ideas initially leading to a period of productive creativity becoming less and less coherent as the mania increases.
A manic episode feels fantastic, almost beyond any experience you’ve ever felt. Someone experiencing a manic episode usually has no insight into their condition which is very apparent to family and friends, such as inflated self-esteem, loss of judgement, increasingly impulsive decision making (sometimes with severe consequences).
Irrational spending of money and involvement in questionable projects, rapid speech and movement, increase in energy and unwillingness to sleep, increase in appetite, lack of inhibition and increased sexual vulnerability, irritability and impatience, sometimes highly critical of others and verbally abusive. Feeling of having intense insight and heightened perception of reality, bizarre behaviour, delusions and visual and auditory hallucinations.
These distortions of reality often lead to feelings of acute paranoia which can be a very disturbing and a frightening experience, where in the majority of cases intervention by the medical authorities is urgently required.