585414 tn?1288941302

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)
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
Avatar universal
Sounds similar to me!

I shouldn't be surprised really because I've learned over the last 2 years that this type of behaviour is common BP signs.

On the depression note though - and this is mainly for ILADVOCATE - I'm surprised that you are able to "talk yourself out of depression".  When depression hits me - and I'm talking deep depression here and not dips in mood - I can't even get out of bed, I don't want to eat, frankly I just want to die and there is nothing that can change that.  Now if your talking about recognising when depression is hitting and taking action to prevent it getting worse, then I can go with that and agree.  However, sometimes no amount of prevention, talking, activity can stop a major crash :-s  that's why its BP depression.
607502 tn?1288247540
Daledude and I could be the same person really...

I used to be able to talk myself out of depression but the last few months have robbed me of much of that, for a long time I used coping skills and recognition of the triggers but its not working now and I keep getting blindsided.
Avatar universal
I have disagree as well, I have tried the soft approach, the educational approach, being totally upfrong approach. None have worked. I do know then they weren't the right ones for me.

I too have osteoarthritis in my L4/5 and that hampers me. I've actually been triggered into a depression from the pain. It's a never ending cyle. I''m a figher though, and stubborn.
Avatar universal
I react a lot like LCC - shock - we are so much a like anyway, except I am bp1 and she is 2....  

My thing I have noticed is the out of body experiences with a rush of adrelaline (sp?) and energy then comes the sleepless night...  waiting for the comedown to do depression.  That's just one of the manic things- there are tons of them, but becoming more self-aware helps me not be so frightened when they happen..  That helps me keep suicidal thoughts in perspective, I believe.  

Welcome new guys to the forum!

Avatar universal
Others' hypomania symptoms sound similar to my own except that now I seldom have good feelings. I'm often angry and irritable and then my mood will shift again and I'm completely miserable. I have racing thoughts that won't stop and become overly anxious and fearful. Maybe it's because I've gotten older, but I usually find nothing pleasant about any of the symptoms I get. I'm suspicious now if I'm in a good mood because it seems to last only a few hours until something ugly takes its place.

The creepy-crawlies under the skin - like restless legs in my whole body - are becoming more common and I get a terrible case of the wigglies, end up having to move, pace, swing my arms, etc. and nothing seems to stop it. I also tend to smoke a whole lot because I'm up and wired and nervous. To the tune of 2-3 packs a day, and I'm sure that doesn't help anything. I almost make myself sick. The lithium already keeps me with low-grade nausea and all those cigarettes make me want to puke. My spending sprees vary a lot. Christmas and my husband's birthday are right together and it's impossible to avoid spending, but it's also seemingly impossible to avoid over-spending. My psychiatrist is not concerned with that as long as it doesn't cause us financial hardship.  I firmly believe enough is enough, so we don't see eye-to-eye on that. I grew up poor, so even if the amounts are not totally outrageous, they are outrageous to me.

I wish I could have a little of the "fun", but when I got wild a few weeks ago, the psychiatrist slapped me on AP meds and that put an end to that. I notice that even without psychotic symptoms that the AP can knock down a regular mixed state or hypomania. I started to go off again and was so uncomfortable and out of control that I couldn't stand it. I took a dose. Woke up the next day feeling better. Not 100% okay, but it makes a noticeable difference in my ability to function and think. I am going to discuss it with my psychiatrist because it seems awfully helpful.

Sometimes, I am fully aware that I'm getting hypomanic. Other times, I am blindsided by it and will only realize much later what's happening. It's usually a good clue if I am not sleeping at all, my body feels shaky, and I cannot focus. Lately, I have had a lot of difficulty concentrating enough to read. This has been devastating. I've always been a huge reader and it was a reliable escape no matter what else was going on in my life. As things have gotten worse over the past six months or thereabouts, I have been unable to read most of the time. At first, I was blaming the authors and thinking the books had to be poorly written or boring. After a while I realized that it was me. It is one of the worst things that could happen to me. Like losing a sibling. I would give up almost anything except our animals and my husband if I could consistently read again.

The depression is more comfortable in a way, I think. I don't enjoy it, but there's usually a certain amount of predictability that I don't see at the other end of the spectrum. I'm more familiar with it having spent months at a time struggling to do anything. I have a certain amount of irritability and anger sometimes (not always), but it doesn't seem to spew outward as violently. I don't have the energy to maintain any kind of outward-directed emotion. At the beginning, I'll end up crying a lot and then I won't be able to cry at all. I never thought I'd feel this way, but I think I'd rather be down than up. That's because up has gotten completely unmanageable and unpredictable now. I don't know what I might do any more. Actually, the worst thing is that now I am not remembering things I say and do. I'll argue about it and/or be surprised when I'm told something. That is new and I don't think it's anything to do with the head injury. If it was related, it would have been happening for the past 5 years or so on a more regular basis. Sure, I would always forget things, but now I forget a whole lot MORE things.

I don't know how one can talk themselves out of depression. Sounds like more work than I'd be capable of doing when I am depressed. My mind either doesn't work at all or it's all doom and gloom in there no matter what I try to force myself to think about I do well to stagger through the minimal chores I do around here - feed animals twice a day. I can do it without getting dressed - and often do even if I'm not depressed. The sofa is my best friend and I stare at the idiot box hour after hour after hour.  

The psychiatrist says that I have a lot of mixed states at this point, but I admit I have trouble distinguishing what is happening when it is happening. I basically have to be told afterwards what has happened. I do know that this is relatively unfamiliar territory and something that has definitely gotten worse as I've gotten older. Everything used to be relatively quiet and low-key. It was obvious to my close friends and family - and occasionally at work back when I was employed. The past couple of years and especially the past six months, life has changed dramatically. And not for the better. It seems like the mood shifts have become bigger and louder and just really obnoxious. I can't do things like I used to. I am afraid to go down and work with the horses, for example. If I'm hypomanic or mixed or just plain having anxiety problems, they pick up on it and can become unpredicatable and dangerous. That is only one thing, but it is a big thing. Ironically, we always thought the horses were good therapy. Now, I don't trust myself OR them unless I'm feeling somewhat stable.
585414 tn?1288941302
  Well I'll say for myself in the past going into an agitated mixed state was common for me and that's hard to get over. Things just burn out and you have a feeling of irritability. What I was experiencing until recently and thanks to the person who let me (seriously) was dysphoric mania and I asked my psychopharmocologist and he said that's exactly what it was. Although I didn't purposely change things to bring it on and part of it was neurological in origin it was "fun" in its own way. I must admit. I got through a large portion of classic gothic literature. But I'm not that kind of person. And now its strongly mitigated. But the Zofran and Tenex together tend to knock me and lower my blood pressure but I am still up half the night from the activating effects of the other medications and I can't tolerate all known sleep aides. I was able to stop feeling psychotic, then I had to achieve a form of recovery from dissociation that was neurological in origin along with standard mood stabilization.
  I've lost large aspects of my life, some of which I might not be able to physically get back. Thankfully my advocacy and what I do in that regard hasn't been impacted on. Some of it I cannot detail as its confidential but what I've found in treatment for my neurological disability I'll be presenting before a Parkinson's group even though that's not my specific disability. I always had that aspect of myself. I guess it was untapped. But its what keeps me going. The funniest card I ever got was from my mom that had a comic from the New Yorker saying "this was his last letter to the New York Times" showing someone who just died who had lived a long life and it said it was "me at 120 years old". Don't know if I'll live that long lol but I think I have my mind fine tuned here which is essential for any of that. Make the most of it while you can and then keep going anyway afterwards is my motto.
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