Does Mr. Dragonfly have bipolar mania?

When Aurora first encounters Mr. Dragonfly — so named “Mr.” by her for his elegant maneuvers — at Grandmother’s fishing pond in the early part of the book, she feels there’s something about him that seems so familiar. Maybe it was his fast actions, for she knows how it is to think fast, move fast, and even talk fast, while the world around her seems to do things at a much slower and, yes, boring speed.

Unaware at this time that she is in the beginning stages of teen bipolar disorder, she has no name for this speediness inside her. She simply figures she and Mr. Dragonfly, both full of life, are two beings that act the same quick way.

Of course, being adroit and energetic is a natural for Mr. Dragonfly. It is not a part of an imbalance or mental illness. But for Aurora, the human being, when mental high-speediness overrides the body’s natural flow, it becomes an imbalance that will not only overwhelm those around her, but also herself, causing her to stumble big-time.

This speediness, known as bipolar mania, is one of the signs of teen bipolar mood disorder. And though teen bipolar mania can be invigorating at first, its big charge cannot last indefinitely. Unlike Mr. Dragonfly, who’s built to survive at dazzling speeds with no bipolar mania, we indeed are not.

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