Q: Questions re: Bipolar
In 1978, my high school sweetheart lost his younger sister to a head on
collision with a drunk driver. Within 4 months he was experiencing depression
followed by his first severe psychotic/delusional manic episode. He went to a
local hangout and pretended to be a rock and roll star! The locals laughed at
him and he took offense. He locked the door and held everyone hostage with a
pool cue. A deputy sheriff talked him out and he was put in a straight jacket
and transported to the nearest psychiatric ward where he was eventually
diagnosed with manic depression/bipolar disorder. His diagnosis has never been
disclosed to the hometown people.
His life has
been one of divorce, numerous broken relationships, relocations, and job
layoffs. He seems to have a 4 year pattern of psychotic/delusional manic
episodes. The last episode followed a work related trip to China. He was
balanced when he left but the day he returned he was experiencing the beginning
of a manic episode. One of the most peculiar changes that I observed was a
complete change in the sound of his voice. It became very deep and totally
unrecognizable to me. For the next two weeks, I observed him becoming more and
more argumentative, aggressive, offensive, rude, crude, sexually aggressive,
socially inappropriate, impulsive, etc. He started frequenting the clubs,
womanizing with indiscretion, and playing his guitar as if he were a rock star.
He befriended complete strangers and avoided those he had known.
He lost his job.
He eventually sought psychiatric treatment and was prescribed Zyprexa.
are as follows:
1) Is it common
for Bipolars to experience voice change at the onset of a manic episode?
2) Do most
Bipolars have the same delusion (ex. Rock Star) with the onset of each of their
manic episodes during their entire lifetime?
3) Does lengthy
travel, especially to the East, cause a disruption of the circadian rhythm and
this in turn causes the Bipolar to experience a manic episode?
I have a solid answer for #3; will take a stab at 1 and 2…
1. I haven't
heard of this. But I have heard of people who do have some rather striking
changes. For example, here is a
case of someone who cycled every 24 hours
and had recognizable differences in handwriting in the two phases, manic and
2. Frankly, I
should know the answer to this one, but I have to say “I don’t know”. We had
one fellow who was often in our hospital who quite consistently would have
delusions based on the StarTrek series. So there’s one for whom, yes, the
delusions were very similar in theme, repeatedly. But how often does this
happen? I don’t think it as frequent as “most”… I’d guess occasionally, not
3. You’re right,
this one I can confirm based on published research. Here are two papers that
describe mania after travel east: one from
and one from
As noted in both papers, depression is more common in those hospitalized after
Thanks for your
Published April, 2010