advertisement

Grandiosity: A Bipolar Symptom or a Personality Trait?

In bipolar disorder, a common symptom that often occurs in manic episodes is that of grandiosity – having an inflated sense of self, believing that one has special powers, spiritual connections, or religious relationships. This is a simple definition of grandiosity, but I find that in my own personal experiences, as many, many people do, that I do not perfectly fit into this textbook definition.

How Grandiosity Makes Me Feel

Oftentimes while in class, for example, when going over philosophical things, I feel as if I always have many of the same philosophical topics swirling around in my head that seem more realistic to me while others discuss them as if they are foreign ideas. Some peers, when discussing these topics during class, even go as far as calling them “psycho” and “crazy,” while I’m sitting there feeling as if I’m thinking on an entirely different level with an advanced level of understanding and perception.

Grandiosity in bipolar disorder is a symptom that often occurs in manic episodes.

Please don’t get me wrong here. I do not believe that I am superior to anyone else. I simply feel as if I’m different and isolated from everyone, as if my brain works and thinks in different ways, differently than anyone else’s.

Grandiosity makes me feel isolated and alone, as if no one understands me. I find it incredibly difficult to even verbally express these things to others. I have these grand ideas in my head, but as soon as I open my mouth to share, I get stuck. I feel ridiculous and stupid, and again begin feeling as if I’m losing my mind because I cannot share what’s going on in my head.

Are these feelings even considered grandiose ideas? Or are they simply grievances that I dwell on? Am I one of the only one who feels this way, or is this a common maddening symptom that many other people living with bipolar disorder experience as well?

What do you think?

You can also find Alexa Poe on Google+Facebook and Twitter.

This entry was posted in Reflections, Symptoms and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Grandiosity: A Bipolar Symptom or a Personality Trait?

  1. cindyaka says:

    I believe all of our brains work on different levels, sometimes in high gear and sometimes not. We do seem to become more self-confident when we are manic, thinking at the speed of sound, and accomplishing more. Grandiosity is probably different for each person, but I do understand the feeling of not being to get out the mouth what is swirling around and looking for an exit from our brains. I don’t think it is abnormal, just one of those quirks we have in our bipolar lives. I hope this makes sense. Enjoy the week. :)

  2. Alexa Poe says:

    Thank you for sharing! It does make sense, and I agree with you!

    I hope you enjoy your week, too, and I hope you’re well!

    – Alexa

  3. Oddball says:

    I think it’s perfectly normal to think of yourself as different from other people. I’m sure everyone else thinks that they’re different too; no two brains are fully alike. I wouldn’t say that’s grandiose thinking, just a part of the human condition.

    However, if it’s something like, for instance, believing that you are a scientist who has found the cause and potential cure of autism when you have absolutely no medical training and little knowledge of the disease (as has happened to me before), then it’s most likely a symptom of mania.
    Either that or I have some really awesome untapped talent.

  4. Alexa Poe says:

    Hi there! Thanks for commenting!

    I hear so many different opinions on this. A few people have told me that it could be mania or just a “bipolar thing,” while other people say the same thing as you. Who knows — maybe I just over-analyze everything!

    Again, thanks for sharing, and I hope you’re well!

    – Alexa

  5. Laura says:

    For me, grandiosity is not just believing, but KNOWING, that I am smarter, faster at doing everything and better looking than everyone around me. This leads to some potentially dangerous decisions/situations. Then, when I crash and burn a couple of months later, the feeling that I have made an idiot out of myself really adds to the ensuing depression.

  6. I thinkk maybe what you describe is a trait that is like being grandiose but very introverted at the same time. I felt like you when I was a child and teen. So self-conscious I couldn’t bear people looking at me, but thought I understood things way beyond my age and had a special relationship with God. There was a lot of truth in it! I really was on a different level philosophically and intellectually. (They tested me and made that conclusion.)

    But as an adult with bipolar II, it has morphed into feeling clearly superior intellectually to everyone else and needing to demonstrate it. I develop a “mania” for something and get obsessive about it and “educate” everybody on the details. I also think I foresee events, and am out ahead of everyone else in my analysis of news, culture, etc. I am very persuasive too! I have talked people into doing stuff they really didn’t want to do. It’s only long after it’s faded that I realize it was hypomania.

    Maybe you are gifted in those areas! Being bipolar doesn’t make it wrong. In fact, bipolar is associated with real creativity and insight…one of its few benefits. A psychiatrist asked me when I was 20 if I had any “grandiose” thoughts and I said that sometimes I think I’m a genius. He brushed it off, saying “well, maybe you are a genius.” It’s a fine line!

  7. Matt says:

    I think because I am male, I was slapped with the Narcissistic Personality Disorder label for awhile at 18. Because I used to talk down to therapists and I have empathy, guilt and shame so I don’t really meet criteria for that… they considered borderline or antisocial at one point too but I was immature so I wonder if there is any true reason to diagnose a personality disorder in 18 year olds.

    I get manic delusions like ruling the world and the such. I am cocky because I speak several languages but I am not overtly grandiose about it.