Mania and Depression as Two Different Worlds
Over the years I’ve consumed more than my fair share of Mental Illness media and literature. I’ve watched the movie “Touched with Fire”, the documentary “The Secret Life of a Manic-Depressive”, read the book “The Spiritual Gift of Madness” and the list goes on and on.
I’ve come upon a common theme of people with Bipolar Disorder making reference to another world, or a parallel world. To me this is a pleasant surprise as I have experience this phenomenon myself. Psychiatrist pin this down to a common delusion characteristic of the disorder. If I, however, spoke with people who had never met each other from all around the world describing the same thing, I might think there was something to it. And that’s the part that surprises me.
Before I started reading and exploring alternative perspectives of people with lived experience, I’d always though my funky experiences and perceptions were my own, or just part of the illness. But then when I heard people I’d never met describing the exact same thing with a conviction that matched the experience of that reality I once had too, I had to think there was something more to it. It was funny to hear people speak of another world in passing in a documentary, capturing it as if it were a delusion, yet really, it could be evidence to look for something more. Quantum physics will show this in the coming years. And the more people that understand this, the more the world will be that way. Then, we as Bipolar people will no longer have to describe this other world, but we will all be living in it without talking about it, just as we don’t talk about breathing air.
How does this relate to the experience of Bipolar Mania and Bipolar Depression?
Well, it came to me in the shower the other day that, if in fact Bipolar people are correct about the reality of two worlds, and that we have access to them, mania and depression aren’t actually states of mind but indications of which world one is in.
So, if our brain is in one world, call it “higher”, we experience mania. It looks strange to those is the “lower” world. We seem faster. If our brain is in the lower world, we experience depression. It’s sort of like how we could be running down the street (mania) and then if we run into a lake, we are slowed down and we can barely run (depression).
So again, mania and depression are an indication of which resonance we are in. Our brains are capable of processing the other world, but when it comes back to consensus, since it’s more dense, like the water of the lake, we are slowed down. That looks like slowed down depression to others and feels awful to us. In the same way, we would get bored of trying to run in a lake as it doesn’t make any sense compared to the free and easy movement of running through air.
If you’ve experienced this for yourself, you may be able to sense what I’m getting at.
There are many ways to make analogies out of this. I find it helpful to think about bipolar in many ways as one of the characteristics of mania is to have increased divergent thinking, lateral thinking, and ability to make connections and associations. By thinking differently when I’m in a lower state, it brings up my energy and mood by participating in an activity that I would innately do when in a higher or hypomanic state.
It seems that mania leads to lateral thinking and lateral thinking can create a slight mania. So we don’t have to wait for it to happen, we can do something to make it happen. And I’m not talking about a full blown mania, just a bit of an energetic boost. In might even propel us into the “higher” world.
Now if only we could not only describe this other world, but tell others how to get there too. That way, our brains would have to come back, be depressed, just to repeat the cycle again.
Do you know when you tip over into the other world? We are told we are having a mania. But could it be a parallel world?