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‘Manic Cleaning’ Trend: Shared Experience or Underlying Concern?

Is manic cleaning a concern?

Many have coined the term “manic cleaning” after sharing videos on social media sites such as TikTok, of them getting overtly engaged in the cleaning exercise. Such episodes, which are always associated with higher levels of productivity, are very familiar to quite a lot of people who also have the urge to tidy up. However, mental health experts disagree with the inconsiderate use of the word “manic” in connection to this type of behavior, stressing the difference between impulsivity and manic episodes in bipolar disorder.

How did it start?

The behavior of manic cleaning is revealed by the TikTok videos where users clean intensely to the point where they ignore basic needs like food and drink. The public empathize with these situations, many writing comments about their own quick cleaning urges. Relatable though it is, psychologists advise that designating this behavior as “manic” be done with caution so as not to belittle the experiences of people living with bipolar and other mental health conditions.

Nilou Nekou, a licensed marriage and family therapist, focuses on the disimilarity between impulsivity and actual manic behaviors, urging people to avoid sensationalized terms that could negatively portray mental health challenges. In the same vein, Dr. Aron Tendler, a certified psychiatrists states that manic episodes must meet the clinical criteria and that true mania consists of at least one distinct period of high activity and cheerfulness which is more significantly followed by depression with a drop in energy and mood.

It may not be OCD or ADHD

Although manic cleaning may seem like symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in some cases, one must be able to tell apart periodical bursts of cleaning and chronic, crippling disorders. Often OCD consists of obsessive thoughts and ritualized actions while ADHD sometimes may show focussed behavior in certain circumstances.

Tendler underscores the importance of recognizing the potential underlying factors contributing to manic cleaning, such as ADHD medication or stress-induced behaviors. He emphasizes the need for sensitivity and awareness when discussing mental health-related trends on social media, urging individuals to seek professional help if cleaning impulses significantly interfere with daily functioning or well-being.

In a nutshell, while the trend of manic cleaning may provide a sense of community and validation for some, it’s crucial to approach discussions around mental health with empathy and understanding. By promoting accurate information and destigmatizing mental health conditions, we can foster a more supportive and inclusive online environment.

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