Bi-polar: A new kind of mania

The anxious, frustrated and scared kind

Nikki Waterson
2 min readOct 1, 2022
Near an internal exit door at Sydney Aquarium, Nikki Waterson giving a thumbs up, wearing a mask and holding a hat
Photo by Nikki Waterson © 2022

Hello everyone, long time no see. I hope you’re all doing well and I would love to hear from you in the comments with what you have been up to.

So, what’s been going on with me in the world of having Narcolepsy and Bipolar Disorder.

Just the usual in one sense — being hypomanic a bunch. Struggling with mood regulation. Facing an uncertain future thanks to my debilitating disabilities.

So my hypomanic episodes have included…

A few of the usuals

  • Gardening
  • Dancing
  • Chess

And some more unusual suspects

Welcome to the gang:

  • Creating elaborate costumes for dance and party events
  • Beauty, hair and skin care
  • Personal colour analysis

The strangest obsession

But one focus has come completely out of the blue. It caught me unawares.

It took multiple people pointing it out to me that I seemed to be hitting that obsessive hypomanic level of interest in this unusual topic:

Life admin.

Not just any life admin, the life admin relating to my future well-being. Doctor’s appointments, meetings with insurers, the union and work. And all with a new and unexpected vigour I can only ever normally attribute to more hedonistic interests (see above lists).

Why so unusual?

Well you see the funny thing about this life admin kick is that it has been a part of a manic episode that I haven’t experienced anything similar to before.

Normally as mentioned, I go for the pleasure focused activities.

And it took me a little while to pinpoint why there has been a change. But I have it pinned now.

For the first time in 7 years I’m acknowledging that I’m experiencing something like actual anxiety.

How did this happen?

It has to do with medication changes, between Venlafaxine, Lithium, even quetiapine more recently, and the ways they have been reducing anxious symptoms for me.

The funniest part of all of this is that I thought I had kicked anxiety years ago thanks to Narcolepsy. And thanks to realising the power I had over the physical sensations I had, that I referred to as anxious.

And it was medication that helped me do this.

I’ll explain this eventually.

But for now, I thought you might enjoy an update. As I do from everyone of the lovely friends I’ve connected with on Medium.