In the previous posts, I laid the emphasis on the fact that the maniac was biologically or ethologically dominant however way out of line he socially is. He does not fit for reality. This theory might be difficult to believe in but it is logical: An excess of dominance is the cause of the bipolar troubles. All my posts are meant to shift away from this classical bipolar disorder diagram…
… To this dominance diagram:
While psychiatric mood variations are an internal part of the individual without impact on the environment, the dominance fluctuations have noticeable consequences on the social environment of the bipolar patient. This is due to the happiness honest signal of dominance. Let’s imagine a sec that we have maniac with no symptom. We can make this assumption. After all, Einstein’s genius was to imagine that he could ride a ray of light and try to understand what he would see in this peculiar situation. So let’s assume I’m extremely high or low but I don’t have any delusions, hallucinations or other psychotic symptom. The only interesting question here would be whether or not I see the same reality in A and B (see above diagram). The answer is yes and no. Reality does not change. However, something peculiar happens. People will change their behavior vis-à-vis the patient in a subtle way or in a less subtle way if fluctuations are extremely brutal like from A to B. From A to B, you will see something change in people. But in reality you are so delusional that you are not able to observe anything. Observing is not really what maniacs do in general. Is this always the case? There are exceptions. We’ll discuss them in next posts.
If you are normal, then you can’t see anything because mood needs to fluctuate in order to be able to observe them. However for a maniac, the change are prodigious. The shorter the vertical distance between A and B is, the more noticeable is the effect. Also the horizontal distance is important because, if change occurs too slowly, your brain is going to get accustomed to these fluctuations of dominance rank.
If you consider the A position, your social environment is going to be unusually nice to you because they are going to unconsciously feel the honest signal. In addition, there will be an unconscious transfer of positive affect from you to your social environment. In other word, you are going to make people happy whatever you do. All in all, it is not that stupid to feel like being god or one of its messiahs. There is indeed something happening. But I’m afraid this something is determined by ethology and not by a divine intervention.
Now let’s consider the B position. People do not change because they’re just not there anymore. They have abandoned you. All you can see is an agent paid by society trying to push you back to happy normodominance. Psychiatrists, social worker and charities are to be paid tribute to for their work. They try to restore the life flame which was shattered by the hard conditions and demands of today’s society. They try to mend the dominance compass so that it indicates the way up again. I’m pessimistic for them because I don’t think the primary cause is economical. After all if it was, it would be easily treatable. However if you consider that powerful Darwinian forces are at play here then solutions are not that simple any more. If you give money you treat the economical symptom, however you don’t solve the underlying Darwinian root cause. Let’s think one second. Poor people are rejected and they are rejected by us all. They’re not innocent but we are not pristine too in spite of our constant generous thought. The problem is that unconsciously we reject those who are not happy because in some kind of ways, their unhappiness, that is, the fact that they are not adapted to the environment is detrimental to our own happiness. Dominant reject subordinate at the lowest position in the dominance structure. You could think that this is an extremely brutal theory. The theory is not brutal, reality is. Get out of la la land and try to think of creative solutions to remedy the root problem.
I did not notice the change of behavior in people in my first and second episode because I was manic beyond recognition and I was not medicated. Episode III was decisive. I felt almightiness but I was still a functioning, observing individual. I could note these behavioral changes because I was left out of the hospital. I could understand what was happening. This “change” of reality depending on my internal state is now completely life as usual for me. There is no magic. The honest signal is an ethological concept that can explain this phenomenon. When it will be turned into a full blown concrete finding, then we’ll know a lot about humankind. That’s my guess. All in all, the name of the game for me is to conceal my almightiness state under heaps of self-control. It would be very stupid to inform everybody that you’re god or one of its numerous messiahs. The channel here would be conscious and analyzed as such. Rationality is extremely powerful in normal people, so you’ll end up being categorized as crazy. That would be, I think, completely deserved and on top of that, a one way pdoc ticket would send you to the nearest mental institution. Think a minute, when you’re manic, you can leave it to the honest signal. You can be manipulative and extremely convincing. You could be the king of the world. That is, if only manic delusions would not be in the way!
I remember a project where one of my client was a CFO (Chief Financial Officer). As far as I’m concerned, he was diagnosed as hyperthymic. He was permanently hypomanic. There was so much energy in him that he fully qualifies to embody my theory of dominance. Everybody was noticing the way he behaved. He did not hesitate to loudly swear in meeting. One day we had a discussion and I did not agree with him. However I did not dare to interrupt or challenge him. Afterwards, I thought that I acted with the usual deference that is needed when you interact with a director. However, when you think more carefully, you realized that these people generate a subtle and powerful inhibitive signal to the others which are then prevented to express themselves or to think according to their own interests. Your self-esteem likes to believe that it has obeyed a formal hierarchy. Your conscious ego doesn’t like to recognize a limbic dominant/submissive relationship. However it is not rare that your ego challenge the authority whenever a dominance usurper tries to show his illegitimate authority. Unfortunately dominance usurpers are quite common at the workplace. Productive hierarchies can be harmful for us because most of the time we are formally managed by dominance usurper which wreaks havoc in our limbic system which do not understand why the neocortex submit to individuals who don’t really enjoy a high position in the dominance structure.
I hope you have understood the exogenous cause of my madness. Your changes of behavior are congruent with my mood elevation which suddenly changes my position in the dominance structure. This unconscious structure drives the natural selection in humans. If you add the exogenous factor (Behavior change) to the endogenous one (Racing thoughts, self-esteem, almightiness), then you should be able to comprehend why I can get mad. Because of evolution, my brain is not used to the chaos that excess of dominance triggers. Somehow, the only solution consists in trying to understand what’s going on. That reduces at least the manic excitation and suppresses magical or mystical explanation that makes things even worse in your brain.
Guns n’ roses / it’s so easy
It’s so easy, easy
When everybody’s tryin’ to please me baby
Yeah it’s so easy, easy
When everybody’s tryin’ to please me
But nothin’ seems to please me
It all fits so right
When I fade into the night