Manic behaviour

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GarlicMaster

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Manic behaviour
« on: January 24, 2017, 10:51:07 PM »
My husband has never met my family in person (we live on the other side of the world). All the information he has about them come from what I have told him, emails, and Skype calls.

Something he mentioned recently after we Skyped with my mother got me thinking. He mentioned that my mother's behaviour is very "manic", and, if he didn't know any better, he would have assumed she was either under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Now, my mother used to be a heavy drinker, but she quit over a decade a go. As far as I know, she has never have any drug related issues. However, when I look at her now, I can see where my husband is coming from. She is, all over the place. Her behaviour is extremely manic and impulsive. It's like you can visibly see her running away from the trauma inside her that she is not able to face.

I'm not sure if I'm making sense here. I was wondering if anyone else had noticed this in their parents?

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MidnightOwl

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Re: Manic behaviour
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2017, 11:11:41 PM »
GarlicMaster -  It is hard to see "odd" behaviors in our parents because to us, it seems so normal doesn't it? I don't quite have the issue of manic behavior in my FOO but it does makes sense that she's feels uncomfortable sitting still if her flight response is constantly kicking off (as you said "her running away form the trauma inside her").

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VividImagination

  • Fear is not real; it is a product of the thoughts you create. Danger is very real, but fear is a choice. - After Earth
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Re: Manic behaviour
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2017, 11:57:34 PM »
As if she settles down for two minutes, self-reflection will kick in and her demons will appear.

My NM was highly impulsive as well, which I attributed to her severely stunted emotional development (she had to have everything NOW like a toddler). Instead of manic behavior, NM was terrified of being alone and avoided it if at all possible. Aside from severe abandonment issues, I believe that if she didn't have someone around to constantly entertain and distract her, those demons might pop up, her brain might (gasp!) self-reflect, and she might have the discomfort of having to be alone with the person she hated most - herself.

Sounds to me like your mother is literally running herself ragged so the past can't creep up on her.
There are three solutions to every problem: accept it, change it, or leave it. If you cannot accept it, change it. I f you cannot change it, leave it.

Sometimes you're damned if you don't and damned if you do, so damn well do what's best for you.

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Tamzen

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Re: Manic behaviour
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2017, 11:46:23 AM »
I see both high impulsivity and emotional dysregulation in my BPD mom. I think science-wise it's been moderately well established that BPD includes changes to the brain that foster impulsivity and dysregulation. My sense of the latter with my mom is that when she gets excited about something, she can't easily stop herself.

Here's one of the studies looking at dysregulation in BPD, if you're curious: Emotion dysregulation in borderline personality disorder: A problem of too much drive and too little control? https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160113103314.htm

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all4peace

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Re: Manic behaviour
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2017, 12:02:35 PM »
I think my NM is terrified of retiring. It will be a full-on needing to face her demons. She has a pet project that she can spend up to 30 hrs per week on, and tries to force my dad into it also. The sheer amount of time and physical energy poured into this one thing is staggering, and probably has something to do with the conversation above.

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daughterofbpd

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Re: Manic behaviour
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2017, 03:02:20 PM »
My BPDm gets kind of manic when she is in a good mood. She can be very loud and obnoxious and over the top energetic, to the point where it seems fake.
“How starved you must have been that my heart became a meal for your ego”
~ Amanda Torroni

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JG65

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Re: Manic behaviour
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2017, 10:54:18 PM »
Thirty years ago, my father was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and NPD.  Recently, I was talking to my psychiatrist (I have PTSD because my NPD father sexually assaulted me numerous times when I was a child) and she said that because people with NPD have extreme mood swings, sometimes they are diagnosed as bipolar, but they really aren't.  My dad definitely acts manic sometimes, but rarely depressed.
Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences - Robert Louis Stevenson

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Afterthefox

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Re: Manic behaviour
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2017, 03:56:25 PM »
Mania is a very considerable symptom of my nBPD father's condition. One that has the capacity to make him physically ill after a sustained period of high-energy behavior. Manic episodes offer a glimpse into the uncontrollable emotional undercurrent behind his torment. But far from being irrational and out of control, there is an inevitability and regularity to their recurrence.

I feel that in a way, he revels in his mania and especially in recounting the eccentric tales that go along with them. He enjoys the attention and in his sadistic way, the debilitating effect his excessive behavior has on his relationships. It differentiates him from others and makes him untouchable and irreproachable - the essential goal of a narcissist.


I find that there are very clear triggers that set off my nBPD father's more predictable manic episodes:


Intimacy - A small dose of interaction can be fine, but a longer period of interaction, particularly one that threatens to become intimate or vulnerable, very easily leads to an acute emotional disturbance.

Work - he has been known to work compulsively, plainly ignoring his health, diet, and sleep requirements. He once worked on a project, didn't sleep for days and collapsed with pneumonia. He tells this tale with pride and a sense of accomplishment.

Joy - when he experiences something pleasing in his life, he behaves in an uncontrollably ecstatic way. He may laugh overbearingly, or stamp his foot 'at' you in a threatening way. He told me that he was once stopped by airport security for laughing too much. They thought he was intoxicated, he said he was just 'feeling happy' and did not have any understanding of the charge.

Emotions - If he fails to convince you to agree with him on a point using reason, he will use the power of his feeling to make you submit to his opinion. In this case, 'high emotion' is his secret weapon - his intense feeling about something is undebatable as it is not in the realm of logic or reason and he will use the fact that he is 'deeply disturbed' by something to limit the expression of your independence. 

Socialising - in group situations he will attempt to be the centre of attention at all times and will do anything to ensure it. He will be the loudest in the group, talk over other people and be physically intimidating or overbearing. If his attempts fail to gain him favour, he will bitterly dismiss the group afterwards.

The opinions of others - regardless of whether he agrees or disagrees, I feel he finds opinionated people a threat and so he launches relentless, highly animated attacks during and after perfectly reasonable conversation to dominate the outcome. There is healthy debate, and then there is verbal abuse. I have witnessed him steer a conversation with a perfectly nice older couple about their favorite holiday destinations, to a viscious rant and abject fury about their choices.

Alcohol - after two glasses of wine, he will get a glint in his eye and become disturbed about whatever subject he happens to be discussing. I can virtually time the moment to the second when he becomes unpleasantly emotional after a drink.

Sustained conversation/Interaction -  he becomes obsessed with certain ideas, and will talk incessantly and animatedly about them until guided away from the topic. I have listened to him repeat the same anecdotes, word for word, for my entire life and I know to steer him away from the ones that end with him viciously attacking his subject, again, word for word. It is like he is following a script and if he feels like venting his rage, and becoming manic, he will employ the anecdote that leads to it.


« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 04:03:02 PM by Afterthefox »
"Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone." - Alan Watts

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SeaSalt

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Re: Manic behaviour
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2017, 09:47:24 AM »
My NM seem like if she was on cocaine every time I talk to her. Also my voice changes when i talk to her because if i keep calm, its seems weirder, so i change spontaneously to kind of adjust to her talking. If I manage to keep control over my voice, its so odd.