I would guess that most people have heard of mania, and have a good understanding of what it is, but what about hypomania? Do you know what it is?
Hypomania is essentially, a less-intense version of mania. It includes a revved-up mood and thoughts, feelings, emotions, and everything else about your state of mind.
Hypomania can bring extreme talkativeness, restlessness, and irritability. Personally, when I experience hypomania, I truly feel as if I can take on the world. It would be easy to think I am just happy and excited, but that is simply not the way my mind works. My mind, and my body, believe that I can do ANYTHING.
Usually when I am in hypomania I tend to get these BIG ideas. I end up mapping out an entire plan of how to make it happen.
Before I was diagnosed with BiPolar 2 Disorder, I thought this was just a personality trait. Now, when I look back, I`m able to understand it differently.
Examples of what hypomania may look like:
-reckless/carefree spending on things you would not normally indulge in, or things you can`t afford
-hypersexuality : which can involve making unusual demands from your partner involving sex, having an affair, spending a lot of money on phone sex, and more
-talking with such speed that it`s difficult for others to understand you
-jumping from one topic to another completely unrelated topic during a conversation
-decreased need for sleep
Often, hypomania is mistaken for happiness, which is what makes it so dangerous.
Dangers of hypomania:
-Feeling so good that you feel that you don`t require your medications anymore
-making impulsive decisions/purchases that will affect you negatively after you are out of the hypomania
-If someone does not receive effective treatment for hypomania, it could develop into full on mania.
One thing I constantly struggle with living with BiPolar 2 Disorder is trying to understand if I am in hypomania, or if I`m simply just in a good mood.
They can be difficult to differentiate, creating anxiety, and other potentially negative feelings. It`s hard to question every mood, every emotion, and try to understand when I am feeling good and happy, and then when I am in hypomania and I need to be aware.
It often feels like because it`s not AS BAD as full on mania, then I don`t have it that bad, and I shouldn`t complain.
And while I certainly don`t want to complain, I also want to create a space where we CAN talk about anything and everything. Hypomania is real, and can be a danger too. People who experience it, should not compare themselves to those who experience mania, because they are simply 2 different things, and no comparison will see that.
Sometimes it`s hard to understand whether or not I am very happy, or in hypomania.
They can look very similar, and I find it so frustrating which can eventually put me back into a depressive state, which is how I spend the majority of my time.
Before I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 disorder, I had no idea what was going on with me, my body, or my mind. Sometimes the happiness that I felt was so intense that it was almost scary. It truly felt that I could take on the world.
I can`t remember when symptoms of Bipolar 2 disorder began to show, but many things in my adult life have been affected by it.
Multiple large purchases have been made with the thinking that it was exactly what we needed at that time, and that it was the best thing to do.
I have quit jobs, and found new jobs, all which made complete sense to me at the time.
We`ve even relocated our entire lives from different cities to different towns.
I never meant to be impulsive. I remember that it all made sense to me at the time. I`m not a naturally impulsive person. I spend a lot of time thinking about things and wanting to make sure that is the best choice. I don`t make decisions lightly.
At the time, everything I was doing made complete sense in my mind.
I`ve learned a lot over the years, and especially since receiving a formal diagnosis. Hypomania is very real, and also very dangerous.
If you know someone who experiences hypomania, make sure you check up on them.