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Halsey says she wrote an album in a manic state of bipolar

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In an interview for Rolling Stone magazine’s June cover story, singer Halsey said she created much of her forthcoming album during a manic episode of bipolar disorder.

“[It’s] hip-hop, rock, country, f—ing everything — because it’s so manic,” she told Rolling Stone. “It’s sooooo manic. It’s literally just, like, whatever the f— I felt like making; there was no reason I couldn’t make it.”

The 24-year-old singer was 17 when she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a brain disorder that can cause people to have severe mood swings ranging from a euphoric mania to deep depression, according to the Mayo Clinic.

In the past, Halsey has spoken openly about committing herself to a psychiatric facility while going through depressive episodes, which are typically characterized by feelings of fatigue, extreme sadness, and hopelessness.

She told Rolling Stone that her new album, her third, is the first she made while going through mania rather than depression.

She described the mania as “that thing in the back of our minds that drives us to outrageous thoughts. Like when you’re driving a car and you’re like [she mimes suddenly cutting over the wheel], or you’re on top of a building, and you’re like, ‘What if I just jump?’ ” she said. “You are controlled by those impulses rather than logic and reason.”

Manic episodes can accompany creativity, and also be dangerous

There are different types of bipolar disorder, and Halsey’s descriptions of her experiences are most consistent with bipolar I disorder, in which people have both depressive and manic episodes, and sometimes hypomanic episodes, which is a less severe type of mania. People with bipolar II, on the other hand, also experience depression and hypomania, but don’t experience mania to the same extreme.

Like Halsey described, mania is characterized by having lots of energy, feeling “wired,” and being more active than usual, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Halsey isn’t the first artist to share that she’s created while going through mania; Kanye West has also discussed feeling more creatively open during his manic episodes.

“When you ramp up, it expresses your personality more,” West said in an interview with David Letterman. “You can become almost more adolescent in your expression or border into places.” Other famous creatives throughout history are thought to have had bipolar disorder.

Read more: Kanye West opened up to David Letterman about what it’s like to have bipolar disorder and manic episodes: ‘You feel everyone wants to kill you’

Although these effects may seem like a good thing, mania can affect people with bipolar disorder in different ways and may sometimes lead to scarier consequences, like feeling easily irritable or agitated, having racing thoughts that won’t go away, having difficulty sleeping, and partaking in uncharacteristically risky activities like spending lots of money or having reckless sex.

The disorder doesn’t affect everyone who has it the same, though. While one person may experience extreme depression or mania that leads to psychosis (or a break from reality), another may have more mild forms of these episodes. While some people may experience multiple mood swings throughout the year, others have them less often. Depending on the type of bipolar disorder, people can have longer periods of depression versus mania, too, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Mood swings can be controlled with medication and therapy

The most common treatment for bipolar disorder is a combination of medication and psychotherapy, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Medications include mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety medications, which are prescribed based on the type of bipolar disorder and its symptoms. Each medication targets a different set of symptoms, but all are meant to help stabilize a person’s mood so their mood swings aren’t as severe.

These medications often require trial and error, and the first one a person tries may not be the best option for them, but talking to a health care provider is the best way to determine where to start. After a person’s body adjusts to a medication over a few months, they can evaluate with their doctor whether it’s working for them or if a change is needed.

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