I only know that I'm in a good mood when hypo/manic. Or if I'm depressed, it doesn't really register with me how bad it is until it passes and I am more normal. Only then do I get how bad I was.
A lot of times with mania, there's a loss of insight that happens, making it difficult to see yourself and your actions as being manic. If both your girlfriend and your psychiatrist have agreed that they believe you're in a manic state right now, it's probably likely that you are; however, this doesn't always mean that you're going to be able to see it for yourself right now. Everyone experiences mania differently, so it's normal that you're having problems seeing yourself in a simple list of symptoms found in manic episodes. It might be helpful to ask your doctor exactly why he/she feels you're in a manic episode, and to ask for the specific details and symptoms to be explained to you. You can also ask your girlfriend what things she has been noticing about your behavior that suggests you're manic.
Are you on a mood stabilizer in addition to the antidepressant? In my personal experience, my doctors have taken me completely off of antidepressants cold turkey when hypomania/ rapid cycling were induced, but your doctor may feel confident that you can all work to get a handle on your mood while still taking the AD. In treating bipolar disorder, it's really important to achieve and maintain stability first, because this sets the foundation. It might be worthwhile to also ask your doctor why he/she has decided to just halve the AD dose instead of removing it entirely to figure out what their plan of attack is for you.
Just because you're now experiencing mania, and your AD dose is being lowered, does not necessarily mean that you're going to become depressed. It seems like you're lucky to have both a doctor and a girlfriend who are keeping a close eye out for you, and hopefully you will all be able to work together to make sure you can get stabilized without going too manic or falling back into depression. Good luck, I know it's confusing!
Psychosis and mania have some things in common like a loss of insight in the throes of them both. Only thing you can really do is rely on other people you trust who have good judgment to tell you when you're manic and/or psychotic.
no it isn't bloody obvious that you are manic. it's very difficult to judge exactly. but the proverb says: "the one whose tongue is stung by the hot soup will blow into the yogurt" meaning to make sure the yogurt is not as hot as the soup. i.e. a bad experience will make you very cautious to the extent that you want to make sure that the yogurt which is cold is not hot.
so, of course you may not be that manic but your girlfriend and pdoc don't want to take the risk, and surely not your girlfriend !!
your epival if i remember i.e. your valproex is pulling you down but will not help in the depression side. indeed once you are completely out of your mania you may revert to the other side like all of us do incidentally. so you don't want that to happen. but again no guarantee that it won't, because this is unfortunsately the bloody disease, otherwise all of us would have sorted things out easily. my opinion you should stop taking AD's anyway but how to get off the depression, is by taking another MS like lamictal. or to increase the dose of your depakote to cover up the AD
this illness is difficult !!
Well, I know when I'm hypomanic because I talk faster, or I can't wait for people to stop talking and I interrupt them constantly. I feel like my insides are trying to crawl out through my skin. I can't concentrate long enough to read an article or a post in a form. I can watch t.v. okay, though, maybe because it's moving. I get frustrated and irritated really easily. My heart feels like it is pounding in my chest. My thoughts are racing and sometimes going so fast I can't keep up with them and it's just noise in my head. I want to shake my arms (sounds weird, but true,) due to feeling aggitated. And I feel like screaming because it feels like I'm losing my mind, spiraling out of control. I rock, I pace, and fidget, and if at my computer I like to open can close windows over and over again. I can't focus on things for long. And although I'm full of energy I can't seem to do anything productive. I just want to either go for a 100 mile jog or curl up in a ball on the floor and cry. I also have trouble spelling and dialing phone numbers (due to racing thoughts, I'm guessing.) I get easily confused and I have a hard time making decisions, even simple ones.
Also, I have a funny pressure in my head that goes away when all these other things stop.
Anyway.... I know that's a lot but normally I'm pretty laid back and I like to read and I'm a calm person. That and the actual physical sensations I get are what clue me in that something is wrong.
What I don't realize at the time, though is how bad it is. I never see hwo bad I was doing until I come out of it.
I'm sitting in tim hortons holding back tears and I just realized maybe something is wrong? I'm scarred to death that someone has been following me trying to steal my mind, I'm 100km from my home I can't sit still I can't stop talking, I'm being told I'm not making sense and it just occured to me that my girlfriend and doctor are right, maybe I am manic.
I'm accepting that, but I have no idea what to do about it though