I am wondering what is the best way to react when manic behavior is very extreme. I worked in a home this past summer and one of the ladies who had bipolar disorder acted out when she was manic. She would laugh a lot and if you paid any attention to her she would sometimes get violent. Is this typical, and how might someone respond or help calm the person down in a situation like that?
Manic behavior can be very scary at times if the person is really out of control. Sometimes highs are very euphoric or what they call a ‘rage’ high. Those also can be mixed together as you described above.
I would approach the person very calmly and explain what you see as behavior issues. The person might listen or might not listen. You can expect that most of the time they will think that nothing is wrong with them. Of course, you can see that but they may not.
When dealing with mania is best to ‘respond’ and not ‘react’. There is a big difference between the two. Reactions get them hyped up where responses may get you farther.
You might try helping the person by cutting out outside stimuli until they can respond. Make the lights low, talk calmly, and be compassionate. If they still don’t respond and you think the person is in danger then you must call 911 for help. And sometimes that is your best move if they aren’t responding to you.
Other things you can try are:
*calling a friend or family member of theirs to see how they’ve helped the person in the past.
*calling a caretaker.
*inform the staff of where the person is living that they are out of control and need help.
*Try and comfort them. Sometimes mood changes are scary.
*Make sure they are safe.
Mania is really not that fun for the patient. Usually after the mania ends the person ends up crashing into depression and then other problems arise.
I commend you for asking about what to do. Maybe in the future you can help somebody who needs to be understood.