Is mania evolutionary adaptive?

Manic symptoms seem to be like operating in an elevated state, both physiologically and psychologically.

It literally feels like an overdose of “happy pills” and “study drugs”- intense happiness paired with extreme motivation and focus.

Less sleep:

The individual may experience a decreased need for sleep. This should not be confused with insomnia in which the person has a strong desire to sleep- feels tired- but is incapable of falling/staying asleep for a normal amount. With mania, the person may sleep for 2-3 hours a night for  a period of over a week and feel GREAT. No yawning. No feeling of exhaustion. It is quite literally better feeling than if the person had slept for 10 hours each night. It kind of defies logic.

Mind:

  • Racing thoughts
    • This literally feels as if my mind is on some form of super-analytical overdrive. I am typically fairly analytical, but this is to an abnormal degree. I feel hyperaware of all of my surroundings, picking up on details i.e. certain aspects of a person’s behavior, that the average person would overlook. It feels as if my mind will not calm down, but is constantly overworking, looking at all details of a situation and analyzing each one. The overall experience can be overwhelming, especially when such analysis is focused on the fixation with a particular problem and not necessarily on other things that should be the focus (i.e. exam study material…).
      • Literary example:
        • Sherlock Holmes seems to be like this. He is much more observant than the average individual. Based on the overanalysis of details, he perceives patterns that the normal person would overlook. His creative mind fixates on the issue on hand/case, making him ignore other things while he is focused on solving the problem. This fixation and rumination may be characteristics of some mental condition(s), such as OCPD with Bipolar disorder.
  • Creativity
    • My personal episodes have helped me think in a manner which is more “creative”.
      • examples:
        • easily develop choreography/dance ideas
        • painting/drawing
        • develop novel research ideas i.e. psych research questions

Such conditions could be beneficial, at least for the short-term, in a high-stress environment. This could be an interesting research question which looks at both biology and psychology at once!

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