Thanks guys for your feedback...sincerely appreciate it. I'm at a point (again) where I don't feel anyone - pdoc, therapist, group, family - hears me or understands. Hell, I can't understand my own thoughts/actions a lot of the time so it's no wonder no one else can. when I feel like giving up, I come here and there is always someone that can relate and that somehow helps - knowing others fight the same battles...so maybe I'm not alone...and maybe I'm not as crazy as I often time feel.
Yes I did many things that were manic and out of control in the past. Sometimes I realized mid way that things were out of hand and would call my psychiatrist. Some of it I would not post but a lot of it involved uncontrolled spending. Once I became homebound due to my physical disability when I was off a mood stabilizer, I would say the internet, even such minor things as political debating sites. After a while I had to realize that some of these debates would go on for literally a year and I had to back out. Of course with manic episodes at all times, there was a disinhibition with sex drive that led to loss of control. The main thing I realized at the time was to learn what the warning signs were of mania such as feeling speeded up or elated and then try to keep things in check such as not going to music stores knowing that in that state I would binge spend on cd's. I knew the sense of signs of loss of control. The internet of course creates more easy outlets towards destructive and addictive behavior an easy one being able to spend large amounts of money with a credit card. When I was working part time if I wanted to buy something off E Bay I would have someone buy it for me and I would pay them back, knowing otherwise I might overspend. None of this behavior was marked or extreme except when I was psychotic and at those times I would call my psychiatrist immediately and at least one time before my current recovery went to the psych. hospital knowing that if I didn't things would get worse. It depends on the degree of what is happenning and what could happen.
That's a really great question. I guess I try, even at my most manic and most depressed, to avoid the things that are especially addictive for me, especially alcohol, but also jumping into relationships, or getting onto a really bad spending run.
One thing that helps is that I have some really BAD memories. Like how completely suicidal I end up feeling when I drink a lot (even though it starts out fun!). And how high I ran up the credit cards one time, and had to take bankruptcy. Or when I'm tempted to get really friendly with someone online, I remember the time I actually paid for a guy's ticket, flew him out from Seattle, then it was a whole horrible complicated awful mess. All those things come back - at least a little bit - when I start thinking "it wouldn't really hurt to _________"
For me, going over the line is either when I do something that causes permanent damage, or I can't stop doing the thing no matter what my mood is (i.e., the manic mood ends, but I'm still doing __________). Then I know I probably need some help. Badly.
It is scary. I'm glad you brought this up, because I need to be reminded of this a LOT, since so much of mania is really fun & it's so hard to put the brakes on!