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585414 tn?1288944902

How To Spot Hypomania in Yourself? Signs?

I know its easy to tell someone they are hypomanic. But what about yourself? And that full blow mania is frightening. But hypomania can seem like "fun" but it quickly spirals into full blown mania. We've all experienced it. Including myself. And aren't always self aware. But how can we stop it before it gets worse?
For myself signs of hypomania (remember its complex because I have schizoaffective)
include:
contacting people I hardly know, feelings that "I love everyone" (elation), hypersexuality, overspending, feelings of paranoia (people who are annoying become "threatening"), doing passive aggressive or hostile pranks (in the past), self medicating with natural remedies (in the past), drinking large amounts of caffeinated beverages (in the past), overstating my important/thinking I could "change the world", unable to concentrate on tasks but becoming obssessed with something unimportant.
Right now I am to the point where I can spot this and catch it before it gets worse. Can you? What happens with you?
Can you stop it? And could you learn?
80 Responses
723497 tn?1363374440
I am BP2, so never go into full-blown mania. But my hypomania symptoms flux between anger/irritation/rage, anxiety over simple things [paranoia that I'm about to get fired at work, though I'm far from it, etc], a jittery feeling beneath my skin, jumpiness, generalized paranoia [can't stand people behind me or touching me, although I never have the feeling they work for the government or anything]. Sudden inspiration, bounding friendliness, abrupt joining of a million different causes [volunteer].

Sometimes I can side-swipe it by focusing it on a creative project I get obsessed with until it's over. Lately I haven't been able to. And if it's worse than just a minor bout of hypomania, there hasn't been any way I can actually stop it. I can forestall it, calm it down with a nice, hot bath or an early rest at night, but not get rid of it until it's over. I'm also an ultra-rapid cycler, which makes it all the harder to control.
1 Comments
Sounds very familiar
654560 tn?1331858181
I am gest comming out of a  hypomania state.In the beginning my mood becomes elevated and I have several projects to get done.I am generally quite functional. It doesn't take long before the sleepness nights kick in.I usually have very vivid dreams  during this time. Very much in  color. At this point I start getting concerned if I  am going to keep going to full blown mania or am I going to start spiriling down,and if that happends how low am I going to go and what is it going to  take to get back to my confort zone For me during mania there is a  fine line between elation and paronia. But there is almost always aggitiation when I start comming down and I usually sleep for a couple of days and become antisocial. The biggest thing I do to manage Bi-Polar is to stay med compliant, take care of my spiritual need, emotional and plysical But even if I do everything right I can still have an eposide.Especially with being a rapid cycler.More than anything I've learned not to beat myself up when it does happen. Blessed Be
2 Comments
Thank you for writing.  Last night became sleepless for me.  I had a vivid dream.  And stayed in a state of it being reality.  I also became paranoid.  I heard a couple sounds from outside the bedroom.  I thought someone could be in my home.  My feet also felt this agitating energy keeping me from being able to feel like sleeping.  I have already had my productive springtime hypo mania.  I am not, beating me up today either.  Your post spelled out my repeated experience once again.  I found a home in your words.
Thank you for writing.  Last night became sleepless for me.  I had a vivid dream.  And stayed in a state of it being reality.  I also became paranoid.  I heard a couple sounds from outside the bedroom.  I thought someone could be in my home.  My feet also felt this agitating energy keeping me from being able to feel like sleeping.  I have already had my productive springtime hypo mania.  I am not, beating me up today either.  Your post spelled out my repeated experience once again.  I found a home in your words. I also find I am expressing all these thoughts that I think are incredibly insightful.  Before this I watched a real awful movie called joy.  It was anything but.  After sitting with this movie for near 2 hours, I could not let go of it.  I felt I was the actress in it.  Then I kept talking about how stupid it was.  Somehow that spiraled to self sabotage.  The next day at the garden center my husband asked if I was alright a few times.  I felt like I was seriously inferior to everyone around me.  I felt they know what was going on in my mind.  Why is it so hard to believe and give in to someone's are you alright question.  Do we believe it gives them power over us.  We have become so small.  But isn't it all happening because we are in the wrong place being with them.  That's it.  It's because they are alienating us.  Whew!  This crap is best shared with someone who truly feels life the way you are.  Strength is in understanding.  Understanding is a form of love.  I wish they would say I am here for you rather than are you alright.  That question drives me deeper into the problem.  Or does it just seem that way?  What is real what is right.  Depression never lets me identify it.  It is the foe in disguise.
723341 tn?1232341853
I believe that I'm BP2 as well, but find conflicting diagnostics between I and II.

I find it very difficult to discover hypomanic episodes while I'm experiencing them. Looking back at them while not hypomanic, many of the episodes seem obvious, but while I'm in them they generally make me feel and think something like: "finally, I'm getting better", or "finally, I can do things again".

I spend a lot (most) of my time in depression or possibly "mixed", and the hypomanic state very often feels like I'm finally (and only just) coming out of the depression. Hypomania also seems different in quality from one episode to another, further disguising its appearance.

While in an episode, I generally do occasionally wonder if I could possibly be hypomanic, but usually end up deciding that I'm not. Perhaps my clue should be that if I'm wondering if I'm hypomanic, I probably am!
Avatar universal
I'm BP2, or so I thought, then I was told on the 30th that I have BP spectrum... hmmm.
I'm constantly mood swinging. in the last month it's been 75% hypo/25% dep. I didn't realize until you just mentioned SandTiger, that worrying and almost sure you're going to lose you job has been a constant for months.that  it's paranoia. Before I went off on sick leave. I then started getting worse because of my anxiety and temper. I get buzzy "highs" as well, sometimes there fine, because I'm aware that I'm in that state. I try not to spend, start things and if it gets too much, I add some extra seroquel.  I've only had one full blown manic episode where I was sure someone could hear me outside of my apt., my friend called and told me I was manic, I took extra meds to wind down. I am very cautious of those, because I crash the next day. My pdoc just upped my Lithium, I've been in an "up" mood since just before xmas.
672788 tn?1238124272
First: to sandtiger - I'm so glad that you wrote your symptoms.  I have had episodes of being very irritated by ppl touching or standing too close to me.  I never thought of this as a sign of BP cuz I started getting this quite young (16).  It makes sense though, because all of my 'signs' began around that time (same time as my menstrual cycle starting).

That being said, I know to watch for signs of hypomania when I feel like my menstrual cycle may begin.  But because I don't always have a cycle (I get 6 or less per year due to another diagnoses), it doesn't always occur when I think it's going to.  Or, I get no warning of impending doom (that's what it feels like for me because so many problems are going to occur at once) and I am unprepared.  Like today.

Today, I am hypomanic.  My symptoms are feelings of irritability, anxiety, skin crawling, lack of concentration (I mean more than usual), no attention span, insomnia (even with sleeping pills - but they at least give me a couple of hours of sleep) and the aforementioned touchy feely problems.  To compound that, I'm usually in alot of pain which increases my agitation and yelling and aggressiveness.  And the worst part of all?  I feel extremely guilty about turning my 13 year old son away when it feels so painful on my skin to hug him or have him sit too close to me.  (He is very understanding!  My sisters and brother have shared many anecdotes with him about my "freaking out" whenever they touched me!)

Although I am aware of my hypomania as it occurs, I have no idea how to stop it. It has been almost three years since my diagnosis and I have less hypomania than depression, so it has been hard to prevent or even remedy these episodes.
Avatar universal
This is really interesting.  I have a variety of ways in which hypomania presents itself but to date I can never notice the signs that it is approaching, they kind of just hit.  I can either be very angry/irritable for no apparent reason.  Other times I go on mad cleaning sprees, moving furniture and scrubbing everything in site and this is often accompanied by irritability that nobody else is doing the same!  Spending - although not to great excess nowadays I do still spend money on things I don't really need and will probably never use, my latest purchase was a digital camera and not just any old make and model and although i've used it a few times i don't really need it.

I become enthused with ideas and work on them obsessively for anything from a day to a week (sometimes longer), I never do things by half, ie, i won't settle for painting one picture or writing one short story, I'm talking about setting up an art exhibition or getting a whole series of books published.  The number of projects that I've started and not completed are vast.

Other things are when I do things on the spur of the moment like have all my hair cut short, or die it a completely different colour and I almost always end up regretting it when I come back down.

The worrying thing about it though is nobody can hold me back once i'm on a "roll", i just won't listen and I'm very good at persuading family and friends that "this time its different".

Bringing in the recent post of coming off medication, I'm also guilty of doing that when i'm on an extended hypomanic state.

So although I don't have mania with psychosis and nothing I do is dangerous to my health or others they do still impact on me and my family.  You should have seen the hole I dug in the garden of our previous garden when I decided I wanted to design and build a sunken patio - it remained a great big square hole some 4ft deep!

I also get that I don't want anyone near me at times not even my husband or kids and then other times I won't leave my husband alone!

I am trying to learn about triggers, signs etc so that I can develop a stay well plan once I'm more stable and my husband is also keeping alert to what may trigger my rather silly manic episodes.
1 Comments
I like exercising for 2 hrs. and 20 minutes these days.  My mother thinks it's too much.  Should stop at a half hour she says.  I figure running excessively is better than drinking excessively.  I think of it as an accomplishment.  What does God think?  I wonder if he thinks.  That's extreme, and you should avoid it.  I like to believe he would say.  Daughter of mine you work very hard at this.  I will reward you.  I'm a good good God.
672788 tn?1238124272
I have no idea what my triggers are; sometimes what triggers an episode one time doesn't ever again, and vice versa.  As far as predicting my hypomania, it's only because they almost always occur with my cycles, but I also have unpredictable episodes.

Sometimes I get obsessed about getting my house cleaned and find that I am extremely irritable with my child for being painfully slow, but I don't think it's tied in with the hypomania.  It definately occurs during those episodes, but it happens more often than that, too.

Funny thing is that the obseession never really gets past my thoughts.  Cleaning is the only action I take when obsessed, but not to the degree that others would call abnormal.  I think it's because even during hypomania, my energy is rather low.

Does anyone else experience really low energy during their hypomanic states?
723341 tn?1232341853
alzandra: "Does anyone else experience really low energy during their hypomanic states?"

I am feeling that way right now in fact. I was in the shower earlier, and all of these ideas and questions for posting to this group were coming to me. I had so many great questions that I wanted to ask this group that I felt wow, I have to write this down. Then I wondered hmmm, I must be hypomanic in order for this to be happening. Not that the questions weren't great mind you :)

And at the same time, and now, I feel physically tired and heavy, but still with a sort of nervous energy that is keeping me going. It actually feels like an uncomfortable caffeine sort of buzz, which is unlike any hypomanic episode that I've had before. I felt the same way for part of the day yesterday. Feels strange to me, not very good actually, but I guess it beats couch potato, at least for now.

I've been taking Lamictal for only a few weeks, and Wellbutrin for 2-3 months I guess, so I'm wondering if it may be due to one of these kicking in or something.

I have a question based upon what alzandra said above about skin crawling. The night before last I had a bout of what I've likened to "restless leg syndrome", only it's more like restless body. Its like my body gets so uncomfortable with the crawling and burning that a large number of the muscles in my body finally contract in one big spasm, seemingly to relieve the sensations. This is a very temporary help, and it happens unconsciously sometimes and sometimes I do it myself to try to alleviate the symptoms. After not sleeping hardly at all for 4 1/2 hours, I finally had the idea to take some Advil & Tylenol, which did help me get some sleep afterward.

I'm very curious as to how many here have this skin crawling sensation?

It's really great to have a community like this for bipolar related questions and ideas. I've been missing out for a long time!
585414 tn?1288944902
Well it depends. I know there's the phrase when people are nervous that you "want to jump out of your skin" but I looked it up and a sensation of having your skin crawl is a potential but harmless side effect of Wellbutrin so see if it started with that. Its odd when someone has hypomania to experience low energy. I have trouble concentrating on projects or ideas but my thoughts are speeded up as is common or I work on things that are useless or time wasting such as organizing papers. I have low energy during episodes of depression and in an agitated mixed state appear "angry at the world" but those are less and less these days.
585414 tn?1288944902
Thanks. I see a lot of these issues in myself. Having a general recovery from psychosis doesn't mean that I was out of the woods as regards mood stabilization. I know that I have over riding neurological issues and require activating prescriptions for them that keep me up late at night (until early morning, cannot tolerate known sleep aides) but I knew there was an element of what I called to my psychopharmocologist "garden variety mania" lol. I was just trying to target exactly what.
  The difficulty in the past was that I did things that had destructive consequences. Now I do things that have positive consequences but involve a lot of responsibility that goes with them. So I have to target exactly what to take on and what's realistic and eliminate any destructive motives involved if the advocacy involves something I am contesting. I would say since getting back on a mood stabilizer that's been much easier to do. If you try to "correct the world" as I do even when hypomanic you are really just fighting windmills and are unable to get anything done.
672788 tn?1238124272
Oh my goodness, I am so happy to have found you ppl here!  Thank you.  I feel "normal." Haha. For someone with BP.

My low energy is the inability to follow through with the racing ideas, starting of projects, etc.  Sometimes I have a hard time even starting things, but I do pace.  Although in hypomania with racing thoughts and influx of ideas, I can stay up all night and not do anything except read, watch TV or just sit and stare at the walls.
1 Comments
God, I love you.  I am not alone.  The hardest part of going through all of this is nobody really knows it.  Unless you have been there.  I am glad like you I found ppl here too.  Exactly what I needed when I needed it.
723341 tn?1232341853
I know what you mean by saying "I want to jump out of my skin", I've had that too, as a psychological urge, unlike what I meant by "skin crawling", meaning a physical sensation that I think some people have described as feeling kind of like ants crawling underneath your skin, associated with restless leg syndrome. I also have a physical burning feeling that goes along with it as well. It's most obvious in my legs and feet, but is farther up as well.

I've had this for years, mostly while not on Wellbutrin. It comes and goes seemingly without reason. Whenever it comes I look for a reason and can't find one, but I am now wondering if it possibly comes along when I have active mania/hypomania.
518117 tn?1429279873
I am Bipolar II. I am 51 and have had it as long as I can remember. I was the difficult child then teenager. Even then I just knew that I was and felt different than others. Back then mental illness was a taboo subject. I was finally diagnosed in my early 30's. Frankly I hate being Bipolar. It helped caused a lot of bad decisions when younger, caused 5 hospitalizations and 3 suicide attempts. The depressions are dark and deep. There has been a lot of hypomania as well. I also have OCD and panic disorder. These all have caused for much misery. What does the hypomania cause in me? I have been known to spend money, when I knew bills were due. I get an inflated sense that I know everything. I will get to talking and no one can get a word in. I become very irritable, have zero patience and have extreme anger inside. I have had multiple jobs. Friendships that have never lasted. I will multi-task. Having a number of things that I am doing at once. All I end up accomplishing is feeling such frustration. What are my triggers? I really don't know. Somedays I wake up and that is just the way I am. I think stress is one of my possible triggers. The depressions I can feel and see coming in myself, more than I can the hypomania. My husband says I am like two people. At what point am I at now at 51? I see a good person down deep, that was intelligent enough, to have been anything she wanted to be. And this is not hypomania talking in me now. This is the real me, that is feeling from the heart. Being bipolar does not improve or it did not for me anyway. At this point I am only very tired. The weariness reaches to my soul. I have done all the counseling. I do believe in counseling and the meds. But, those things cannot fix for me now, what has already been damaged over the years. Now, I live with extreme guilt and regret. I have become housebound pretty much. The world no longer holds any interest to me. My paranoia took the interest of life away for me. I now trust no one. I have been diagnosed in Oct. 2007 with COPD..Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder. Due to the OCD, I am afraid to get out in the world. I am terrified of germs. With COPD a person gets ill a lot. A cold turns into bronchitis, pneumonia, pleurisy, etc. When you have COPD there is much loss of breath and the fatigue is overwhelming. Anymore, I can have hypomania and just not have the energy or breath, to keep up with being hypomanic. Depression creeps in more and more. It is hard knowing you have a disease, that is one day going to kill you. Being bipolar was bad enough. I have been on many meds in my time. Some only made me worse, some took the edge off and some did nothing. I cannot tolerate the antipsychotics. And I won't be so doped up, that I am like a zombie. I have been there. I am not at a good place right now. There is no one to talk to. My family loves me, but they don't really get me. I don't blame them. I don't get myself. Things are not going to get better. It all is what it is. Please don't let my story discourage anyone though. Hang in there and strive for what you want in life and your dreams. I let all mine pass by. Now, I am just an aging unhappy lady.
1 Comments
I am reading that you have lost your hope. And whether this is from the depression or you, we cannot feed our depression. What I wonder about bipolar disorder is this: If the people who have made a difference in the world of mental health, many of whom have struggled with depression, were to have voiced this dream to a therapist  during a state of depression, would they too, be diagnosed with bipolar disorder? It is almost like depressed people cannot have dreams to make a difference.
585414 tn?1288944902
  Yes well hypomania is something for me to cope with but before I was on the experimental psychotic glycine I had full psychotic thoughts. Its a matter of getting a good mood stabilizer and I've been through 30 of them. Truthfully I am aware when I am hypomanic. Even when I am manic. With the experimental antipsychotic I am on I redirect the energy. If I feel manic I may work on a creative project to keep from doing something destructive. If I feel persecuted by the world even in a sense that's not abnormal I'll do something to change things and not grandiose, I mean such as recently when I wrote to the boro president where I live about there being a traffic light on the corner because of the number of car crashes and it got a response and will be acted on. And when I feel depressed I try and work with someone to help them so I stop feeling sorry for myself. Look it took me a while to find an antipsychotic that mitigated my psychotic thoughts. That seemed impossible. But studies bear it out. If I find a mood stabilizer that works that well in development that I can get access to I'll try it. But with any mood stabilizer in addition to the glycine (again this is a Phase II experimental antipsychotic, not a natural remedy) I can redirect all of those annoying manic feelings.    
  And I've known some people with cylothymia who can't. Its complex. I remember when I was first recovering and the voices I heard (that's gone of course) stopped being angry and psychotic and said once "I know you are manic. What are you going to do about it?. Do something constructive with it". I don't hear voices anymore but I think and act in that manner. And it does work. And I don't think someone needs to make a medication change to use this strategy.
723341 tn?1232341853
Hi lynnkay,

As George Clooney said in Oh Brother Where Art Thou, you are in a tight spot. After reading your post I feel like a real whiner - and more appreciative of what I still DO have!

A couple of positives in your post really stuck out for me. First, "I see a good person deep down...". I know exactly what you mean, that "good person" is always good no matter what is or isn't going on. To me, this is the "real me", the part that is not changeable, unaffected by circumstances, and according to teachers that I particularly like, the part of us that is eternal or timeless: the part that was there before we were born and will still be after physical death.

Second, "It all is what it is.". This totally reminds me of Eckhart Tolle's teachings. One thing that he said that I wrote down and has stuck with me ever since is, "Allow, what is, to be...It seems too simple, but that's how it works." In other words, it already is as it is, why cause oneself more suffering by arguing with, and fighting against, what already is?

I used to strive for what I wanted, occasionally still do, but like you, I have finally let most of it pass by, partly because I could see that it was no longer possible, but more importantly for me was seeing that almost all of what I was previously striving for was of no real importance after all. What is most important to me now is doing my best to honor that goodness, and to BE that goodness, that resides down deep.

That goodness knows that there is no need for guilt, how could there be? We do the best that we can do given the cards that we've been dealt. We've always done the best that we can, even when it seems that we could have done better - if we could have done better, we would have! We are not to blame for our genetics and conditioning resulting from our upbringing, schools, other people, societal expectations, etc. We've always done the best we could at any given moment, given all that we are, and that goodness down deep knows that.

So, I have to disagree with your last sentence, you are not just an aging unhappy lady, you are really that goodness down deep.

All the best.
672788 tn?1238124272
Iladvocate:  I haven't had any psychosis.  Yet.  Thankfully.  I have also been lucky as far as a mood stabilizer (lithium was the first and only).  I understand the guinea pig issues you've had, as I've been on numerous different antidepressants.  Finally settled on Effexor XR.   We change the dosage as needed at different times.

Daledude:  I feel like you and I have alot in common with our symptoms.  I wish I was as eloquent as many of the ppl on here.... I also seem to not realize a LOT of things I thought were just weird quirks may actually be a part of my BP.  Like the painful skin-crawling feelings & now, the feelings of isolation and giving up.  Which brings me to....

Lynnkay:  We are doing the best that we can with what we've got.  If we knew better, we would do better.  Platitudes, yes.  But it is the truth.  I can relate to your feelings.  I too, have isolated myself.  Mostly I feel like there is so much more to me that's stuck inside and just can't get out.  I wish desparately that I could fix it because I have the potential and I'm young enuff to go to school, but the motivation and the ability is no longer there.  It's like it was sucked right out of me.  It's the same with making new relationships.  

I feel like I'm going to be single and on disablity forever.  And boy does that hurt.

585414 tn?1288944902
There are ways around these issues once medication is adjusted as you say it it. There are dating sites for people with psychiatric disabilities. I know nolongerlonely.com is a reputable one. As for disability, if you mean SSDI, there are work incentives programs associated with it and I know each state has vocational training programs for people with disabilities so that even if you couldn't do your past work, you could try for something else. As well with SSDI there is a limit called Substantial Gainful Activity but if you earn below that, that is do minor part time work you could still be able to collect. That's in the United States and I noticed that you live in Canada so perhaps it works differently there but they must have something similar. Regardless you could find out at an independent living center and they do have those in Canada as well:
http://www.ilcanada.ca/article/ilcs-across-canada-166.asp
Regardless being on disability doesn't mean not being productive as I can personally testify.
672788 tn?1238124272
Thank you.  I do have many resources here in Canada.  And I have been using them as I am able.  I am having a problem being productive.  Except in the small things.  I even do things for my family members and I can't always be as reliable as I want to.  They, thankfully, do understand that I am not unreliable on purpose, and they also know that I don't take on too much so that I render myself useless.  But in the real world, it doesn't work.

Sometimes, it's so hard to read (my favourite hobby) because of my innability to concentrate, my memory problems and fatigue.  Can you believe that?  I mean, really, how is it possible to be too fatigued to read?  Even one magazine article....
723341 tn?1232341853
I think you're right, we do have a lot in common with our symptoms. I have serious problems being productive due to fatigue, depression, lack of energy, no motivation, etc. Fortunately, or for me, mostly unfortunately, I can feel this way and still look pretty good such that my ex used to get really pissed at me for not doing the things that I should be doing.

At the time I didn't know that I was bipolar, all I knew was that I was often really tired and unmotivated to do anything. Part of me thought that I was just lazy, but another part of me knew that I really couldn't help it. I remember regularly falling asleep in class all the way back in high school. I generally wouldn't last more than 15 minutes trying to study in the library before I was asleep on the table. Drank coffee and smoked cigarettes all day for 20+ years to try to compensate.

Wasn't bad off enough for long enough to think I needed help, plus it really never crossed my mind that what I was experiencing could be a mental illness. I thought that I was just f'd up and inadequate, bad character or something, and that I was just lacking the discipline to get my s*** together. Thought that if I'd just be disciplined enough to do that, I'd be okay and it'd all go away.

Went through a pile of self-help stuff trying to get it right, some of it helped a bit, in some areas, for a while, but the tiredness, fatigue and sleep problems never went away.

I feel like I have to watch myself a bit now because it's a bit too easy to just say f*** it, I have bipolar so I can't do anything anymore. Not a helpful attitude, but hard to resist because sometimes it IS true, I am really unable to do much of anything.

I have been having headaches every day for months and found that I was also unable to read due mostly to fatigue, plus it was painful for my eyes when I tried to read. It does seem strange, but I know what you're talking about. I usually didn't want to read more than a short paragraph or so at a time - not too productive. At the moment I am thankfully able to read again.

In regards to relationships, I've hit the jackpot - I don't know if I'd be around at all if it weren't for my wife. We have been together for 15 years as best friends too - its been a real blessing for both of us in that way. Its kind of strange that in spite of all the pain and things "gone wrong", I've always felt lucky or fortunate at the same time. Not a happy type feeling, just a feeling of being fortunate that I have what I do and how it could be so much worse than it is I guess.
Avatar universal
Hi and Welcome aboard!

My mania comes in waves, the days I'm not in physical pain, I'm buzzing around, though I can never get anything done, including cleaning, now my place is a serious mess.  I found that celexa and cymbalta both made me want to jump out of my skin and I hated being touched.

I, like you wonder if I am ever going to have a sweetheart. As soon as I mention BP, whoosh they're gone. I've tried to educate, but it doesn't really matter.  At this point I've given up. It's been years since I've had  a serious relationship, but with this diagnosis on top of being a bit overweight, my chances are slim to none. I  have let go of that aspect of my life. Not that I don't think I'm worthy, but I'm being realistic in my situation.  I'm glad that some folks have a partner, it's much easier when you have someone batting in your corner.

Dale:
SSRI's gave me agonzing headaches, it was only until I switched meds did I realize much of it was from the meds. I didn't have a day w/out a headache. I get maybe 2 a week now. I also used to drink piles of coffee to stay awake, I was drowsy all the time.
I only have rough days now usually when it's colder outside as I have osteoarthritis in my lower back. I've stopped having tenssion headaches, my neck doesn't hurt anymore, and that's been going on for 15+ yrs when I started Luvox as my first ssri.  I can cope more with lower back pain 90% of the time, when my pain is at a level 8+, I don't do well.
I also know that pain at that level triggers my depression. The brain is such a complex thing isn't it?
585414 tn?1288944902
I totally disagree. Your life and how to live it and everyone's here is their decision but I don't think that hearing that someone has bipolar should scare people off. Its a matter of how you disclose. I know it sounds a bit arch and politically correct when I say I am a person with a psychiatric disability but when I put it factually and with that stance I haven't alienated anyone. The truth is the people who are the most hateful of people with psychiatric disabilities are often hiding aspects of their lives they don't like. As for my physical disability that has kept me apart from people and homebound but because of the impact of crowds and lines as well as autonomic stimuli in a way that's hard to describe without taking up a whole page lol although I take a full walk outside daily and interact with the people I see in a normal fashion.
   But I am connected through people online and I do get out to see them more than before and hope to increase that but require a fair amount of treatment with side effects of its own. Osteoarthritis is harder to cope with than what I have by far and you have my sympthy but I had a great aunt with severe arthritis and part of her difficulty coping with it we now believe was bipolar that never was treated (she had rampant moodswings) and that runs in my mother's side of the family though half of the people didn't realize it until I pointed it out to them and some of them are now getting help.
723341 tn?1232341853
Thanks for the welcome. I should have mentioned that my headaches were around even before I started taking my current meds. At first I thought that it might have been from the Adderall, which, by the way, helped me more with severe depression than anything I had taken before. I stopped taking the Adderall because I suspected that it might have been causing the headaches, but no luck, they continued. Then I thought that it was caused by sinus issues because it hurt more when I bent over, or coughed, or the worst is sneezing - any internal body pressure causes extra pain. After mucking around with the sinus theory for many weeks, taking antibiotics, etc., I finally figured out that it was caused from problems in my neck, went back to the chiropractor and I'm finally feeling like I'm turning the corner on the headaches.

This is what seems to keep happening to me over and over again in various ways. The things that come up are always hard to figure out, the pain or whatever comes from the illness or injury seems to sap my energy and trigger depression just like you said.

It seems if everything is doing well physically, there is a much greater chance that I won't be depressed, but now I'm about 75% of the time depressed and/or completely energy depleted & fatigued. And it's a bit scary too because as I'm getting older, there are naturally more physical issues arising, at the same time as my mental capabilities seem at least at this time to be on the decline, making it more difficult all the way around to stay well physically. However, for the time being, at least the depression in regards to feeling worthless and wishing for death have not been happening.

Also, when I've felt well physically and had hypomania, it feels really good, and I've been quite productive, but now, I think because of my headaches, I'm still fairly worn out and relatively inactive while hypomania is present - at least for right now...
585414 tn?1288944902
The difficulty is how to handle mania, even hypomania more than depression. When depressed, the key is to keep occupied and do something that will bring you out of the depression so you don't fixate on it. That's my strategy. But when hypomanic, over activity is part of the problem. You just can't focus. As for physical disabilities I look at the people in the family who had severe conditions such as cardiac conditions and strokes and just kept going to the end. I try to devote a minimum of my time towards self directed thinking unless its for a specific reason. I've toned people down who say "I feel sorry for you" and I ask them "how does that help?" and I try to refocus their energy into online research for treatments for me, some of which has been quite productive and the e-mail I hated the most was someone who said "you were victimized by medication". I gave the person a send off but in a polite way. Its funny because I don't need to get into a negative frame of mind about my physical disability and negative thinking overall because I have a whole crowd of people I know willing to the work lol and often I have to change their perspectives and motivate them and then I end up feeling better about myself.
723341 tn?1232341853
I find your experience very interesting, it's somewhat reversed to mine.

I am feeling like I WISH my difficulty was in handling the hypomania. When I'm hypomanic I can finally do things again, like today I went to StarBucks, sat and read a book for 45 minutes or so while waiting for my wife and son to meet me - and enjoyed it! I felt like a relatively normal person again.

When I'm depressed, I enjoy practically nothing, and there's not much I can do to change that, at least nothing I've discovered. I become barely functional when depressed, completely sapped of energy and motivation to do anything except the absolute bare necessities, and I basically duck everything else as best I can. Anything slightly stressful just puts me over the top in terms of being able to emotionally and energetically cope. I often remain this way for months on end.

I'm with you on anyone saying that they feel sorry for me. I don't want anybody to feel sorry for me; I don't want to feel sorry for myself either, I just want other people, when necessary, to understand what is going on with me so that they have a clue when I don't do things they expect. And likewise, I like to know how to most effectively deal with the issues that I'm facing.

I used to go into negative thinking a lot, feeling sorry for myself and stuff, but fortunately I don't go there too much anymore unless I go down to the very bottom of the pit. I can now accept the fact of this depressed existence while it is going on - and why not accept it, it IS going on, and there's nothing I can do to stop it, complaining just compounds it. I still don't like it, it causes problems, but I don't fight against it.

I have a great deal more success in controlling the hypomania by limiting my engagement in obsessive activities, making sure that I stay in bed for at least 8 hours each night, even if I'm wide awake for some of it, taking lithium. And more often than not, my hypomanic episodes are mild enough that I don't (nor does anyone else) know for sure that I'm even having a hypomanic episode. They generally feel to me like I'm finally getting better and can be productive for a while.

The worst things that I do while hypomanic, generally, is to buy more books than I can read, spend a bit more money than I should, start projects that after the episode become completely unappealing, drive my wife a bit buggy talking my head off occasionally, get worked up and say some things that I wish later that I hadn't. And again, these things are mild, and if you didn't know my usual nature you wouldn't think much, if anything, about what I'm doing or saying.

So, for me, it's bring on the hypomania...except for one thing: I know that there is depression at the end of the hypomanic road, correspondingly as (or more) deep and long as the hypomanic episode was. So I do have motivation to keep the hypomania in check, even though it's tempting to just let 'er rip.
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