Re: controlling manic urges
i did notice you hadn't been around so much in the last couple of weeks...now I know why! I know I found this board when I was at one of my worse mixed phases, have upped the meds, fell into a depression and now I'm the pheonix again (yes I've spent a bit too).
I have always found this the most awful part of the condition, recognising the hypo's before they become manias/psychosis or the depressions before I take off on my own (to nowhere).
My husband and I have warning cards (my mum carries one too). We do change them every few months (if we remember) but generally if I exhibit 3 out of 5 symptoms on the card he tells me and we work out a course of action at that time. That could be visit to the psych, remove all alcohol, credit/debit cards, go for a trip to Dorset whatever it needs to be at the time.
It's sort of CBT within the family, even my daughter can recognise and point out the symptoms.
The interesting thing for me is, before I was actually diagnosed, even though I spent a lot, drank a lot, took street drugs, was promiscuous you name it, the manias cycled so regularly that I was also always somewhat in control afterwards and paid back if I'd overspent, worked and kept a roof over my head. Since my first Section and the medication, it has just got worse and worse if I ever relapse. Now I am aware it's not normal, now I know my behaviour should leave me guilty, now I have less get up and go and feel incapacitated much of the time. Of course, if I wasn't Sectioned I may not even be here to feel those things, or love my family and friends and feel the weather on my skin.
It's such a tricky mix of emotions I sometimes wonder if I will ever just be sated and happy with my lot again.